During the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown a number of important services in our community, including playgroups, were forced to close.
Barnardos’ weekly playgroups are now officially back up and running at the Local Aboriginal Lands Council and Ngalii Preschool under the guidance of Child and Family worker Tiara Finn.
Tiara said playgroups are an important part of a child’s development and she’s pleased to be able to get their weekly sessions back up and running.
“Playgroups get local families engaged in the community,” Tiara said.
“They are open to anyone and everyone.”
She said while playgroups are very beneficial for children, it also allows their parents and carers to meet other families, talk about any concerns they may have and the opportunity “to have a grown up conversation”.
Tiara, who has a Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, (and is a mum to 18 month old Summer) bases her playgroup session on the 3a (Abecedarian Approach Australia) program.
The broad spectrum educational approach has a focus on language, learning games, conversational reading and enriched caregiving with lots of playful interactions.
“We do activities for growth and fine motor activities, activities that will enhance a child’s creativity, as well as social skills and cognitive development,” Tiara said.
“They can build with blocks, ride trikes, we do painting, play with baby dolls and dollhouses—lots of things to engage their social skills. It’s very much learning through play.”
Barnardos provides all the equipment and also morning tea for children, their parents and carers at the weekly playgroup sessions.