NCNS supported playgroups have a plan and a purpose

NCNS has 3 Supported Playgroups; Kooly Aboriginal Supported Playgroup, St Marys Aboriginal Supported Playgroup and Braddock Playtime Playgroup. You may be thinking, is there really a difference between a supported playgroup and a regular playgroup? Well the answer is YES and here is why.

How are NCNS’ Supported Playgroups different to a regular playgroup?

One of the main differences between our supported playgroups and a regular playgroup is that our playgroups are facilitated by experienced NCNS Early Childhood Workers, Carolyn Gilbert, Amy Lear and Zoe Harris.

Our 3 playgroups have access to a number of early childhood resources and have a program that focuses on the developmental and early learning outcomes to help develop children’s early learning and social skills. We focus on health, culture and parenting initiatives.

Both of our Aboriginal Supported Playgroups have a wraparound framework which include Building Strong Foundations (BSF) Health Team who provide a Child & Family Nurse and an Aboriginal Health Worker, Lifestart Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) workers, financial counselling, immunisation staff and other organisations depending on the family’s needs that arise, or a gap in access for these children. We also have case workers from various services who come to playgroup to support their families. NCNS also provide family support.

We are also connected with a number of other services, including Braddock Public School, Disability Services, The School Dentist (Dental Clinic), Hearing and vision, Speech, Occupational Therapist, and Physiotherapy.

What kind of activities do you focus on?

Everything we do in playgroup has a purpose. We concentrate on developmentally appropriate activities, literacy and numeracy, social interaction, fine motor, cognitive, language, sensory, music, craft, art creativity, self and social awareness, and cultural/ multi-cultural activities.

A huge focus our of playgroups is to support parent/child play.  Parents are the first educators and most important teacher in their life and as educators we support them through this Journey. Play is important for children’s learning, so we include a variety of play activities to teach children different skills. For example, sand play teaches children about measurement, volume and problem solving and dramatic play encourages social skills, self-awareness, emotion and connections, exploring how the world works and the meaning for them.

How else can a supported playgroup help families?

Playgroup helps children and families form friendships.  If families come regularly, it helps to build routines, parents are able to form trust with the playgroup facilitators and other parents., and will help each other with parenting ideas, give reassurance to each other that they are doing a good job, and offer suggestions to try.

Who should access a supported playgroup?

All families, regardless of circumstances will benefit from attending a supported playgroup. We welcome grandparents, carers, dads, mums, young mums, cousins, aunty’ s, whoever is caring for a child, to come along.

What is some feedback from the families who attend our playgroup?

We have parents who hate school holidays as they miss coming to playgroup. Some parents even organise their child’s day care around playgroup, so they don’t miss out!

Our early childhood team are passionate about what they do, and this shows through their dedication to help the families who attend their playgroups. If you are interested in coming along to one of our supported playgroups or have any questions please contact the NCNS Early Childhood Team on 02 4729 0442 or info@nepeancommunity.org.au

You can find all of the NCNS Child and Family programs by clicking here

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