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Last week, a free playgroup at the Playford Alive Town Park brought more than 30 families together for a morning of fun, creativity and play.

AnglicareSA’s Communities for Children Playford and HIPPY Elizabeth joined community partners at the event, which saw newborns through to 12-year-olds have fun with bubbles, engage in water play activities and expel some energy on the playground and grassed areas.

The event was the collaborative efforts of several local community centres, hubs, programs, and the Department of Human Services, who comprise the Play Coalition.

Department of Human Services Community Development Coordinator, Tracey Alexander, said the playgroup aims to engage families with the local community and promote early childhood development.

“We want to connect families to services and recreation areas in their local community,” Tracey said.

The event was the first of four planned to occur at different recreational spaces across Playford this year, each linked to the Raising Literacy Words Grow Minds Project that aims to improve developmental outcomes for children in areas such as speech and language.

ASA Jayde Milburn, DHS Tracey Alexander and ASA Anna Jerram
Jayde Milburn, Tracey Alexander and Anna Jerram at Playgroup at the Park.

“This event’s focus is on play, which is an important part of childhood learning,” Tracey said.

“By empowering parents to play with their children at the playgroup, we are helping them understand the importance of their role in helping their children reach developmental milestones.”

AnglicareSA Community Development Worker Jayde Milburn said attending events like the playgroup provide an opportunity to network with other community partners and build relationships with local families.

“Attending community events like this is how Communities for Children Playford engage new families and strengthen those connections with service providers,” Jayde said.

“We invite families who use our children’s services to these events and act as a friendly face to help them get comfortable in the local community. We can introduce and connect them with a service or program that they can access for support.”

AnglicareSA’s Communities for Children programs in Playford and Onkaparinga are funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.