Save the Children provides many programs to help young people all around Western Australia. Playschemes is one of these all important programs.
Playschemes are the largest of our Early Childhood Care and Development programs in Australia and have been running for more than 30 years. They provide children with opportunities to learn, grow and develop through safe and supported play.
Why early childhood learning is important
A child’s development between birth and the age of five is critical to their health, learning and success later in life. Play is crucial - it provides the basis for cognitive, physical, social and emotional learning and development. Unfortunately, many socially and economically disadvantaged families in Australia aren’t able to provide their children with opportunities for play-based learning.
Save the Children’s Playscheme program
Playschemes provide regular early learning activities and parenting support for vulnerable families and children under the six years old. Run by trained Early Childhood staff, the free playgroups help young children learn to play, socialise, establish routine and prepare for school.
In some communities we run Intensive Supported Playschemes, which may include home visits and additional support. During the weekly sessions, Family Support Workers also provide parents with advice and links to community services and other families in a non-threatening environment.
Each session is carefully designed to ensure its relevance and appropriateness for children from a range of backgrounds, such as culturally and linguistically diverse, newly arrived and refugee families and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Where we run our Playschemes
We have Playschemes in major cities, rural and remote communities in approximately 100 locations across Australia. This includes remote Aboriginal communities such as Mornington Island and Doomadgee in Northern Queensland, Kununurra in Western Australia, Wilcannia inNew South Wales, the Far West Coast of South Australia and Wadeye in the Northern Territory.
How we know our Playschemes help children develop
Based on national and international best practices for early childhood learning, our Playscheme program supports thousands of vulnerable children and their families each year. In the last two years alone, the program has grown to assist children and families in an additional 20 locations across Australia. In 2013 alone, more than 4,000 children attended our Playschemes.
Who makes our Playschemes possible
We are grateful to the Australian Government, Queensland Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and Corrections, the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, the Telethon Foundation and to generous Australians who fund our Playschemes.