This program is funded as a consortium with Casino Neighbourhood Centre through Families NSW for vulnerable families in Casino. There are two playgroups provided weekly for two hours each – one generally for young parents aged to 25 years, and the other for parents of any age. Brighter Futures support Jumbunna in the running of the former group. Each group has up to twelve parents and 15-20 children. The family must have a child aged up to three years. Provision of service is primarily for vulnerable families who have limited local support networks, are Indigenous, sole or teenage parents, and/or affected by a developmental disability or delay. The groups are coordinated and led by a qualified child care worker with a child care worker to assist. The program aims to provide a range of learning experiences to stimulate children’s development, to develop social networks for the parents, and to provide information for parents to increase their parenting skills.
Staff encourage parent’s strengths and support them to utilize them. Areas of need are addressed appropriately and respectfully, by giving information, modelling appropriate behaviour, referring to other agencies and supporting them in making changes. Many guest speakers provide information on specific topics of interest.
Playgroups also provide opportunities for children to play, interact with other children and parents, and develop in all learning areas.