A community playgroup that helps families connect with each other, first-time parents and the natural environment has won 2017’s Victorian Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Victoria Annual Playgroup Awards 2017.
Woodend Playgroup – part of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council – received the award from the Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos at the awards ceremony at the Melbourne Aquarium.
Ten playgroups were recognised at the awards which acknowledge the work of playgroups across Victoria and celebrate the many volunteers, participants and organisers who make these possible.
Playgroup Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation representing playgroups and is funded by membership, fundraising and government grants, including $160,000 a year from the Victorian Government.
Ms Mikakos announced an extra $200,000 for Playgroup Victoria to build stronger connections between Maternal and Child Health First Time Parent Groups and community playgroups. This will ensure first time parents have access to ongoing social support and links to their communities.
Rainbow Families Playgroup, North Fitzroy, was awarded Playgroup of the Year. Other categories were:
- Playgroup Agency of the Year
- Community Playgroup of the Year (1-4 sessions)
- Metro Community Playgroup of the Year (1-4 sessions)
- Regional Community Playgroup of the Year (5+ sessions)
- Community Playgroup Leader of the Year
- Supported Playgroup Facilitator of the Year
- Supported Playgroup of the Year and
- Playgroup Champion.
Playgroups play a vital role in strengthening families and communities, and instilling children with a lifelong love of learning. More than 40,000 children and 30,000 families participate in playgroups in Victoria each year.
Source: Vic Government