Celebrating Inclusion, Compassion and Community

The of sense of belonging, being and becoming is incredibly important at all stages of life. For the early childhood years, it is crucial for healthy development and wellbeing. Our playgroup vision “Creating a village through play” was established to support the first five years, a time of rapid change and growth – and to support parents and caregivers tackle the challenges and triumphs of raising children.  

If the start of 2020 has highlighted anything, it has highlighted the vital importance and strength of community and cohesion. From natural disasters felt nationally, to the worldwide Covid-19 health pandemic and economic challenges we are currently facing – our playgroup village continues to come together and demonstrate the power of community. We have seen incredible compassion and generosity throughout Australia during these trying times.  

Many playgroups have taken a lead role, supporting one another and the broader community. Together, these small acts of kindness are growing rapidly to create a kindness pandemic. Bringing us together and making our community stronger. So, while National Playgroup Week events within our communities have been postponed, we will continue to celebrate community and connection.  

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King 

Playgroups are wonderfully diverse, adapting to the unique interests, cultures, languages and abilities of their community. At playgroup we connect through our stories. We grow through shared play experiences. Through our playgroup villages, we can break down social barriers, close the gap, and encourage community cohesion and capacity.  

The experiences we share are what colours our fabric and connects our villages. Fadzi Whande, a Global Diversity and Inclusion Strategist said, “Sharing our stories allows us to engage and connect with others. Stories are basically our lived experiences and it brings awareness to those who do not have the same experiences, but it also connects you to people who can relate to your experience.”

“We should acknowledge differences, we should greet differences, until differences make no difference.” – Dr Adela A Allen 

For close to 50 years, our Playgroup Community has grown to represent all types of playgroups. From bush playgroups, grandparent playgroups, intergenerational playgroups, baby playgroups, cultural and language specific playgroups, to accessible playgroups which support and celebrate the abilities and differences of all children. 

This National Playgroup Week we ask you to join us online to celebrate the importance of play. Together, let’s promote learning through play. Let’s share those mundane, funny, awe worthy moments, reach out and connect with other on shared experiences, and continue to grow as a community so that no one feels alone. If you are working from home, don’t be daunted. Treasure this time together with. Make memories. Have fun. 

“Alone we can do so little, yet together we can do so much.”  Helen Keller