Wendy, grandmother to 3-year-old Vanna and 7-month-old Darcy, has regularly attended Mareeba supported playgroups co-facilitated by VPG Every Family and C&K Kindergarten for two years.
Providing opportunities to take part in play-based, shared experiences guided by professional facilitators, she believes the supported playgroups are beneficial to children, parents, and caregivers alike.
“I took all three of my children to playgroups as they were growing up, and I now take my grandchildren because it’s such a great opportunity for social interactions and participation in activities I can’t do myself at home.
“Vanna loves the art and craft activities, and Darcy really enjoys the sing-a-longs.
“I think it’s important for children to be in an environment like this where they can socialise and learn from one another, and for mothers to come together to network and support each other on their parenting journeys,” said Wendy.
Wendy believes regular attendance has improved her granddaughter’s confidence and will contribute to her school-readiness in the future.
“Vanna is very shy, and I think attending the sessions are helping her feel more confident interacting with other children.
“She’s also going to attend the centre next year for Kindergarten, and I think it’s helped her to feel comfortable and familiar with her surroundings, which is going to make her transition so much easier,” said Wendy.
Guided by professional facilitators in early childhood development, Wendy has also learnt about local parenting support services and shares with her daughter to keep her informed.
“As grandma, I take note of the services and opportunities available in the local area, and if there’s something I think my daughter would benefit from, I always make her aware of it.
Wendy encourages local families to join weekly sessions.
“I highly recommend the supported playgroups to local parents, carers, and grandparents too.
“The facilitators are so welcoming and supportive, and it’s such a wonderful service for children of all ages, from babies to school age. It provides a great opportunity to spend quality time with our little ones,” said Wendy.
Supported playgroups are held weekly during school terms, guided by professional facilitators in early childhood development, and provide valuable opportunities to play, socialise, learn, and grow.