Held at a local youth centre, and run by Goodstart Early Learning Cessnock, the playgroup offers families and their children the chance to meet others, enjoy a free morning tea, and benefit from the expertise of professional educators.
Goodstart Cessnock centre director Angela Green said about eight families were currently attending the playgroup with children from mixed age groups.
“They are all families which don’t attend the centre which is great because it means more children in our community get a chance to attend early learning, even though they’re not enrolled in a service,” Ms Green said.
“We started the group as an outreach program to offer early learning support for families that don’t access early learning services, as part of our social purpose to ensure that all children have some access to early learning.”
Two Goodstart educators hold the playgroup every fortnight which focuses on sensory exploration activities such as Play Doh, building, constructing and painting. There is also a focus on language and literacy, and music.
“We find that it’s a great option for people who might not be quite ready to send their children into an early learning environment but still want to ensure they have some contact with other children,” Ms Green said.
As an EChO centre (Enhancing Children’s Outcomes), Cessnock enjoys visits from speech pathologist Vivien Edwards, who visited the playgroup recently to talk about the services she offers.
The Harmony and Play Playgroup is held from 9.30am-11am every Tuesday.