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9am with David and Kim -

View in ParlView

(generated from captions) This program is captioned live.

There'll be rhythm and movement, a

dinosaur, bubble wands, oodles of

slime and, because of the potential

for excitement, the all-important

nappy-changing stations. It's like

Woodstock for children. So to get

we've sent Christi Malthouse along her in the mood for motherhood,

to the world's biggest playgroup.

Good morning, David and Kim.

There's some news? No, not some

news. That's just David adding his

own little touch to the intro! I am own little touch to the intro! I

here in Sydney's west. It is the

world's biggest playgroup day. I

think we are at the world's biggest

playgroup. It is massive here.

There are children everywhere, and There are children everywhere,

they are all having so much fun. It

is National Play grngrp Week. There

are, I think, 60 events around the

country. So 60 playgroups around

the country who are celebrating

this initiative - about 15,000

participants are all there. With us

today, we have Karen from

Playgroups Australia, and of course

the federal minister for families, Meagan Macdonald. -- Linda

Mackenzie. -- Jenny Macklin. This

week, we're celebrating playgroups. We're promoting the availability

of playgroups for families with

children under five. So it's a time

to celebrate what mums and dads and

grandparents and care-givers get

out of playgroup, and to also let

everybody know that we're here.

What are playgroups all about?

Obviously you have day care centres

and childcare. What's different

about playgroup? Playgroup are

actually run by the families. So

the parents stay - playgroups

normally run for about two hours a

week. They're run by the families.

They're held in a community centre,

a park, somebody's home, something

like that. So mums, dads,

grandparents, care-givers, children

with their babies and their tudlers,

and their little ones under five,

come together for a couple of weeks

to share some conversation for the

kids play with each other, to join

their extended family, basically.

So the parents go along to this as

well? The parents stay. Also a bit

of socialising for them, then? It's

about connecting families to their

communities, and connecting to each other. When my young son was

screaming all night, I think you're

not feeling well, but you come to

playgroup and realise that everyone

else is going through this as well.

You also get connected to local GPs,

family child-health nurses, everything in the area. During the

ad break, you were saying it was

life-savers for you when your kids

were little. It certainly was.

Absolutely. I'm thrilled to see that there are fathers there as

well, because I used it a lot. Playgroups have expanded so much

now. It's not just one type of

playgroup, there are multiples,

ones specifically for dads. For

disabled. For kids with special

needs, too. That's right. And a lot

of the funding does - for the

actual association - does come from the Federal Government. Jenny,

obviously you place a lot of

importance on playgroups. I sure do.

And just talking to some of the mum

whose are here today, and I know as

a parent as well, just how often a

playgroup can be a real life-saver.

As one of the mums said to me just

now, "I really love to get out."

Get out of the house, to be with

other mums and dads - increasingly,

dads - more and more, we've got

grandparents coming along as well.

Karen was just talking about

sometimes, you know, the kids have

cried all night. I think sometimes

the mums might have a bit of a cry

as well when they get to playgroup!

To, you know, get out of, um, the

difficult situation they're in. I

think playgroups are great as a

parent, but, ah, as a government,

we really know - we really get it -

that learning starts from the day

you're born. And so this is a great

way that kids can learn through

play, and they can do that with

their parents who are present. So

Kevin Rudd's proposal for the

one-stop childcare shop - will that one-stop childcare shop - will

include playgroups? For the whole

of our early-learning approach, of our early-learning

it's go ing to include playgroups.

Sometimes, I'd love to see

playgroups in these hubs, if you

like. ' Hub' seems to be the word

these days. I think that would be

one place where playgroups could be.

But we also know that playgroups

can spring up anywhere. They can

can spring up anywhere. They can be

in the local church hall, they can

be in a park. Probably not as many

people would be present as today.

But I think the great thing about

playgroups is that they can be

anywhere where you can get a group

of parents together. Jenny, can I

just ask you - sorry to interrupt.

You're right. We're having a great

time here! Is there a playgroup at time here! Is there a playgroup

Parliament House? There isn't a

playgroup at Parliament House.

That's pretty shocking, isn't it? (Laughs) There's lots of spare

rooms in there! Goodness, the house

isn't used all the time, is it?! I

don't know whether beed be allowed

the time off to come together. That

aside, what's really great is that

these playgroups really do exist

right around Australia in lots of

tiny little remote communities, big

cities like here in Sydney. So,

everywhere. On that note - that's

exactly what I was going to ask -

if somebody wants to know about a

grey play Group in their area, how

do they find out? There are 8,000

playgroups that meet across

Australia every week, that's over

100,000 families connected. They

can ring our toll-free number, 1800

17 1882. Or they can go to the

website - that will link them to their State playgroup association

who can help them. Excellent. I'm going to go and have a play, I

think! Go do some play. Thank you

Bye-bye. We'll be back after this. very much, ladies. Good job.