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Investing in community playgroups [policy statement]

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Australian Labor

Party National ALP

Mark Latham and Jacinta Collins - Investing in community playgroups Saturday, 24 July 2004

ALP News Statements A Federal Labor Government will invest an additional $10.2 million in community playgroups to help promote early childhood development.

The initiative builds on Read Aloud Australia - Labor's plan to spend $80 million over four years to encourage parents to read to their children and improve literacy and early education.

Playgroups across the country are already being run successfully by parents, so there is no need for government to reinvent the wheel.

Instead, we will be a junior partner to community effort - backing the work of parents and volunteers with a targeted increase in resources.

Labor's plan includes:

● Spending an additional $10.2 million over four years to support

playgroups being run by parents and volunteers. This will enable playgroups to buy extra books and education equipment - building up their learning resources. ● Providing advice on how to run the best programs and reach out to

more parents and support in the community. ● Establishing a 1800 number to put parents in touch with the most

suitable local playgroup for their children.

The best teacher of early learning is a parent armed with the right information.

Other Labor initiatives to support early childhood development include:

● Read Aloud Australia - our $80 million plan to encourage parents to

read to their children, including three free storybooks and adult literacy

programs. ● A national strategy to tackle childhood obesity, which affects nearly

one in three children. This includes a ban on all food and drink advertising during television programs aimed directly at children. ● Vaccinations for newborn babies against pneumococcal and chicken

pox, plus the Injected Polio Vaccine. ● Creating an Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.