PlayConnect Playgroups

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PlayConnect Playgroups provide play based experiences that are designed to promote early childhood development for children with ASD or developmental delays in communication, behaviour or social skills.

 What are PlayConnect playgroups?

PlayConnect Playgroups provide play based experiences that are designed to promote early childhood development for children with ASD or developmental delays in communication, behaviour or social skills. Programs are child led, and strengths based to maximise opportunity for development. They also give opportunity for families to connect with others, share knowledge and experiences and make friends in an environment of fun and mutual understanding.

PlayConnect is an early intervention strategy funded through the Australian Government Helping All Children With Autism Package and are free to eligible families. Children do not require a formal diagnosis or referral to attend. PlayConnect is a playgroup for the whole family and siblings and carers are also welcome and included at PlayConnect.

PlayConnect Methodology

PlayConnect playgroups use a holistic approach, providing experiences that are centred around the child’s own physical and emotional wellbeing, building on experiences to help them feel secure, confident and capable in their learning environment.

Groups are led by early childhood educators who will work with families to develop strategies to engage with children and support their emerging skills by using each child’s own interests, and strengths. Facilitators adopt intentional teaching methods that include modelling, open ended questions and problem solving to extend on children’s knowledge and development.

Some of the key features of PlayConnect Playgroups

* Welcoming learning environments that are adapted to the needs of attending children

* Providing a range of social experiences to support strengths and emerging skills

* Working with children and families to assess and develop positive outcomes in learning

* Routines and transition strategies that allow predictability and continuity in experiences

* Experiences that support physical wellbeing and health

* Carer/child engagement and interaction for positive outcomes in learning

How do PlayConnect help children build skills?

Children require security, positive attachments and a strong sense of belonging to support their development and growth. They need environments rich in stimulation that will trigger curiosity and inquisitiveness and allow them to explore new skills and experiences. Playgroup provides all the key elements of a quality learning environment that is welcoming, offers a variety of experiences and qualified educators that are responsive to the needs of attending children. PlayConnect also has the added benefit of working closely with the experts in each child's life. The parents and carers.

The addition of the parent/primary carer at playgroup is one of its advantages. Playgroups encourage parent/carer participation which help children build their confidence, independence and resilience during activities. This will support positive learning outcomes that are specific to their child’s individual strengths, interests and needs.

PlayConnect can help build important skills in

* Communication

* Social interactions

* Taking turns & sharing

* Empathy

* Problem solving

* Decision making

* Self-regulation

* Environmental awareness

* Language and numeracy

* Physical wellbeing and independence

Where are PlayConnect playgroups located?

There are currently PlayConnect Playgroups being offered at the following locations?

* Liverpool

* St Marys

* Ramsgate

* Bathurst

* Taree

* East Gosford

* Dubbo

* Wagga

* Dapto

* Casino

How can I find out more?

For more information on PlayConnect Playgroups, or to join your local PlayConnect Playgroup, please call Playgroup NSW on 1800 171 882 or admin@playgroupnsw.org.au

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