For parents and carers of children with a disability or chronic condition
MyTime support groups are a national initiative for parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years with disability or a chronic medical condition. MyTime is an opportunity for members to socialise and share ideas with other parents and carers. The program helps parents find out about available community support and meet others who understand the rewards and intensity of the caring role.
Groups are parent led; that is, parents choose what to do and what to talk about. Each group has a facilitator to coordinate the group, including providing resources and helping to facilitate discussions between parents.
“I have found the group to be a great support network and a good opportunity to bounce around ideas, vent and share knowledge.”
– MyTime Mum, Woodberry MyTime group
MyTime is not a Playgroup for children, rather, parents are the focus in this support group environment. However, children can join – a play helper is always in attendance, to engage children in activities while parents can catch-up and connect with one another.
The MyTime program is run by the Parenting Research Centre as the national coordinator in partnership with local childhood and parenting services.
MyTime is operated nationally by the Parenting Research Centre and funded by the Australian Government. Playgroup NSW is a coordinating partner for MyTime in NSW.
MyTime groups are open to all parents, guardians or informal carers of children who need a higher level of care than other children aged up to 18 years.
MyTime groups are not restricted to parents of children with additional needs – for example there are not specific MyTime groups for autism spectrum disorder or cerebral palsy.
MyTime members can bring preschool-age children to MyTime sessions, including siblings of their children with special needs.
Groups accept guests and members’ school-age children at the discretion of the facilitator, and members take priority over guests if groups approach maximum capacity. Generally, if someone is not eligible to join MyTime, they may be able to attend as a guest.
Being a parent is an important job. It’s easy to get caught up in looking after your child’s needs, but looking after yourself is important too. Sometimes, the group might just have fun with an activity aimed at helping members relax and look after their wellbeing.
You will be supported with skilled guidance from trained facilitators. Facilitators will guide the sessions, and help you access information and services in your area. In some sessions, the facilitator or a guest speaker might lead a discussion on a topic of interest.
In other MyTime sessions, members just relax over a coffee, talk about their week and share advice and information. The objective of MyTime is to establish and maintain peer support groups that increase parents/carers feelings of support in their caring role.
MyTime aims to:
Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.