Monday mornings are often the toughest time of the week if you are the primary carer of young children, but not if you’re a part of Lawson’s Kookaburra Playgroup – a vital community service where parents and caregivers have a chance to connect and relax while their children play.
Kookaburra Playgroup is part of Belong Blue Mountains Community and Neighbourhood services, an umbrella organisation for the three local neighbourhood centres in Katoomba, Mid Mountains (Lawson) and Lower Mountains (Blaxland) whose purpose is to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of people in the local community.
Kookaburra Playgroup, located at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre (MMNC) Lawson, was previously a parent-led community group until assistance was delivered to already stretched parents and carers by MMNC. Now, the playgroup is thriving as a facilitated playgroup.
Former Kookaburra Playgroup co-ordinator, Jodie Earle, said the group has changed since they were supported by MMNC. “Now it is so much more relaxing,” she said.
Alison Melbourne, mum to Zachary of 18 months, expressed how Kookaburra Playgroup has changed her Mondays.
“I’m exhausted; my kids are early risers,” she said. “This group is such a great start to the week.”
At Kookaburra Playgroup, kids can participate in activities such as painting, sand play and craft - activities that may not be possible or encouraged at home due to mess, availability or space. There is something for every little person with indoor and outdoor play and activity stations which are organised depending on age, ability and interest.
Children have the opportunity to make friends from their own communities, connections that often continue into school life and make that transition to big school smoother. Likewise, for the parents and carers. Sharing experiences and talking in a space that is non-judgemental and empathetic creates a community that is supportive and connected.