SMECC playgroups are designed as social support for women and children to learn and play together. Children (infant to 5 years), with their mothers/ female family members from all ethnic backgrounds, including but not limited to new arrivals and refugee families, are welcome.
The groups provide a valuable social connection, in a women-friendly environment, for women to others from their own and other cultures. Families from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds participate in our playgroups, including; Afghan, Burundian, Indian, Samoan, Filipino, Mauritian, Turkish, and Anglo-Australian. SMECC currently organizes two weekly playgroups which generally has between 10-20 children (+ parents) attending each day. Limited transport support is available to families so contact SMECC for more information.
Mondays 10am - 12pm
Venue: SMECC Community Cultural Centre 107-111 Twelfth Street
Rhythm and Rhyme Playgroup:
Wednesdays 10am - 12pm
Venue: SMECC CCC
Through our playgroups we able provide advice and support to women to help with their settlement in Australia and on any issues or concerns they may have. This provides a vital referral point to link and refer female clients to other services, and enables SMECC to organize information sessions, guest speakers and visitors from other health and social support services to speak to parents in the group. As with the broader SGP program this advice can cover a wider range of issues; from significant health and personal issues, to areas such as; child development and parenting, women's health issues, immunizations, child safety and kinder/ school enrollment.
Importantly, our playgroups also provide a great opportunity for children to interact with other cultures at a young age to reduce cultural and racial barriers when children higher education levels.
SMECC playgroups are also aimed at preparing families from CALD communities, particularly new arrivals, to transition to other mainstream early childhood services to improve educational outcomes. This includes working to help reduce barriers to children from these families enrolling in kindergartens and pre-schools. SMECC also receives significant support through the Mildura Rural City Council Supported Playgroup Coordinator to help our groups continue to grow and to link us to the broader early childhood sector.
SMECC Playgroups are funded through our Settlement Services (SS) Program through the Commonwealth Department of Social Services.