Success of Wanneroo’s It’s All About Play program leads other council to introduce it


Joanne Donnelly (Warwick) with son Frederick (3) and nephew Archie Nowland (4) . Picture: Martin Kennealey
Joanne Donnelly (Warwick) with son Frederick (3) and nephew Archie Nowland (4) . Picture: Martin Kennealey

THE success of the It’s All About Play initiative in the City of Wanneroo has led to other councils and community groups introducing the program.

The City launched the program in 2016 to create a play environment that offers early learning and development opportunities through play.

“It has been wonderful to see the large number of parents and children attending the It’s All About Play sessions at our libraries each week, enjoying rhymes, songs and play,” Mayor Tracey Roberts said.

“The City of Fremantle has also recognised the benefits It’s All About Play has on the community and implemented its own sessions in three locations.”

The Child and Parent Centre – Warriapendi in Balga will also host the popular sessions.

Wanneroo mother Jane Tolczyk said she had been taking her children, Elizabeth (3) and Peter (2), to the activities at Wanneroo Library since the start of the year.

“It’s great; it gets us out of the house,” she said.

“I get to interact with other parents.”

Mrs Tolczyk said she also saw the child health nurse there for her 10-week-old baby.

Joanne Donnelly, also of Wanneroo, said she had been taking her younger two children, Frederick (3) and Lawrence (2), to the library activities for a couple of years.

“It’s fabulous; I can get my kids out and about with other children to learn how to interact with other children,” she said.

“I can check in on their development.

“It’s a good safety net for mums that don’t have access to playgroups and other mums.”

Sessions at Wanneroo and Clarkson libraries attract up to 80 participants each week, prompting the City to add sessions at the Girrawheen Library, Alkimos pop-up library and Banksia Grove Community Centre a few months ago.

The program is targeted at children between birth and four years old and involves equipment, toys, books, activities and information to use in the library and at home.

To complement the program, the City partnered with ECU’s ‘Pregnancy to Parenthood (P2P) Clinic’, Department of Child and Adolescence Community Heath, child health nurses and speech pathologists.

An intern from the P2P Clinic attends each session to offer support, and the nurses run their drop-in clinics from rooms close by.

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