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Ensuring newly arrived refugee and migrant children and their families are supported is critical to Save the Children’s work in Australia.
It Takes a Village is a program specifically designed to provide support and a sense of community to migrant children and families as they adapt to life in Australia.
Why multicultural playgroups are so important
Migrant and refugee children and families often feel isolated when they arrive in Australia. Many children have experienced loss and trauma. Some struggle to adjust to life in a new country, where their social, community and learning environments are very different to their country of origin. Like all children, they need support to help them learn and develop.
Our It Takes a Village program
Save the Children Australia provides supported playgroups for children and women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. Using a culturally appropriate framework, our Early Childhood workers run weekly sessions for children under five years to help them learn to play, socialise and establish routine in their lives.
Bilingual early childhood educators offer parents advice, referrals to community services and connect them with other families. Snacks are provided at the playgroups to promote healthy eating habits.
Where we run our multicultural playgroups
It Takes a Village has been running in Perth’s south-east corridor since 2009 and in Hobart’s suburb of Moona in Tasmania for the past three years. We’ve also recently established the program in Collingwood, Carlton and Richmond in Victoria.
How we know our playgroups work
An independent evaluation of our Perth and Hobart It Takes a Village confirm the strengths of the program. The evaluations found that the playgroups play a significant role in helping children transition to school, improve their mental health and well-being, build parenting skills and develop the social networks of families.
In 2012 alone, we supported 183 families in Western Australia from more than 15 different cultural backgrounds, including the conflict affected countries of Burundi, Congo, Rwanda, Myanmar, Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.
Our Perth It Takes a Village program was selected as a finalist in the Settlement Innovation category at the inaugural Australian Migration and Settlement Awards.
Who makes our program possible
Save the Children is grateful for the support from the Australian Government’s Department of Social Services, our generous supporters and the RE Ross Trust who help give disadvantaged children the best start to life.
Other programs that support migrant families
In Tasmania and Victoria, we run community Toy Libraries to support the early childhood development of disadvantaged children. Our It Takes a Village program is also complemented by practical skills workshops such as sewing, life skills and English lessons for mothers and older siblings involved in our Live and Learn program in Western Australia and our African Reading Club in Victoria.
Want to learn more?
Contact our Victoria office:
42 Dight Street,
Collingwood, VIC 3066
PO Box 2802,
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
+61 3 9281 2879
+61 3 9416 2763
Contact our Tasmania office:
158 Murray Street,
Hobart, TAS 7000
+61 3 6231 9488
+61 3 6231 4184