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Providing community initiatives that support early learning is a crucial part of Save the Children's work in Australia.
We've been helping disadvantaged families support their children's development by providing access to educational toys through our Fitzroy Toy Library in Victoria, since 2004. As part of our It Takes a Village program, we also opened our first Toy Library in Hobart to assist migrant families in 2012.
Why we need Toy Libraries
Play-based learning has long been recognised as an effective approach to support early childhood care and development. Through safe and supported play, children are given opportunities to learn, grow and prepare for school. Some families - in particular those from refugee and migrant backgrounds - cannot afford to buy or access educational toys needed to stimulate their children's play and learning.
Our Toy Libraries help children develop
We provide access to high-quality educational toys for children up to six years of age, through a low cost borrowing system for families in Fitzroy and a free service in Hobart. A community Toy Library enables parents to better meet the developmental needs of their children and encourages learning at home. It also helps foster strong relationships between families through play.
How we know we're helping children learn
Our Fitzroy Toy Library has been successfully running for more than a decade with between 70 and 80 parents borrowing toys every term. In its first year, the Hobart Toy Library is also helping an average of 30 families. In 2013, there were more than 700 toy loans and 29 new families joined our Fitzroy Toy Library. A pictorial catalogue is also helping parents from non-English speaking backgrounds understand how to use western toys which they may not have seen or used before.
Toy Library locations and opening hours
Our Fitzroy Toy Library located at 156 Napier Street in Fitzroy is open Monday 12pm-2pm and Thursday 11am-2pm. If you'd like learn more about our borrowing guidelines, please download our Fitzroy Toy Library brochure.
The Toy Library in Hobart can be accessed by families attending our It Takes a Village, multicultural playgroup in Glenorchy. Families can also visit our Op shop at 158 Murray Street, Hobart on weekdays between 10am – 4pm.
Who makes our Toy Libraries possible
Save the Children's Toy Libraries are made possible by our generous supporters and partners such as the Early Years Foundation in Tasmania, and the City of Yarra, Mars Stride Trust and Equity Trustees in Victoria.
Want to learn more?
Contact the Fitzroy Toy Library:
156 Napier Street,
(03) 9417 6571 (Monday 12pm-2pm and Thursday 11am-2pm)
Outside these times, please call Save the Children on 03 8417 1400