Remote Playgroup Training
Anglicare NT Remote Playgroup and Family Skills staff from the East Arnhem communities of Milingimbi (and Langarra Homeland), Numbulwar and Ngukurr attended training in Darwin recently. Training participants were presented with participation certificates by Anglicare NT CEO Dave Pugh and East Arnhem Communities for Children (EA C4C) team at a morning tea at Anglicare NT’s head office in Ludmilla at the end of the training week.
Wendy Scarlett, Initiatives Manager for EA C4C and Remote Playgroups, noted that the week was a fantastic opportunity for remote staff to share experiences and activities with playgroups from other communities, develop new skills particularly with IT, learn new children’s activities and meet with key staff from Anglicare NT, including Payroll and HR.
The Remote Playgroup training is developed to fit with needs identified for each Playgroup location, and is supported by the EA C4C resource unit. Training was based around the Play and Learn Support (PALS) resource, which was developed as a tool for supporting Two Ways understandings of early child development, development of neural pathways, early identification of delayed development, and strategies for supporting caregivers and encouraging them to engage with their children in developmentally appropriate play activities. Child Safe work practices also provided a sound base for Playgroup planning and practices. The NT Library team provided a session on creating resources using photos and film captured on iPads and instant cameras, which allowed Playgroups workers to develop confidence to make more resources with Playgroup participants and their families in community. The IT skills sessions were valued by the Playgroups workers as an opportunity to improve their confidence using email, recording participation and accessing information. However, the activity most enjoyed and valued was creating individual board books to share with Playgroups participants. As one of the participants, Raelene explained, “I felt powerful when I realised I can create my own book.”
Marlene Andrews, Playgroup Leader at Ngukurr explained why she continues to work with children and their caregivers: “Playgroup is a special place; it is a place of learning. We support kids and their parents, we teach mums how to be good mothers, and fathers too. We sing songs, dance and eat together. We celebrate birthdays, have picnics and play outside. Once a year we come to Darwin to meet other playgroup workers, make books, learn new songs, share games, an
“It’s a huge week, we work hard, but we also have fun, and that’s what we take back to our communities. For children it is important that they play because that is how they are learning, and when they have fun at Playgroup, they want to learn more.”