Dear Playgroup Families
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. What does this mean for face-to-face Playgroup sessions?
At Playgroup we hold family and community health and safety at utmost importance. At the time of writing this we have not received direction from Government to stop face-to-face playgroup sessions. However, recommendations to practice social distancing and avoid non-essential gatherings has influenced our decision to suspend many supported playgroups and make the following recommendations to community playgroups:
- consider suspending face to face group time
- make decisions regarding continuing to meet based on your local circumstances and considering most recent information relevant to your region
- Advise your State or Territory Playgroup organisation if you are intending to close so that we can gather evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on community activity and keep playgroup information up to date
- Stay up to date with government information and directions regarding strategies to slow the progress of infections
- Regularly review your decision making in light of changes to circumstances as the situation unfolds
- Report to your State or Territory Playgroup Organisation if your playgroup has had contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Collectively, State and Territory playgroup organisations and Playgroup Australia believe this is the right precaution to take to support the health and safety of our families, community, staff and volunteers. While we are not all equally at risk, the actions we take together can reduce the impact for those at high risk within the community we share.
We encourage you to stay informed by monitoring relevant government and health authority information and act as directed. They are in the best position to advise, initiate and coordinate public health crisis response plans should they be required.
What can we do to support each other and stay connected?
We will continue to work with our community on Creating a Village through Play by supporting connections and play through our digital communications. We encourage families to stay connected through social media, messaging apps, phone calls. Consider creating an online playgroup experience to read stories, play music, enjoy playdough, share craft creations, pull silly faces and share day-to-day play discoveries.
Playgroup organisations are working to provide a range of ways for playgroup families to connect with playgroup virtually – please connect with us on social media or via our websites to join the fun.
Ways to support children understand the importance of good hygiene practices and COVID-19
- The best way to reinforce good hygiene is leading by example! Play Kids on Coughing and Sneezing
- Make hand washing fun through a sing-a-long or sensory play activity it can be wiggley fun Wiggles Hand Washing Video.
- You might like to highlight the importance of hand washing with a scientific experiment like this one
- Talk to your children about COVID-19 in terms they understand. Our favourite “Birdie and the Big Sickness” tackles another adventure to support anxious children understand this is temporary.
- DON’T panic! We don’t always have all the answers and can’t foresee the future, but we do have the now and each other.
- DO encourage play, music and movement. It is a great distractor and mood lifter!
Please remember today’s information may change tomorrow as government and health advice is reviewed and updated. If you are currently attending a Community Playgroup, please reach out to your coordinator to ensure you are included in all future communications about the group.
This is an unprecedented situation for all of us, so please continue to be kind to each other. Look after yourself and your loved ones and don’t forget to check in on your playgroup community. Join us on social media to stay up to date as things evolve. Together we can play, share, connect and grow!