Page MP Janelle Saffin joined hundreds of young children at Lismore’s Wade Park today as part of the Worlds Biggest Playgroup Day.

“I’m a strong believer in the value of playgroups, and the important support they provide for families with young children,” Ms Saffin said.

“Like many mums, I have happy memories of my time at playgroup and remember the fun and laughter and the sharing of experiences.

“While the playtime is fun for the children, much of the value of playgroups is parents getting together to compare their experiences and learn from each other.

“In our community many new parents don’t have extended family close by to turn to for support and advice, and often they can feel quite isolated.

“The support and friendship that playgroups offer can’t be underestimated.

“Years ago it was usually just the mums at playgroup, but now some dads join in and here in Lismore the Dads and Kids playgroup, just for dads, offers great parenting support, particularly for first-time fathers.

“There is a wealth of research pointing to the importance of ‘play’ to a child’s development, and at playgroup the focus for children is very much on play.

“It’s been a delight to be part of today’s celebration and I encourage mothers and fathers of young children to seek out their nearest playgroup, and experience the benefits for their family.”

Details of local playgroups can be found at http://www.playgroupaustralia.com.au/