Midlands Mobile Rural and Remote Child Care Service

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The Midlands Mobile Rural and Remote Child Care Service was established in 1999 following recognition of the Northern Midlands as a high needs area for the development of child care services for the area’s rural and remote communities. The service currently operates three days per week in Cressy and one day per week in Avoca whilst providing support to the Campbell Town and Perth long-day childcare centres. Through their work with families attending childcare, the Service identified the need for a toy library to enable parents, grandparents and/or carers to borrow a large variety of good quality toys, puzzles and games to support children’s development and promote learning through play.

In Grant Round 25, the Tasmanian Community Fund provided the Service with $5 700 to assist with the development of the toy library. In addition to the TCF funding support, Service volunteers and staff donated their time to prepare the toy library area and raised funds to purchase appropriate software for the toy library database and to purchase additional toy library items.

The toy library has been established at the Perth Community Centre and operates each Friday. The toy library enables adult users to increase their understanding of the importance of play, of the different types of play and the stages of development at which these types of play are of particular importance. The toy library also offers a network of support for families with young children who are quite often living in rural and remote areas. Parents and carers can meet informally, forge friendships and discuss their problems and concerns in a supportive environment. Through the delivery of the project the Service recognised the need for an online catalogue and this is being developed to enable parents/carers in rural areas to borrow toys online and for them to be delivered by the mobile van and community networks.