Staff involved in SSI’s Playtime program were given a guided tour of the Owl's House Early Education Centre at the University of NSW last month, to observe how the service operates.
Owl's House is a specialist childcare centre with a focus on early education that has provided support to SSI’s Playtime program.
Playtime is a weekly social support program for SSI’s female asylum seeker clients, including a playgroup for their children. It provides the women with opportunities for social interaction, recreational activities, development of community networks and access to information on important issues including health and community services.
The tour, on October 2, was facilitated by Owl’s House education director Megan Mason who provided information on: the structure and running of the centre; resource choices; environment set up; behaviour guidance, and teaching practice. There were opportunities for SSI staff to ask questions along the way. SSI staff said the tour was an opportunity to learn about the centre's processes and strategies.
Playtime has assisted clients with access to some important resources over the past month. Roweena Urweiss from NSW Health facilitated an eye screening clinic for the children on October 7, and delivered an information session about the importance of screening toddlers and the implications of poor eyesight on children's education and development. Translated resources were also offered for additional support.
Western Sydney Tenancy Service’ Jayde Rofful provided a question and answer session at Playtime October 21, to help clients with questions and concerns about matters related to renting in Australia, their rights and responsibilities and existing supportive services. And on November 4, a community health nurse from NSW Refugee Health Service delivered an information session on the importance of Vitamin D.
Playtime has proved an important program for female SSI clients and their children. The group events build connections that help reduce the effects of social and cultural isolation and loneliness and provide opportunities for the community to engage with clients and offer outreach services.