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“Kids At Play” funding threatened, should anyone care?

By johnboy - 18 March 2006 17

The ABC has a story on the potential repercussions of a funding cut to the “Kids at play” program.

Once upon a time kids would play without the need for a government program.

In the way of all those taking government money, takeup of a free product is considered justification of continued government funding.

“We have bookings right through to the end of this year, they’re booked out all the time, which shows there’s a definite need for this particular type of program within the community”

Can anyone explain why we started paying for kids to play in the first place, and perhaps why we should continue to do so?

What’s Your opinion?

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17 Responses to
“Kids At Play” funding threatened, should anyone care?
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Fuznerual 9:17 pm 02 Jul 06

The Kids at Play program runs within the child care program I work at and its not just about parents not having the time to play with their kids. The program runs to help teach children new things and also encourages socialising outside the family home. It helps the kids to interact and learn from each other. I don’t know why everyone is so touchy about having the program running when all it does is introduce kids into a social society and doesn’t cost much at that. Children need more than just playtime with mum and dad.

bonfire 1:00 pm 21 Mar 06

if parents who were addicted to television didnt use it as an electronic babysitter, their kids would run around the backyard and not require a govt program.

instead of more tv options, maybe there should be less.

LurkerGal 11:02 am 21 Mar 06

Steady on Thumper. I play with my kid all the time. What I worry about is healthy “outside” play, the play where you run around after a ball or the dog or whatever. In winter, this can’t be done on a weekday after 6pm, which is the first chance I get.

RandomGit 9:16 am 21 Mar 06

Shoot the TV, then the advertisers, then your boss.

Play time solved.

Thumper 7:56 am 21 Mar 06

Years ago a kid simply needed a footy, or a cricket bat and a tennis ball to play.

What’s all this crap about parents not having the time to play with them? Are kids that f*cking useless these days that they can’t get off their fat arses and do something for themselves?

seepi 9:29 pm 20 Mar 06

The program also helps ACT childcare workers and teachers in training to gain practical experience – they staff this program – that’s why I’m assuming it can’t cost too much.
It’s more about kids socialising with others, and trying out new/creative things, rather than ‘entertainment’.

paperboy 7:51 pm 20 Mar 06

But… hang on a sec.
Peter Costello is currently paying us $2,000 to have a kid… Why shouldn’t the ACT Government pay us to entertain them…

Gertrude 5:24 pm 20 Mar 06

I’ve found a soccer ball a very useful thing for entertaining a child. It’s easy to operate; kick to child. Wait for wildly inaccurate return kick. Repeat ad nauseum. Also, parks sometimes have things like swings and slippery dips in them. These playgrounds can be found in most suburbs, and not all of them are surrounded by empty bacardi-breezer bottles and cigarette butts. Alternatively, you could try running around a playing field, cycling, or just walking in one of the many areas of bush that adorn our fair city. None of which requires much in the way of specialist equipment. Note; children will run around even without witch’s hats to determine their course.
If you don’t like your kids, or can’t tear yourself away from your place of work to spend time with your offspring, then look out for a government-funded education program entitled “why bother having kids at all, then?”, coming soon to a community centre near you.

LurkerGal 4:50 pm 20 Mar 06

JB: What if we don’t like them?

johnboy 4:01 pm 20 Mar 06

And if you have a disability or a mental issue you can actually get weekly cleaning/life skills assistance.

Thank you, on a related note the parents without disability or mental issues can entertain their own damn children.

seepi 3:27 pm 20 Mar 06

Not much is going well in the areas of education/child care and health. This program is working, and really cna’t be that expensive comparative to other expenditure. I have no kids, but I don’t mind some of my taxes paying for this.
Your beer on the other hand might worsen your health, so I don’t see a good case for that. And if you have a disability or a mental issue you can actually get weekly cleaning/life skills assistance.

johnboy 10:57 am 20 Mar 06

Well you know I’d like free beer and would voice my strong support for any such programs myself.

Also my flat is a bit messy. Do you think the government could send someone round to clean it up for me?

LurkerGal 10:29 am 20 Mar 06

Our after school care uses them. I think it’s great, and should be funded. We are in the middle of a childhood obesity epidemic. Kids such as mine (who have to go to child care after school) don’t get to come home until it is too late to go outside and play.

It’s good that my child has her afternoon tea, then goes outside and plays basketball or does something stimulating rather than sitting in front of a tv. As a parent, I can make sure she’s active on the weekends, but not after school.

Kerces 6:44 pm 18 Mar 06

NowUC had a story about Kids at Play last year (but their last year’s database appears to have disappeared otherwise I’d point y’all at it). As paperboy said, they had two vans fully equiped with all kinds of balls, bean bags, hoops, makeshift goals, witches hats and so on — all things needed for running kids sport activities. The premise was they’d drive around to schools and parks and events (saw them at the Australia Day stuff in Commonwealth Park) and put the equipment out and kind of organise games and stuff for kids to do. I think it was intended that there not be heaps of direction, unlike a sports lesson at school, but say if some kids decide they want to play soccer then the Kids at Play people set up a soccer game. The idea was just to get children moving but make it fun (ie calling it play not sport).

paperboy 12:38 pm 18 Mar 06

It’s a sad indictment of our times jb, but if the Government doesn’t do it, no-one else will. I agree with Seepi, rightly or wrongly, many parents today are busy working all sorts of long hours to pay the mortgage and just survive in this very expensive city. Many simply don’t have the time to take their kids to the park for some exercise. And even if they did most don’t have enough equipment to keep the kids entertained for an hour or so. I say well done to the ACT Government for doing something to help kids have some fun, give their parents a bit of a break, as well as help with the associated problem of Childhood obesity.
What angers me though, is that this threat of closure would have happened of ACT Sport and Recreation not become greedy and decided to empire-build. They had two fully equipped vans and decided, not just to expand the program, but to double it in one hit…Guess what… the money ran out and now the whole program is in jeopardy. Hopefully commonsense will prevail, those responsible for blowing the budget will get an arse-kicking, and the program will survive in its original form.

johnboy 10:47 am 18 Mar 06

I’m not saying it’s not great seepi, i have no opinion on that.

so children’s playtime joins digital TV as a right to be bestowed by government?

seepi 10:44 am 18 Mar 06

this is supposed to be great – I’ve had great reports. Kids can paint, act, and do longs of group games. It is for little kids – under 5s.
Times have changed – families all living in one street don’t get together to do this type of thing anymore. More people work, and the streets are more dangerous. I’d support keeping this program going. How much can it cost anyway?

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