Playground, an exciting programme of creative play sessions for young children, has begun across Kent this month.
The project is a partnership by Kent County Council with the University of Kent’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, and Artswork, the South East Bridge Organisation, and has been commissioned for KCC’s Reconnect Programme. The project is also supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, as well as through investment by Artswork, the South East Bridge Organisation.
It is widely recognised that the first few years of life are the most critical in having a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. A child’s learning begins with their family, and Playground seeks to inspire those with very young children by immersing them in creative activity that is deeply engaging, transformative and of the highest quality.
Led by a team of brilliant artists and musicians, families with babies (aged 0-24 months) can share creative play. They will gain confidence and enthusiasm for continued and sustained creative engagement with their children.
Playground will develop the skills and confidence of artists in Kent to increase creative work with and for very young children and their families. Staff in libraries and Children’s Centres will also develop their experience in this field ensuring creativity is embedded within those services’ future offers for families.
The free weekly Playground sessions are under way in the following locations with provision across the rest of Kent from January 2022.
- Cliftonville Library
- Edenbridge Library
- Rusthall Library
- Seashells Children’s centre
- Sheerness Library
- Sherwood Library
- Sturry Library
Mike Hill, KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, said: “I am delighted that our library service is able to play an important part in this project.
“Playground underpins one of our core principles by developing a service that focuses on local communities. It will also encourage use and awareness of libraries as safe, accessible and friendly spaces.
“Helping our families with young children to form strong local social networks is really important to us as we recover from the pandemic. Playground is a fantastic initiative which provides brilliant opportunities for very young children to engage in creative activity with their parents, in a social setting which is fundamental to early child development.”
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