Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

MyTime Play Group

31 Aug 2010My friend, Julianne, has told me of a new program starting up in Emu Plains in Sydney's West, called MyTime, it's a play group run for parents and their young children under school age, who are living with a disability or chronic illness, Julianne is going to be part of hosting these groups and the first one is due to start on Monday 6th September.

Here's a bit of information on what MyTime is about:

Caring for a child with additional needs can be intensive but rewarding. The child's physical needs can make it difficult for parents to find time to get the support they need. This can lead to parents and carers feeling isolated and disconnected from their community and experiencing high levels of frustration and depression.

Each MyTime group is supported by two workers – a facilitator for parents and a play helper for children. During group sessions, parents are able to discuss their own needs and concerns, while their children are kept busy and active by a play helper.

MyTime is funded by the Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) and it is free for parents who are eligible for a Carer Allowance for their child, to participate.

The MyTime play helper leads children in activities such as singing, drawing, playing with toys or blocks or sand, so parents spend time focusing on catching up with other parents. The role of the play helper is to engage children in activities, not to provide childcare.

The MyTime program supports parents through peer support, which research indicates is effective in helping people with similar life experiences work through difficult situations. Through talking and sharing experiences, parents can build relationships with other parents, gain in self confidence and feel more valued by their community.

Peer support participants say there is nothing quite like knowing someone who understands how they feel and what they are experiencing. The MyTime website, will link parents with other MyTime group members around the country. Visitors to the website will have access to a regular newsletter, online discussion forums, community notice board, and trust-worthy online sources of information and locations of local groups.

The group is set to meet on Monday's at 10am - 12pm at Emu Plains Community Centre, Lawson St, Emu Plains, and Julianne is very eager to get some members for the group. For more information, contact Playgroup NSW on 1800171882 or 9684 5273 or visit the website -

MyTime Play Group

MyTime Play Group

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Previous Comments

Julie from Australia posted on 31 Aug 2010
Here's what Julie, who is part of MyTime says about the group - ‘When we found out Hayley had autism,’ says her mother Julie, ‘I was devastated. We lost friends’. But since finding out about MyTime through her playgroup, Julie is forming new friendships with parents in her situation. ‘I had a real opportunity to share problems with people who understand what I’m going through.’ She’s found that spending time with the play helpers has been good for her kids as well. Julie says that Hayley is interacting more with the other children than she ever used to in playgroup. ‘It’s less overwhelming for Hayley,’ says Julie, ‘and she can do her own thing’. ‘All sessions are great. It’s time for me.’

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