25 March 2024
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Play supports all areas of children’s development – physical, social, emotional, cognitive, literacy and numeracy.

Play has long been described as ‘children’s work’ and most children play instinctively. 

Early childhood education and care services use play-based programs which are developmentally-appropriate activities which make learning fun through play.

This approach is a key first step in supporting children to be ready for formal classroom learning at school.

Parents can use play-based learning to support children by:

  • talking with their child throughout the day
  • singing songs
  • telling and reading stories
  • enrolling them in quality early childhood education and care services

The Australian Early Development Census measures children’s development across a range of domains upon their entry into Kindergarten.

The most recent data in 2021 showed high rates of children in South Western Sydney were vulnerable in more than one domain of development when starting Kindergarten.

Play is powerful in supporting these children in having the best possible start to school.

Useful links:

Find a children’s service:


Importance of play to children’s learning and development:



Find out about the Australian Early Development Census:


This article was written by members of the ‘Stronger Seeds, Taller Trees’ project which includes professionals from a number of government and non-government organisations in South Western Sydney. The group aims to support GPs working with families to navigate and access timely services when they have a concern about a child’s development.