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MyTime Playgroup a “turning point” for carers

25 August 2017 – Media Release

Family and carers of young children with disability, chronic medical condition, language or behavioural difficulties are invited to attend the Open Day of the MyTime Playgroup on Friday 1 September.

The Council-run playgroup addresses the isolation many carers experience by creating a safe and inviting space for people to come together, share their experiences and access additional support services.

Children aged 0-5 benefit from two hours of structured play with other kids, led by a facilitator and educator from Council’s childcare services.

Mother of two, Phani Pakalapati, credits the service for helping turn her life around. Her daughter, Saasha, was three when she was diagnosed with autism.

“It was a shock. I knew autism was a neurological disorder. That’s it. I knew nothing. It was overwhelming for us,” Mrs Pakalapati said.

“My recovery started from MyTime. That was the turning point. I thought if others can do this, I can too.”

For Mrs Pakalapati, MyTime provided something that the internet couldn’t.

“Anytime I go there I feel I am not alone with my problems,” Mrs Pakalapati said.

“When someone is taking care of the kids, we can then discuss happiness, sadness. We share so many tips. It’s give and take.

“I have made good friends. Four of the mothers I met at MyTime Playgroup I continue to see each day. All our kids are going to the same school.”

Mrs Pakalapati, a nutritionist by trade, is now studying a Masters in Social Work. She hopes to help others in the same way the MyTime Playgroup helped her and her daughter.

“The other day Saasha got an achievement. I felt so proud. I shared this with my other friends from MyTime Playgroup,” Mrs Pakalapati said.

Cumberland Council’s General Manager Malcolm Ryan invited all carers including mums, dads and grandparents to come along to the Open Day and have a look.

“Our community couldn’t function without the work of carers. The MyTime Playgroup recognises their contribution and aims to carve out a time for them to take a break and enjoy the company of others, all while their children play in a safe and fun environment,” Mr Ryan said.

MyTime Playgroup Open Day
Friday 1 September 2017
9.30am – 11.30am
Cumberland Council’s Family Day Care Centre
74 Military Road, Merrylands

For further information, please contact the Inclusion Support Team on 8757 9000, or email