A series of colourful children's toys lined up on a white surface. There are lego blocks and trains and a doll among them.

Toy Libraries Australia has received an extra $150,000 in government funding for new and expanded toy libraries in growth corridors and for children with autism, ADHD or developmental delays.

The funding will support the organisation to establish around 10 new toy libraries in areas of growth or disadvantage and to support up to 50 toy libraries to purchase evidence-based resources and toys for families and children with additional support needs. 

It’s on top of $700,000 in initial Federal Government funding for the facilities.

Toy libraries operate in a similar way to book libraries, with a focus on early learning and development through play. They provide toy borrowing for families and are usually established within an existing early learning or community centre. 

They reduce the need for families to have to purchase expensive toys themselves, and help to make age-appropriate play and learning resources available to young children who may not otherwise have access to their benefits. 

Parents and caregivers may pay a subscription fee to utilise a toy library, which can often be exchanged for taking up a volunteering shift with the facility.

Toy Libraries Australia CEO Debbie Williams said toy libraries brought many benefits for communities, parents, care givers and children. 

“The Australian Government’s funding has already brought new toy libraries to 11 communities across Australia, and we look forward to opening more accessible and affordable toy libraries in communities who are the most impacted by cost-of-living pressures,” she said.

“Toy libraries are welcoming of all families and already support thousands of children with additional needs. Children with autism, ADHD or development delay benefit from having access to a wide range of sensory, fine motor and gross motor skill toys and this funding will allow toy libraries to expand their ranges in these areas.”

More information on playgroups and toy libraries is available at the Playgroup Australia and Toy Libraries Australia websites.  

Find your closest toy library at www.toylibraries.org.au/find-a-toy-library.