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  • Writer's pictureLou Bell

#BringBackPlay – Queensland families face critical gap in access to toy libraries

Queensland children and communities are missing out on a vital opportunity to learn and thrive through play due to a significant shortage in toy libraries across the state. This gap in access to toy libraries compounds the cost-of-living pressures faced by families in the state.

Mounting financial pressure on Queensland families has seen demand for toy libraries skyrocket, with memberships at TLA member South Brisbane Toy Library more than doubling in 12 months, but Queensland lags behind other states in access to the not-for-profit toy borrowing service. There are just 25 toy libraries statewide benefiting 2,800 children, which equates to 8 toy libraries per 100,000 children under 5 – the lowest rate of access of any state or territory in Australia.   

While toy library numbers have dwindled in Queensland over recent decades, more are springing up around the country. One state that is understanding of the tremendous benefits of toy libraries is Victoria which now has 147 libraries for 23,300 children and recently delivered on its promise a significant multi-year commitment from the Victorian government.  

With the Queensland state election scheduled for October this year TLA is calling on all parties to #BringBackPlay in Queensland by making toy libraries a key pillar of their early years policy to fight cost-of-living pressures and support parents as children’s first educators. 

Here at TLA we believe that all Queensland communities should have access to a toy library as part of a holistic early childhood system that supports children and families. Toy libraries play an important role in giving every child an equal opportunity to the best start to life, regardless of income or location.

Queensland children are missing out because they don’t have access to a toy library in their community. There are large black holes right across Queensland regions where families are missing out on this opportunity, yet policymakers say all Queenslanders should have equity of access to services regardless of location.

We are calling for $4.2 million funding commitment over four years, which would establish 50 new toy libraries within existing early years centres, as well as funding an annual toy library grant program, expanding the Play Stars program and deliver peak body funding to allow toy libraries to grow and operate efficiently.

If you would like to support Queensland's children and families we invite you to

  1. Sign this petition to show your support for the re-establishment of toy libraries in Queensland and the implementation of government policies that prioritise early childhood development and support.  

  2. Contact your local politicians, and candidates for the next election and let them know that supporting toy libraries is good for children, families and the whole community. Share with them the TLA Queensland election statement

  3. Contact us if you would like to show your support in other ways for this campaign

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