National Families Week celebrates the importance of family and the bonds that hold us together. This annual event highlights families’ crucial role in society and promotes the wellbeing of families across the country.

The annual celebration, usually held in May, coincides with the United Nations International Day of Families. The week encourages families to come together, appreciate each other, and strengthen their relationships.

Many Australian families and organisations celebrate the week by enjoying family activities and events. There are many ways to enjoy the week, such as having a family BBQ or holding a games night.

Join us as we discuss the significance of Australia’s National Families Week and what families mean to Petit Early Learning Journey. We reveal:

A grandmother stands behind a child inside a Petit Early Learning Journey studo. The child is sitting at a table. On the table in front of them is a bowl of fruit. The child is making the peace sign in their left hand and holding a pair of tongs in their right. The child has paint on their left hand and on their face. Behind the grandmother and child is a table and corner set up with learning and play experiences.

What is National Families Week?

National Families Week is an annual event held in May to celebrate families’ vital role in Australian society. Families Australia, a member organisation that provides policy advice to the Federal Government, facilitates the celebration.

The week promotes and strengthens the importance of family in society and recognises that families come in all shapes and sizes. Every year a theme is chosen and the 2024 theme is “Celebrating Family Diversity and Connections,” recognising that all families are unique.

This week-long celebration encourages families to spend quality time together, engage in activities that foster stronger bonds and highlight the various aspects that make families the building blocks of our society.

National Families Week also raises awareness about issues affecting families and advocates for policies and programs that support their wellbeing. It provides an opportunity for the community to discuss concerns, share experiences, and find solutions to challenges faced by families.

This annual celebration of families:

  • Strengthens family units.
  • Fosters a sense of community and belonging.
  • Encourages individuals to recognise the value of family bonds and family life.
  • Supports family wellbeing, safety and resilience.
  • Recognises the diversity and different types of families.
  • Engages families within their wider community.
A father holds his child on Father's day at Petit Early Learning Journey. The child is and dad are holding a treat and standing in front of a wall with the word Family on it and where photos of other families are displayed.

How to celebrate with your family

How can you get involved in National Families Week? Here are some ideas on how your family can get involved:

  • Go on a family picnic at a local park.
  • Hold an extended family film night.
  • Get involved with a community group and volunteer as a family.
  • Organise a family reunion to reunite long-lost uncles, aunts and cousins.
  • Explore your family tree and history together.
  • Discover what’s on in your community and make it a family outing.
  • Visit your local library or read together.
  • Get out for a family walk, run or cycle around your neighbourhood to promote community wellbeing.
  • Create an album of family photos capturing new memories from your home and within your community.
  • Organise a portrait sitting reflecting stronger families.
  • Take the family camping to a favourite destination such as the seaside, rainforest or desert biome.
  • Host a street get-together where neighbours and their families bring a plate of food to share.
  • Create a new family ritual, such as sharing what you’re grateful for each day.

Community interactions build children’s sense of belonging and identity. Family, culture and community influence how children see themselves and participate in diverse experiences.

A mother and child celebrate Mother's Day just before National Families Week. The mother sits on a chair with her left arm around a child in a branded hoodie. Next to them is a giant cream coloured teddy bear.

The many ways Petit ELJ supports families

Families are vital to quality early childhood education and care. Partnerships with families build meaningful connections that enrich children’s learning and play and support continuity of care. Our National Operations Manager Amber Cole discusses how Petit ELJ supports families.

“Petit ELJ supports families through a holistic approach, centred around highly effective communication and respect for family diversity among our varying community contexts,” says Amber. “We are proud of our strong partnerships with our families, demonstrated through regular in-person, phone, and online communication with our Storypark learning platform.”

“Our core values around collaboration and connection ensure that our centre practices are designed to reflect and embrace the unique communities we serve. We do this by ensuring our educational programs, daily rituals, communication methods and approaches are fundamentally linked to our unique families, children, teams and communities. Our centres have varied nutritional menus, methods of communication, programmed experiences and family involvement that ensure we provide the best support for our families.”

“Petit ELJ’s services gain critical and valuable insight through our annual Family Feedback Survey. This survey allows every family across Petit ELJ to identify the strengths and weaknesses within a centre and share with us what they want us to continue doing and what areas we could improve in.”

“Each year, we commit to seeing growth in our areas of improvement and sharing our plans to reach these goals as well as our successes in making changes along the way. Alongside our approachable and competent leadership teams, we are proud to provide families with regular, consistent and high-quality opportunities for collaboration.”

“As the National Operations Manager, I am so fortunate to be involved in every service and see how each of our Petit ELJ centres ensures families are aligned, supported and understood.”

Families gather in an outdoor area for Grandparents' day. The sit listening to a grandparent read from a book to the children who are gathered on a green mat in front of where he sits. Other parents and educators watch and listen under a large green leafy tree.

The different ways Petit ELJ honours and acknowledges families

“Throughout the year, each Petit ELJ centre orchestrates various events to foster connections among families and the community”, says Amber.

“In March, Petit ELJ Clifton Hill delighted families with a rooftop Easter Egg Hunt, celebrating the joy of Easter together. In February, Petit ELJ Coffs Harbour spread the love with heart-shaped cookies crafted by our children. Meanwhile, Petit ELJ Forest Hill honours ‘R U OK? Day’ annually by encouraging meaningful conversations over a cup of tea and treats. ”

“Looking ahead, Petit ELJ Kew is excited to host the ‘World’s Biggest Morning Tea’ in May, inviting families to enjoy a special meal with their children, educators, and peers.”

“Each event is designed to celebrate and reinforce the invaluable role families play as our children’s first teachers, with special emphasis on events like Special Persons’ Days and Grandparents’ Days. Each of our centres develops meaningful opportunities to regularly celebrate how important families are as our children’s first teachers.”

“During this National Families Week, Petit Early Learning Journey extends a heartfelt appreciation to all our families for their integral role in our centres. Your unwavering support, active collaboration, and insightful feedback are crucial to the high-quality education and care we provide to each child at our centres.”

“We are deeply grateful for your continued partnership and are so proud to have you with us on this journey. Your involvement is key to our success and helps us grow continuously. Thank you for being such an essential part of Petit ELJ.”

A family gathers together to celebrate in one of the early learning childhood studios with a family picture. A young child stands at the front holding a pair of silver tongs. He grins. His smile is reflected in the faces of his family bending down to look over his shoulder at the camera.

Become a Petit Early Learning Journey family

At Petit ELJ, our qualified and experienced educators reflect on the critical role families play in nurturing children’s quality education and care. Families are essential to building a stronger community and we believe in developing meaningful relationships that strengthens family resilience and children’s capacities.

We offer a child-led holistic approach to learning. Our qualified and experienced educators support children’s choices to engage in opportunities and experiences inspired by their ideas and interests. To discover more about our curriculum and learning programs, contact your nearest Petit ELJ centre.

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