Which window will it be – the square, the round, the arch or the diamond? If you have pre-schoolers this question is no doubt heard daily in your household, and soon the windows segments will show a whole host of Australian families – including kids with two dads.
As the television institution celebrates its 50th year on Australian screens, Play School has put a call out for families with five to seven-year-olds, keen to be featured in the windows’ segments. Producers want to include families from all walks of life, that includes those with adopted children, extended and blended families, an Indigenous nuclear family, and a family with two dads.
Play School’s executive producer Jan Stradling tells The Guardian, “In Play School’s 50th year, we are focusing on the theme My Family, Your Family. What a great opportunity for today’s young Australians to see themselves reflected on screen, as part of the diverse, unique Australian community we live in.”
In 2004, a Play School windows segment featuring two mums with their daughter had some Australians, including then-PM John Howard, bristling at the idea of including a gay family as part of a children’s show.
“In the ‘two mums’ episode broadcast in 2004, the parents were actually incidental to the story of a young child’s experience of a day at the fun park,” says Ms Stradling. “The associated controversy around this was surprising, especially as the episode had been broadcast earlier without any adverse reaction.”
The latest foray into depicting diverse families is aimed at fostering a sense of belonging for kids, whatever their family situation.
“The idea is to reflect current Australian society by showing a range of family structures and backgrounds. In these stories, we explore the relationships and bonds of a family. We will look at how they care for one another and share experiences, roles and responsibilities.”
The segments will aim to include families who have grandparents as primary carers, blended families and single parents.
“We don’t see this as anything controversial, just a reflection of contemporary Australian life. We want preschool children from across the community to be able to see themselves as part of this very special show.”
(via The Guardian)