Do you remember the first time you attended playgroup? Were you made to feel welcome? Were you overwhelmed by a sea of new faces? Did you feel awkward and left out?
A quality playgroup will recognise that everyone needs to be welcomed, valued and given an opportunity to participate and contribute and that community spirit will grow as people feel connected.
Welcome New Families
Appoint one person as a welcoming person. This person could arrange name tags for everyone, give a guided tour and explain the group’s routines. They could introduce the new family to other families, offer newcomers a coffee, take time to chat and ensure the new family is not left standing alone.
The welcoming person could
- Hand out any written information about playgroup
- Ensure new comers are farewelled with, “See you next week”
- Follow up with a phone call to see how they enjoyed their first week
- Welcome them the next week by name
- Remind everyone that it is the responsibility of all to make everyone feel welcome
A Long Lasting Welcome
Ensure that your warm welcome continues through the year. We can all play a part in looking out for children or adults who feel left out at playgroup.
A friendly smile and chat may make an enormous difference to their playgroup experience.
When families have been at playgroup for a few weeks, involve them more in the planning process by asking:
Download Welcoming families into playgroup here
- If their needs are being met at playgroup
- If the play activities are appropriate for their child
- How they would like to share in the workload
- If they have any concerns and how they think they could be addressed
- If they have any ideas or contributions to make playgroup more fun for everyone