All about Playgroup
Playgroup is a wonderful place to bond and create memories that last a lifetime!
PLAYGROUP – For you and your family
A playgroup is a group of parents or caregivers with their babies, toddlers and preschool children who get together regularly for play and social interaction. Every week thousands of self-run community playgroup sessions meet across Victoria. Each parent or caregiver is responsible for the children they bring to playgroup. Playgroups vary according to the needs of their families.
Common playgroup characteristics:
- Parents, caregivers and their young children aged from birth to school age
- Held in the community in halls, churches, scout halls, homes, kindergartens, primary schools, neighbourhood houses or wherever it is convenient for their members
- Not for profit
- Include any family wanting to join
- Lots of fun for children as they learn through play and interaction with other children and adults
- Supportive environments for parents and caregivers to share ideas and information
- Based in a community creating a sense of cooperation among local families
- Planned, organised and run by members
- Sometimes organised around a particular common interest such as baby, non-english speaking, special needs, Montessori, father, grandparent, intergenerational
The purpose of playgroup – what’s it all about?
Playgroups bring young children, parents, families and communities together to learn and develop through informal play activities and social interaction. Playgroups help parents and caregivers build social and support networks that encourage and assist them in their valuable parenting role.
Playgroup is here to help families to have fun, relax and to build friendships that last beyond playgroup. Playgroups work best when they are inclusive of all, creating an open, welcoming and friendly environment for all children and their families, no matter their circumstances, backgrounds or cultural identity.
Why should you join playgroup?
Playgroup is fun! At playgroup you get to meet other people going through similar experiences, ease the isolation that can come with caring for young children and find out about local community, health and support services. It allows families to enjoy this precious time with their kids while they develop and grow. It also provides reprieve from the daily grind, parents- you can have a cup of tea and unwind while your children play in a safe space.
What age can kids join playgroup?
Any children aged 0-5 can join playgroup. We have baby playgroups sprouting up, that your Maternal Child Health nurse can usually direct you to, or at least that can guide you in the right direction to playgroup. Depending on your area, you can find something to suit you. Often, it is good to have a range of ages at playgroup, so that they can learn from one another. If older children are bounding ahead, activities or an older aged playgroup can be a better fit for them.
How does it work?
Visit our Find a Playgroup page and locate a playgroup near you. Call, email or message the group to find out more information about coming along to a session. See if you like it or contact us and we can assist you in finding a group that suits you.
What type of playgroups are out there?
All playgroups are unique and the members of that group are free to make it whatever they would like it to be! Some playgroups have a structured routine: an activity, snack time, free play, story time and a song. Other playgroups can be more casual and may have different activities, nature play, excursions to the zoo or museum, or simply spend time together at home.
Are there language-based playgroups?
There is a diverse array of language-based playgroups in Victoria. Jump onto our Find a Playgroup website page to see which playgroups are near you!
Are there playgroups for children with disabilities?
Playgroups are for everyone and are a tremendous platform for supporting families with children with additional needs. Click here to learn more!
What are the benefits of playgroup?
There is significant evidence about the benefits of playgroup and it continues to build. Vital development occurs in the first five years of life, and the first year is especially critical. The neurons in the brain are connecting, laying the foundations for the year to come. The social, emotional, physical and intellectual development that occurs through the play and interaction at playgroup is great for the mind and body. Knowledge builds and skills are refined. Children learn social skills and language skills. It readies children for the next step into kinder and prep.
Playgroup is not just about the kids – parents and carers, it is for you!
Your job is one of the best in the world, but raising children is not always easy. Playgroup is here to lighten the load. You can connect with other people in the same stage of life as you. At playgroup you can share, have a coffee, relax in a safe environment. Playgroup is designed to be a comfortable space where you can be yourself. It helps to reduce isolation you may feel and discuss things of interest to you. Playgroup also provides you will access to local services you may need.