If you or your playgroup have a young child with additional needs, we have a support service for you. Playgroup Victoria has embarked upon a project to support inclusion. It is called the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Project (ILC)

Our PlayConnect ILC Facilitators have been busy the last couple of months promoting our new service to families and playgroups, and creating networks for them. Whether you need assistance with information, linkages and referrals to services,  helping your child engage in a community playgroup, helping a playgroup create adaptations to include all children, or assistance with transitioning your child to school or another service- our facilitators can assist you. 

As we are delivering this service under an NDIS project grant, this service won’t be available forever, so get in while you can!

Making Playgroups Inclusive of children with Autism or Autism-like Characteristics


Every child, regardless of their needs, has the right to participate fully in their family and community life and to have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children.  All children need to feel accepted and to have a real sense of belonging.  Children with disability and/or developmental delay may require additional support to enable them to participate meaningfully in their families, community and early childhood settings – playgroups.

Successful inclusion of a child depends upon the attitudes and beliefs of all concerned.

An inclusive playgroup supports the following dimensions for all children:

  • Access
  • Participation
  • Positive outcomes

Playgroup Victoria has embarked on this project to support inclusion of children with additional needs in all playgroups.  We have engaged facilitators in the following regions who can assist your playgroup with inclusion support: Werribee, Laverton, Sunbury, Romsey, Ferntree Gully, Lakes Entrance

Our PlayConnect ILC facilitators can assist your playgroup with any of the following:

  1. Information/content for your printed material or social media
  2. Information for the playgroup around how to support a child with additional needs.
  3. On-site mentoring on how to make simple adaptations
  4. A resource kit with visual aids and sensory activities

Fun networking events for families with pre-school age children with Autism or Autism like characteristics

Families with pre-school age children with Autism or Autism like characteristics are invited to join service providers for a fun networking and information exchange. A PlayConnect Playgroup will be up and running at each event with lots of wonderful sensory activities for the kids to enjoy!

Families will have the opportunity to meet others, participate in activities, observe, ask questions of experienced facilitators and see how children learn through play.


Wednesday 4th March
10.00am – 2.00pm

Bairnsdale Convention Centre
117 Great Alpine Rd, Lucknow


Thursday 5th March
12.00pm – 4.00pm

Werribee Baptist Church
225 Heaths Rd, Werribee

Ferntree Gully

Tuesday 10th March
10.00am – 2.00pm

West Gully Children’s Centre
50 Dobson Street, Ferntree Gully


Friday 3rd April
10.00am – 2.00pm

Broadmeadows Community Hub
182 Widford Street, Broadmeadows*

*As the Broadmeadows event will coincide with the school holidays we ask that children over six years do not enter the playgroup room for safety reasons. They are welcome to enjoy the rest of the space.

Meet the Facilitators

Anne Shute


Anne facilitates the PlayConnect playgroups in Laverton and Werribee. She trained as a kindergarten teacher and has decades of experience working with pre-school aged children. For many of those years she worked with children with additional needs.

If you are in the Laverton or Werribee areas and would like assistance, please contact Anne:

ph: 0434 769 341

e: ashute@playgroup.org.au

Belinda Carter


Belinda facilitates the PlayConnect playgroup in Ferntree Gully. Belinda is a childcare worker and a volunteer community Playgroup Facilitator. Belinda also has many years of experience working with children with additional needs.

If you are in the Ferntree Gully area and would like assistance, please contact Belinda:

ph: 0435 428 697

e: bcarter@playgroup.org.au

Fiona Holder


Fiona facilitates the PlayConnect playgroups in Sunbury and Romsey. Fiona comes with many years of experience supporting her own children who are on the spectrum and has seamlessly adapted her experience to the playgroup environment.

If you are in the Sunbury or Romsey areas and would like assistance, please contact Fiona:

ph: 0491 616 118

e: fholder@playgroup.org.au

Rose McKenna


Rose facilitates the Bairnsdale PlayConnect playgroup and also the Bairnsdale MyTime groups. Rose has been with PlayConnect for over 10 years and has extensive experience and expertise in the field of Autism and play.

If you are in the Bairnsdale and surrounding areas and would like assistance, please contact Rose:

ph: 0409 096 587

e: rmckenna@playgroup.org.au