Playgroups and communities are diverse. We acknowledge that partnerships with local stakeholders –  playgroup families and professionals – are the key to ensuring we take a place-based approach to increase access to and participation in playgroup.

What is Playgroup Development

A place-based approach, playgroup development aims to improve access to and increase participation in playgroups through working in partnership with communities, to contribute to and support advocacy, promotion, and development of all types of playgroups for children and families in their community. 

This work predominantly involves establishing connections with stakeholders at the local level:  families, local government early years and community development staff, service delivery organisations and agencies, early years services, state government representatives and so on.  It is important that these connections are cultivated and nurtured so that important working relationships lead to strong, cooperative and collaborative partnerships.  

These partnerships are the driving force behind the planning and development of all types of playgroups in communities and are sustained by our place-based playgroup development consultants; our approach is therefore a community development approach.

Playgroup Victoria’s Playgroup Development Consultants can support your work developing the playgroup platform in your community.

Let us help you grow playgroups in your community

Our consultants can assist you through:

  • Attendance of playgroup Victoria staff at local events 
  • Mentoring new playgroups to get off to a great start
  • Establishing local partnerships to support families to participate in playgroup i.e., maternal and child health, local government family and children’s services professionals, schools etc.
  • Mapping playgroups to determine where gaps in participation exist and plan for the establishment of new playgroups
  • Advocacy for playgroups to support their sustainability
  • Providing useful resources that target playgroups and professionals
  • Supporting the development of innovative playgroup models to meet local need
  • Providing playgroups and professionals with access to playgroup specific training and networking opportunities

Meet our Playgroup Development and Support Team

Our consultants have extensive experience developing playgroups across the state. Contact your region’s consultant for assistance.

LEANNE DHAMI

 

Playgroup Development Manager

Leanne has a background in Early childhood education. Being in the role of a supported playgroup facilitator and a community playgroup support officer for several years before starting with Playgroup Victoria in 2013. Leanne is now the manager of Playgroup Development and Support and is passionate about supporting community playgroups to ensure access for all Victorian families. Leanne is currently involved in playgroup support across all municipalities within the North Eastern and North Western Victoria regions. 

Contact Leanne:  ph. 0466 965 976  e. Ldhami@playgroup.org.au

NAOMI JEFFREE

 

Playgroup Development Advisor

Naomi has been involved with playgroups for 16 years, running community playgroups, facilitating supported playgroups and My Time facilitator.

Naomi’s areas are: BawBaw, Casey, Frankston, Glen Eira, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Latrobe, Wellington, East Gippsland, South Gippsland and Stonnington.

Contact Naomi: ph. 0419 322 048 / e. njeffree@playgroup.org.au

LOUISE BUCKLE-SMITH

 

Playgroup Development Advisor

Louise has worked in the Early Years and Community Services in a variety of roles and has been involved in facilitating supported playgroups for Connecting Schools and Community.

Louise’s areas are: Ballarat: Golden Plains, Pyrenees, Ararat, Glenelg, Horsham, Southern Grampians, Warrnambool, Moyne, West Wimmera and Yarriambiack

Contact Louise: ph. 0481 303 970 / e. lbsmith@playgroup.org.au

MAUREEN HATCHER

 

Playgroup Development Advisor

Maureen has been working in Children’s Services and Education, in a number of diverse roles, for over 35 years. Maureen is passionately involved in the Intergenerational Playgroup portfolio.

Maureen’s areas are: Greater Geelong, Ballarat, Colac Otway, Queenscliff, Surf Coast, Hepburn, Moorabool, Corangamite, Hindmarsh and Northern Grampians.

Contact Maureen: ph. 0457 797 315 / e. mhatcher@playgroup.org.au

JO O’REILLY

 

Playgroup Assistance and Support Officer 

Jo has a background in public health and has spent many years caring for vulnerable families. Jo is extremely passionate about the benefits of early childhood development and the importance of bringing families together in their community. Jo is here to help – whether you are starting a new playgroup, running an existing playgroup or just looking for a playgroup to join!

Contact Jo: joreilly@playgroup.org.au

Regions and Areas of Victoria

Refer to the map for regions covered by our Playgroup Development Consultants

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