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About Playgroup NSW

In 1972 Rosemary Roebuck, a mother of two young children looking for friendship and support, invited a few local families to meet in her Balmain lounge room. Within months, 33 similar groups across NSW had affiliated under the banner of the Playgroup Association of NSW.

Today, more than 800 playgroups affiliated with Playgroup NSW hold around 1,000 playgroup sessions every week. We bring together over 20,000 children each week, who benefit by attending playgroups with parents and carers.

What is Playgroup NSW?

Playgroup NSW, the peak body representing playgroups across NSW, is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting families and strengthening local communities through playgroups. 

Over 10,000 families currently enjoy Playgroup NSW membership benefits.

I never thought I could meet such a great community of parents that would become trusted friends and a wonderful support network. The bonus is that my kids love it too! Mum - Hamilton South Playgroup

Why have playgroups and what are the main benefits?

Playgroup is all about creative and unstructured learning through play, which is essential to children’s development, as it helps them explore and understand their world.

Most playgroups meet once a week for a couple of hours.  Sessions are lightly structured as informal gatherings where babies, toddlers and preschool-aged children along with their parents or carers come together in a relaxed and friendly environment to connect, play and learn.

Read more about What is a Playgroup?

A strong connection between children and their parents and carers is integral to positive early childhood learning and development. Plus, shared experiences within families and communities have tangible and lasting benefits.

The playgroup environment fosters and supports relationships that not only enhance children’s development, but create a lasting, mutually supportive community of support. Ultimately, these connections contribute to stronger, more socially connected communities.

Essentially, playgroup is one of the first and most important social networks for children and families.  

Playgroup offers many benefits to children and families.

How we do it

Playgroup NSW exists because of the thousands of committed and enthusiastic members who attend local playgroups, volunteers who run our community playgroups by serving on their  playgroup’s committee and those elected to our dedicated Board of Management.   

Playgroup NSW is supported by State and Federal government funding, membership fees, one-off grants and the sponsorship of corporate partners.

Through our peer support programs and supported playgroups we also support families who are experiencing isolation or need support. These programs help us reach out to families who may otherwise miss out on the fantastic experience of playgroup.  For more information about our most recent work and accomplishments, read our current annual report. 

Playgroup is for you, me and everybody

There is a playgroup for everybody. There are community playgroups catering to a range of children, from babies up to school age.  We also have special purpose groups focusing on the needs of Indigenous families, first time mums, grandparents, and groups supporting parents of children with disabilities, as well as other groups.

Read more about the many different types of playgroups we offer.

To locate a playgroup near you, visit Find a Playgroup.

Our Reach

Playgroup NSW is present in almost all areas of New South Wales. Here is a quick overview of our organisation’s reach within New South Wales.

  • Over 800 playgroups covering 70 percent of NSW postcodes
  • Approximately 60 of these are facilitated groups for families with particular needs
  • More than 1,000 playgroup sessions each week
  • An estimated 20,000 children attending playgroups each week
  • Over 10,000 active members
  • Over 25,000 members, former members and other supporters subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter
  • Almost 1,000 parents and carer volunteers who run our Community Playgroups
  • Over 8,000 children, parents and carers attend our free community events during National Playgroup Week and throughout the year

Our Purpose

Playgroup NSW connects people to strengthen child, family and community wellbeing: playing, learning and building communities of support. 

Our Vision

Playgroup NSW leads in engaging families and communities in early childhood development – making a positive difference for children in NSW.

Our Values
Respect: We value all people and embrace diversity.
Integrity:  We are honest, accountable and follow through on our commitments.
Openness:  We value new ideas, experiences and opportunities.

Playgroup NSW is driven by these values, demonstrates them in our work and in our relationships and encourages them across our membership and in all our activities.

If your organisation is like-minded and you are interested in working with Playgroup NSW, visit our Corporate Partners or Service Partners pages.

Playgroup NSW regards all feedback, including complaints and the complaints management process as a valuable way to improve the quality of our services. View our complaints policy.

Featured Story

Click here to find out More + Start a playgroup

Why start a playgroup?

  • You would like to transition a mother’s group or new parent’s group to a playgroup

If your local mother’s or new parent’s group is interested in continuing to meet as your children get older, forming a playgroup is a great option.

Often parents will find it difficult to continue to meet at cafes or in similar environments once children are older and more active. Playgroup provides a dedicated space for children to play, allowing parents to continue to connect.

  • There is no local playgroup

If you don’t have a playgroup close to home, why not consider starting one? Not only is this more convenient for local parents, it also helps bring communities together.

  • You would like to focus on a language, culture or particular interest

Playgroup NSW provides a range of special interest playgroups including culturally specific playgroups, grandparent’s playgroups, LGBTI playgroups and disability-focused playgroups. If you’re looking for a playgroup with a special interest or focus, we can help you start one.

Interested in starting a playgroup? Playgroup NSW can help you get started.

There are 10 steps involved in starting a playgroup:

  1. Find interested families
  2. Identify the playgroup’s purpose
  3. Select a day of the week and time
  4. Choose an appropriate location
  5. Identify play activities
  6. Select toys and equipment
  7. Establish policies and guidelines
  8. Join Playgroup NSW
  9. Identify costs
  10. Get started!

To read more about each of these steps, read our guide on How to Start a Playgroup.

Playgroup NSW are here to help you at all stages of the process

Playgroup NSW offers a membership package with insurance coverage designed specifically for playgroups.

Contact us if you:

  • Want to start a playgroup
  • Want to affiliate an existing playgroup with Playgroup NSW
  • Already run a playgroup that has adequate insurance coverage and would like to access some of the services provided by Playgroup NSW

Play Activities

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

Bubbles can provide hours of fun and fascination for your baby. If they are too young to blow the bubbles themselves, they will enjoy watching the bubbles float and burst.

Latest News

View all news articles + Featured Activities

News Release: Playgroup NSW announces arrival of major initiative for families with babies

Read article +

Looking for a Playgroup?

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