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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. This brings together over 15,000 children each week who benefit by attending playgroups with parents and carers.

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.

How we do it

Playgroup NSW exists because of the thousands of committed and enthusiastic members and volunteers who run local community playgroups, attend local playgroups and serve on playgroup committees and on Playgroup NSW’s Board of Management.

We also support families who are experiencing isolation or need support through our peer support programs and supported playgroups. These programs help us reach out to families who may otherwise miss out on the fantastic experience of playgroup.

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

All additional funds raised go to local Playgroups, helping with the purchase of new equipment, venue hire, starter packs, as well as all the resources needed to help run a successful playgroup.

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 to school age, playgroups for socially isolated families, for disadvantaged families, Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse families. There are playgroups specifically for dads, for grandparents and for same-sex parent families. There are playgroups that provide peer support for families and grandparents of children with a disability. For more information, see What is Playgroup? and Our Programs.

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

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Start a Playgroup

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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

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