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What is Playgroup?

Playgroup is a lightly structured, informal gathering where parents, carers, babies and children up to school age come together in a relaxed and friendly environment to connect, play and learn. Essentially, it is one of the first, and most important, social networks for children and families.

Sessions are usually held once a week and may involve craft activities, outdoor play and morning tea. Community playgroups are run by local parents on a voluntary, not-for-profit basis.

Playgroup NSW also operates facilitated playgroups and peer support groups for families with particular needs.

How does Playgroup benefit children?

  • The goal of playgroup is to give children an opportunity to , socialise and connect with other children. Creative and unstructured learning through play is essential to children’s development, helping them explore and understand their world. Playgroup helps children develop their social skills, make friends and get ready for preschool and school. Read more about child development.
  • Playgroup enables parents and carers to spend quality time with their children while creating their own social networks, making friends and sharing ideas and experiences.
  • Playgroup creates stronger communities by bringing local families together and creating grass roots connections.

Types of playgroups

Playgroup NSW oversees the development and provision of playgroups in NSW ensuring that playgroups are inclusive and accessible to everyone.

In addition to hundreds of general playgroups that meet across NSW each week, there are numerous groups that satisfy more specific needs of parents and children. These include:

  • Baby and first time parents’ groups
  • Fathers’ groups
  • Language specific groups for bilingual families
  • Groups for families from culturally diverse backgrounds
  • Montessori & Steiner groups
  • Grandparents’ groups
  • Groups for indigenous families
  • Groups for families with a particular need or special interest in common
  • Intergenerational groups which bring together seniors, children and their parents
  • PlayConnect facilitated playgroups for children with autism
  • Supported playgroups for families who may otherwise have difficulty accessing playgroups
  • MyTime support groups for parents and carers of young children with a disability or chronic medical condition

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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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