Not long after having her first child, Jacqui Hoad joined a mother’s group at Blacktown. A representative from Playgroups NSW presented to the group, and a high level of interest from other mums motivated Jacqui to find a venue for them to meet. We had a chat with Jacqui to find out more about how she became involved in Playtime Pals in Baulkham Hills.
“Mums from my local mother’s group plus friends from my antenatal class and I decided that we would make enquiries to join a local playgroup. There were about 20 mums and bubs, so I called Playgroup NSW and we were lucky enough to slot into a free session in an already very well established playgroup (Playtime Pals at Baulkham Hills).”
“I began volunteering as a Day Leader from the first day and I still look after the Monday session 7 years on (with another two to go until my youngest starts kindy).”
“When the Coordinator of Playtime Pal decided to move on as her children began attending school, I was approached to take up the role. The transition to being Coordinator was very easy as it was already set up so well.”
“I’ve been in the role of Coordinator for five years now and I really enjoy it. We’ve got excellent Day Leaders and I liaise with them frequently to ensure that they are happy with the venue, that there are no issues or accidents that need reporting, that our members have the toys, craft and equipment we as a group decide would benefit everyone and that everything is kept clean, tidy and maintained.”
“I strongly believe that if you are volunteering for the right purpose, it is very enjoyable, it doesn’t become onerous. I have never really seen my role as a Coordinator as a volunteer role, as it is something fun I do with my kids. It hasn’t been a time consuming thing, it’s just become a part of my life.”
“I’d highly recommend playgroup to any new mums or dads (or caregivers), it is a really good place to go to as a new parent and gives you an insight into everyone’s day to day lives. You realise that everyone is having the same issues, or going through the same stages as you. You find people there who can support you mentally and emotionally. You share the lows together but you also reach milestones and share the highs with the other parents in your playgroup.
My husband and I have three children and we have all made some lifelong friends through playgroup. It is a ridiculously economical way to spend time with your kids and it very comfortably becomes a part of your routine.”