What is Play Baby?
Play Baby is a special initiative to offer free Playgroup NSW membership to all families in NSW with a child under 1 year (Playgroup NSW membership is usually $39). For our 45th birthday in 2017, will give the gift of playgroup so that more families can access the benefits of playgroup during their baby’s vital first year. Playgroup also offers an important local social network for parents.
The Play Baby initiative is funded by Playgroup NSW.
Who is Playgroup NSW?
Playgroup NSW is a not for profit that is the membership organisation for community playgroups in NSW and a peak organisation to promote the importance of play and early childhood development. Established in 1972, Playgroup NSW supports individuals, groups and communities to start and maintain playgroups with insurance, resources, advice and support.
Playgroup NSW receives funding from the Australian government to support community playgroups. You can find more information here.
What is playgroup?
Playgroup is a lightly structured gathering (usually in the morning) where parents, carers, babies and children up to school age come together in a relaxed and friendly environment to connect, play and learn. 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, music, story time, outdoor play and morning tea. Community playgroups are run by local parents on a voluntary, not-for-profit basis. There are many different types of playgroups, including general playgroups, baby specific groups, language and cultural groups, rainbow playgroups and many others.
You can find more information here.
Why go to playgroup?
Early play and socialisation is vital for babies’ development. Babies learn first from their parents and carers, then through the world around them and by observing and interacting with others.
Playgroup is also an important social network for parents – a great way to share experiences, make lifelong friends, and support each other.
Recent research shows that children who attend playgroup have significantly improved outcomes in all areas of their development in the longer term.
98 % of Playgroup NSW members say attending playgroup has benefited their child’s development and 90% feel more connected to their community as a result of attending playgroup.
You can find more information here.
Am I eligible for the free Playgroup NSW membership?
All NSW families with a child aged 12 months or under are eligible to receive the free family Play Baby membership.
I’m already a member – can I access the offer when I renew?
If your child is under 12 months old when your membership is due for renewal, you are eligible for the free Play Baby membership.
Who is included in my Playgroup NSW membership?
Your membership covers all members of the family, not just the child under one. Your family membership covers up to five children and all adults (including parents, grandparents and other carers).
What does my Play Baby membership give me access to?
A Playgroup NSW family membership gives your family unlimited access to over 800 playgroups across the state. Playgroup NSW members also receive fantastic benefits and discounts including;
- A specially designed comprehensive playgroup insurance cover for all your family members when attending Playgroup NSW affiliated playgroups and events
- Opportunity for all members to open a free premium account with Sendle for an easy, cheaper way to pick up and deliver parcels from your home or office.
- Subscription to our monthly eNewsletter which includes competitions for members only to win free products and event tickets.
- Free or discounted access to a variety of community events and activities
- Substantial discounts for your playgroup, fundraising opportunities, and exclusive member offers, when purchasing toys and equipment from Modern Teaching Aids (MTA)
- Other discounts and offers from our many partners
Membership is free, so are there any costs involved?
Each playgroup usually charges a small fee each week to cover venue hire costs, resources and morning tea. This is generally around $3 -$5 per session, but costs differ for each group.
Is my baby too young for playgroup?
Very young babies learn by observing and interacting with their parents and carers, as well as other babies, older children and other adults. Playgroup also gives new parents a chance to meet and share experiences and ideas with other parents at playgroup. No parenting question is too silly and no baby is too young! Come along whenever you feel comfortable.
Should we go to a baby playgroup?
There may not be a playgroup in your area just for babies, but most playgroups are suitable for all ages. Babies and toddlers can benefit greatly by interacting with older children. Most playgroups have baby toys, mats and an area set up just for babies, but you can always visit different local playgroups to find the best fit for you and your family.
Is playgroup different to new parent or mothers group?
Playgroups are held at safe, designated venues (often council run community centres) designed to welcome and accommodate children. That means no parent has to host a group at their house, or fit strollers into overcrowded coffee shops. Local volunteers, supported by Playgroup NSW, also ensure there are toys and resources for the playgroup, and run lightly structured play activities so parents/carers and children can learn together through play.
Many new parent groups organise themselves into playgroups so they can continue to meet safely and create a welcoming space for their children.
Does my child need to immunised to attend playgroup?
Playgroup NSW supports the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia’s recommendations that children should be immunised using the agreed schedule, unless there is a clear medical reason why this should not occur.
How do I find a playgroup?
Looking for a playgroup near you? Playgroup NSW has playgroups in 70 percent of NSW postcodes, helping you find the right playgroup for your family.
To find a playgroup, simply use our search tool. Enter your postcode or suburb and desired interests and click the search button. Or, you can just enter your postcode or suburb only and search. Then, browse through the directory to find a playgroup that suits your needs. Search now
What if my local playgroup is full or doesn’t suit my family?
Some people try several playgroups to find the one that is the best fit for their family. If none suit or there is no space in your local playgroup, we can help you look for an alternative or even start your own!
How do I start my own playgroup?
To start a playgroup you need three families and a volunteer who is willing to get things started. Playgroup NSW can assist you to find a suitable venue, recruit other local families and get together the resources you need to get started.
Playgroup NSW encourages families to create their own playgroup with other families. This will provide families with the flexibility to hold their very own playgroup at mutually convenient times and places and an opportunity to attend playgroup with families who have similar aged children.
My baby is over 12 months old, why can’t I access the offer?
Playgroup NSW is a not-for profit organisation and in order to continue to offer our services we are unable to extend free membership to everyone. This is a special initiative to engage with families early and grow playgroup. If you are a Playgroup NSW member with an older child, we hope this initiative will help more families find your playgroup, and help you share the fun of playgroup with more parents.
Playgroup NSW offers special offers on membership from time to time during the year – keep a watching brief for discounts and membership competitions!
When will the initiative end?
This offer is open until December 31 2017.
We are organisational members of Playgroup NSW- how does this offer work for us?
This initiative is targeted at family members - members from your playgroups can access this offer.
This initiative will benefit your playgroup because it will get more families involved in playgroup and create a lot of discussion and engagement with playgroups overall. We hope this means that will drive more families to your playgroup!
Keep an eye out - we have plans for exciting new offers for organisational members in 2017.