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 30,000 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!
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.
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 30,000 members across 80% of NSW postcodes
- Over 600 playgroup sessions held each week
- Approximately 70 of these are facilitated groups for families with particular needs
- An estimated 20,000 children a year attending playgroups affiliated with us
- 1,000+ parent and carer member volunteers run our community playgroups
- Over 7,000 children, parents and carers attend our free community events during National Playgroup Week and throughout
- Over 40,000 members, former members and other supporters subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter
Playgroup NSW leads in engaging families and communities in early childhood development. Programs and services centre around play and are universally beneficial for communities, carers and children from a range of backgrounds.
Playgroups are accessible to all families with children birth - 5 in NSW, resulting in enhanced development, well-being and support for carers and children; and thriving communities.
Passionate: We are passionate about early childhood development and building connections between families and their communities through playgroup related activities.
Loyal: We are loyal to our staff, partners, members, their children and communities. We respect each other and work together toward common goals.
Accountable: We are honest, accountable and follow through on our commitments.
Young at Heart: We generate new ideas and opportunities to advance and enrich the organisation and the contribution we make to our communities, the lives of our members and children, and our broader stakeholders.
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.