Play & Learn Supported Inclusive Playgroups (PALS)

Inclusive playgroups for all children, including those with disability and additional needs

What it is 

PALS provides exposure for mainstream families to an inclusive playgroup setting, to inform their understanding and practice of inclusivity. PALS increases the opportunity for children with disability to connect with others in their community, participate in community activity and to develop social and play skills. Likewise, PALS also increases the opportunity for parents with children with disability to connect with and participate in community activity, develop parenting confidence and build peer support networks.

PALS playgroups are welcoming environments for all children, including those with disabilities and additional needs. It’s all about learning together, creating communities that support us all. At PALS, families identify shared interests and embark on a program of activities with ‘mainstream’ cultural, arts, sporting or recreational organisations. At every step, they are supported by a trained playgroup facilitator. Dance classes? Gymnastics? Yoga or art? It’s all possible at PALS.

Who is it for

Co-designed for families of children aged birth 6, both with and without disabilities. There is no diagnosis required.

Why is it important

Learning through play is key to your child’s development and wellbeing. Playgroup NSW’s inclusive Play and Learn (PALS) programs are a great way to get back out and about and connect with other families!

How does it make an impact

An external evaluation of the PALS program identified a range of benefits, including:

  • For children with disabilities and their families: new opportunities to connect with others in the community, increasing children’s skills
  • For families of children without disabilities: greater understanding of disability and inclusion
  • For community organisations: greater skills in providing inclusive practices and referrals to other appropriate services.

Become a Member

Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.