Frequently asked questions about playgroups and Playgroup NSW

Playgroup of parents and their children in NSW

Playgroup NSW is a not-for-profit organisation that helps connect families and children to people and services in the community to positively impact their quality of life.

For over 50 years, Playgroup NSW has linked and delivered vital services such as parent support groups and playgroups for those experiencing vulnerability and diversity.

We offer valuable volunteer opportunities and experiences and support our volunteer force to create connections through play within their communities. 

All Playgroup NSW programs are designed to help families navigate the challenges of parenting and build strong, resilient communities. Today, more than 800 playgroups affiliated with Playgroup NSW hold around 500 playgroup sessions every week.

Read more about Playgroup NSW.

There are several different kinds of Playgroups, including supported Playgroup programs, that your family can attend.

Community playgroups are run by local volunteers. These sessions are lightly structured, informal gatherings where babies, toddlers and pre-school aged children and their parents or carers can come together to learn through play, and connect with one another. 

Through our peer support programs and supported Playgroups we also support families who are experiencing vulnerabilities or diversities. These programs help us reach out to families who may otherwise miss out on the fantastic experience of Playgroup.

Find out more about our supported programs

Locate the right Playgroup near you

Visit our ‘Find a Playgroup’ search tool to find the best Playgroup or supported program for you!

Yes! There are specific Playgroups just for parents and babies, but you can also attend any of the community Playgroup sessions, which are appropriate for children aged birth to five. 

To find out more about our member benefits program, Playgroup+, and how to sign up, visit the Join page.

There are three different types of membership – Family Membership. Voting Membership and Organisational Membership.

Find out more about membership options

So you can get a feel for playgroup and find one that suits your best suits your family, you can attend two playgroup sessions before you need to become a Playgroup NSW member. Playgroup NSW insurance covers adults and children during these first two visits.

Your family membership includes insurance that covers parents or carers and their children for any personal injury while participating in playgroup activities. This policy also covers loss or damage to your playgroup’s equipment (e.g., toys).

The insurance is valid for the parents/carers and their children who hold current Playgroup NSW family membership. This includes coverage for carers such as grandparents, aunts and uncles who bring children to playgroup and are included on the family membership.

Organisational Members need to have their own insurance and are NOT covered under the Playgroup NSW's insurance policy.

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. This does not apply to supported playgroups.

We recommend that you contact the group before attending, just to make sure that they won’t be on an outing the first time you attend and so you can ask the playgroup’s coordinator any questions you might have before visiting.

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.

This depends on the individual group. Some groups have high numbers and therefore expect a regular commitment to keep your spot. Other groups are happy with casual drop-ins. Whether you are casual or regular, please keep your Playgroup NSW membership current so you can continue to attend playgroup.

Playgroup is a lightly structured, informal gathering. Parents/carers who volunteer their time run community playgroups. Usually, everyone helps to unpack the toys and set up/clean up. Most groups have rosters, which share some of the jobs around the members. This could be cutting up fruit, setting up the craft table or reading a story. We encourage all members to be involved and therefore have ownership of the group.

Some groups run by our organisational members and our own supported playgroups are run by professionals. These groups are usually government funded to provide services to particular groups of families.

Your Playgroup NSW membership gives you access to more than 800 affiliated community playgroups across NSW. You can also access playgroups associated with other state and territory playgroup organisations through our reciprocal membership arrangements. So, you can attend any affiliated playgroup in Australia!

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.

In line with the evidence about child and community wellbeing, Playgroup NSW strongly encourages parents to have their children immunised using the Immunisation Schedule provided by the NSW Ministry of Health. This is available on the NSW Ministry of Health Website:

Please be aware that young babies, pregnant women and unimmunised children are at higher risk if there is an outbreak of a communicable disease. We recommend that they do not attend playgroup if there has been a suspected case of one of those illnesses at playgroup.

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, you can try looking at find a playgroup again to see if there is another playgroup that would suit you better or we can help you look for an alternative or even start your own! (see next question)

All you need to start a playgroup is three families, someone willing to get things started and a venue (which we can assist you to locate).

Starting your own playgroup can provide families with the flexibility to hold their playgroup at a mutually convenient time and place, transition a new parent group or meet new families and attend playgroup with families who have similar aged children.

Find out more about starting a playgroup.

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.