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Playgroups

Child support in a friendly environment

Playgroups provide an informal session where mums, dads, grandparents, caregivers, children and babies can meet in a relaxed and friendly environment while providing child care. Usually the adults stay at the session to interact with other adults and to play and support their children.

Playgroups are usually organised and run by the parentes who attend them. Playgroups give children an opportunity to have fun, make new friends and develop new skills through informal play.

Playgroup also allows parents and carers to spend quality time with their children, encouraging, helping and learning about their child’s development or simply playing with their children.

Find a group near you by visiting playgroup NSW or contacting your local council.

Supported playgroups

Supported Playgroups provide a structured and positive learning environment in which children can socialise, play and learn and are a great way for parents to meet and share their experiences.

  • coordinated and lead by trained early childhood workers
  • receive referrals from within the local Families NSW service network
  • provide a link between families and other health and community services
  • refer families to health and community services
  • provide a link between the playgroup and families’ wider lives.

Why choose a supported playgroup?

A key distinguishing feature of supported playgroups (from playgroups generally) is their facilitation by a professional worker with qualifications or experience in early childhood or in working with families with children.

They are similar to general playgroups in that they create opportunities for relationships to be enhanced between parents and their children, and parents with other parents. However in a supported playgroup the facilitator can also provide advice and information on parenting issues and community support, with additional support offered by professionals, such as an early childhood nurse, or speech pathologist. The facilitator also demonstrates some key techniques based around play, communication skills and behaviour management.

There are a number of good reasons why parents and children attend Families NSW supported playgroups. These include:

  • children benefit from socialising with other children and participating in early learning activities facilitated by trained workers
  • parents develop relationships with other families and learn new parenting skills and techniques
  • families become more familiar with and more likely to use local community services.

There are more than 300 supported playgroups across NSW. To find your local supported playgroup contact your regional Families NSW office.