the importance of playgroup

The Mamma's love playgroups. It is so great to hear that there are so many throughout Victoria. But WHAT is a playgroup and WHY how can they be an important part of your family's life? We thought it best to ask the experts from Playgroup Victoria. 

For so many parents facing challenges in life and needing a little help in their parenting role, playgroup provides a lifeline. Whether it is isolation, lack of confidence, disconnection from community, vulnerability or disadvantage, playgroup can foster connection and affirmation. Through the care and guidance of other families and/or a playgroup mentor, there is an opportunity for parents to develop individual strengths, increase parental capacity and find their place in a connected, supportive community.

What is playgroup?

Playgroup is a group of parents/carers and their children birth to five meeting together to play and socialise. Most playgroups meet once a week for a couple of hours, in a venue such as a maternal and child health centre, kindergarten, hall, community centre, or school. Playgroups are different from other Early Childhood services, as parents/carers stay and play with their child and socialise with others. Because adults attend with their child, playgroups are not required to meet Children’s Services Regulations. Community playgroups are parent run groups; run by and for the parents/carers who attend. Supported playgroups are facilitated by a paid or volunteer leader.

Why are playgroups important?

The Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) identified that parents are the strongest influence in determining their child’s life chances. Parents are the child’s first and most enduring teacher. It is through a parent’s relationship with their child that they learn and grow. Families can attend playgroup until their child goes to school and children can attend playgroup as well as kindergarten and/or childcare. The supported playgroup setting also provides a unique platform to support parental engagement and socialisation, thus strengthening community connections and building social capacity. Read more about the playgroup models here

Playgroup Victoria

Playgroup Victoria is an incorporated association committed to helping all Victorian families discover the benefits of playgroup and is a not for profit organisation funded by membership, fundraising and government grants. As the peak body for playgroups in Victoria, Playgroup Victoria empowers families to support each other and advance their child’s development. Our hardworking, dedicated team provide advice and support for Victorian families with membership services, learning opportunities, programs, events and advocacy work with all levels of government. 

Membership Benefits

  • Exclusive discount offers, click to view the list!
  • Playgroup exclusive events and offer: National Playgroup Week, Little Kids Day In, Conference, Workshop, Awards, Playgroup Aquarium Days
  • Access to your local Playgroup Development Advisor (PDA)
  • Playgroup Practice and Research resources
  • Access to any playgroup in Victoria
  • Marketing support for your playgroup
  • Access to PlayMap, the Play Curricula for playgroups that reflect the five learning outcomes of the National Early Years Learning Framework 
  • Comprehensive playgroup insurance through Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) if all families attending the playgroup are current members