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Playgroups

Parents and kids

A playgroup is a group of mums, dads, grandparents or carers and their 0-5 year old children. At playgroup, families enjoy playing, socialising and learning by usually meeting once a week for two hours at a park, home or children’s centre.

Most playgroups are parent-run and called Community Playgroups. Community Playgroups are usually low cost and informal. There are also playgroups called Supported Playgroups that are free and have an experienced facilitator who offers play and parenting support. Supported Playgroups often have a specific audience focus, eg. young mums or multicultural.

The first three years of a child’s life is a critical period in brain development. Research shows positive, consistent and warm relationships with children at this age will produce the best opportunities for a child to grow and reach their potential. Playgroups help families to develop and strengthen these relationships.

The Playgroup Brochure below is about playgroup, costs and benefits for children and adults.

The Playgroup Brochure in Community Languages below describes what is playgroup in 12 languages. The languages are Amharic, Arabic, Chin, Chinese, Dinka, English, Karen, Macedonian, Somali, Sudanese Tigrinan, Turkish and Vietnamese.

Playgroup Timetable

The playgroup timetable provides information about all Supported Playgroups and some Community Playgroups. To join a playgroup simply phone or email the playgroup contact person. The playgroup timetable lists playgroup days and times in the suburbs of Yarraville, Seddon, West Footscray, Footscray, Maribyrnong, Maidstone and Braybrook.

Playgroup Victoria
A list of playgroup days and times located across Victoria.

Playgroup Venues

Maidstone Children and Family Centre

Playgroups can start with babies (0-6 months old) meeting at local family friendly cafes where parents and carers enjoy socialising and offering each other support. As children grow playgroups can meet at a variety of indoor or outdoor locations. Maribyrnong offers many parks with playgrounds that are great for playgroup. Venues, including Clare Court Children’s Centre, community centres, new hubs in Braybrook and Maidstone and scout halls, also provide choices for playgroup families with children up to 5 years of age.

Maribyrnong City Council encourages all families to have playgroup insurance through Playgroup Victoria. Insurance may be required for venue hire.

Please find further information and lists below.

List of suitable local venues for playgroups across Maribyrnong. Many venues feature toys and a kitchen.

List of local parks with children’s playgrounds offering lots of outdoor play across Maribyrnong.

List of local family friendly cafes suitable for playgroups with children 0-6months of age across Maribyrnong.

List of local cafés and their access features including space for a pram across Maribyrnong.

Playgroup insurance information including definition of insurance coverage and costs.

Suggestions to help your playgroup stay connected when parents return to work.

Playgroup Activities

Boy playing

Parents, carers and children can choose play activities like storytime or music to enjoy at playgroup. Free unstructured play is also great for children’s development and lots of fun in a social setting like playgroup. Playgroup venues may supply toys and play equipment but playgroups can also add to their play collection by hiring toys from Toy Libraries. Toys and play equipment can be borrowed from Toy Libraries for use at playgroup or home at low cost.

Playgroups work well when groups organise a calendar of activities and plan who will help run the group. Sharing responsibilities helps everyone feel part of the fun.

Playgroups can go on an excursion to the zoo or visit the local library. Or arrange an incursion by inviting another playgroup or a local health professional to visit the playgroup.

Please find further information and lists below.

List of local toy libraries where you can borrow toys and play equipment.

Encourage each parent/carer to take a playgroup task card at the start of playgroup and complete the task during the playgroup. At the end, put the card back and take a new card next time. Packs of laminted task cards are available up request.

Lots of ideas to enhance your playgroup including an excursion like visiting a zoo. Or an incursion such as inviting a dietitian to your playgroup.

PlayMap is an online interactive tool to help plan playgroup activities offered through Playgroup Victoria membership. Please note PlayMap may incur a cost.

Play and Learning videos by the Raising Children Network provide more information and ideas.

See how to link your playgroup with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework through the ideas and posters provided by Playgroup Victoria.

Playgroup Training

Playgroup parents, carers and facilitators are welcome to learn about playgroup through Playgroup Victoria’s online training channel PVTV. PVTV can be accessed anytime and anywhere by groups or individuals with Playgroup Victoria membership. Please note Playgroup Victoria membership does have a cost but importantly provides insurance (see above Playgroup Venues). See link below to Playgroup Victoria’s online training PVTV offered through Playgroup Victoria membership.

Central West Play

CentralWestPlayfamiliesandMayorMay20152

Central West Play is a unique outreach supported playgroup located at a local shopping centre. Families can drop in to enjoy free educational play and find out about early years services.

Day and time: Tuesdays 10am-12noon during school terms
Location: Central West Shopping Centre, Ashley Street, Braybrook (in corridor near Coles)
Cost: Free

Friendly facilitators, Safia, who speaks Amharic, Tigrinya, Tigre, Arabic, Sudanese Arabic, and English, and Thu, who speaks Vietnamese and English, can support you to:
• Find other local playgroups
• Book to see your maternal and child health nurse
• Register for kindergarten

To find out more about this unique playgroup, watch this short film that Council produced in 2015.

The playgroup is offered in partnership by Maribyrnong City Council, Mackillop Family Services and Central West Shopping Centre and funded by the Department of Education and Training.

Deakin University conducted research at Central West Play exploring the value for parents and children attending a supported playgroup located in a shopping centre. The findings showed Central West Play engaged families not connected to playgroup and connected them to services meeting their families needs.

Please note that this video was made in 2015 and features the Mayor at the time, Cr Nam Quach, Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong 2014-15.

Multicultural Playgroup

Mother and baby

All families, especially those newly arrived to Australia, are warmly welcomed to enjoy playing and socialising with other local families at this multicultural playgroup. Friendly facilitators, Huan, who speaks Vietnamese and English, and Julia, who speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Chinese and English, offer fun indoor and outdoor play and bilingual storytime.


Day and time: Tuesdays 10am-12noon during school terms
Location: Maternal and Child Health waiting room at Maribyrnong City Council, Corner Napier and Hyde Streets Footscray
Cost: Free
Contact: Maternal and Child Health nurse 9688 0137 MCH.Hyde@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

The playgroup is offered by Maribyrnong City Council’s Maternal and Child Health.

My Time

Boy with lego

Parent support group for families with a child with a disability or chronic illness. Parents and carers relax by having some ‘my time’ while children enjoy playing together with play helpers in occasional child care.

Day and time: Tuesday 10am-12pm
Location: Braybrook Community Hub 107-139 Churchill Avenue Braybrook
Cost: Free
Contact: Braybrook Community Centre 9188 5800

The playgroup is offered by Maribyrnong City Council’s Community Centre Network.

Contact

For more information contact:
Early Years Officer - Partnerships & Projects
9688 0200
beth.maplestone@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

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