Playgroup is more than a mothers group, it’s a movement; a forty year institution that prides itself on connecting families and children throughout Queensland.
From humble beginnings Playgroup is now a household name and currently supports over 12,000 families. Playgroup Queensland has over 1600 volunteers and staff who have been connected to the company for a large part of its life span. In 2013, they celebrated their 300,000th playgroup session – a major milestone for a company that grew from a handful of mothers in far North Queensland in 1973.
At what age/s do children attend playgroup?
You can join at any point between the ages of birth to five years old. Quality play is proven to be an essential element in a child’s formative years and can be instrumental in shaping them for a healthy and fulfilled future. It also greatly strengthens the child-parent bond and is one of the reasons why playgroups have become such a staple for today’s modern family. A major benefit that is widely reflected on is the vast number of lifelong friendships that have been created from attending.
What do children DO at playgroup?
Sessions generally run for a minimum of one hour however is dependent on the group’s availability and structure. Each group has a “team leader” as such to help organise and steer the direction of the session. These contact people volunteer their time and are supported by Playgroup Queensland to ensure they feel confident to run a successful and fun group.
Activities can range from painting and craft, singing and dancing to cooking and are based around the eight key learning steps that ignite early learning capabilities. Activity ideas are shared to members via Playgroup Queensland’s monthly e-newsletter, social media platforms as well as the members’ only area of the website. These games and activities are often derived with parental play in mind to ensure that parents embark on the learning journey with their child.
Where can I find my local playgroup?
Finding a playgroup is easy. Simply contact the customer service team directly by phone or click on the easy to use mapping system on the newly developed Playgroup Queensland website. And with over 1000 playgroups state wide finding a local one can take less than five minutes!
As finding the right fit is made to ensure families feel completely conformable and compatible with their group, an offer of two free sessions are given to every family before signing up. Whilst a twelve month package is the most popular, other packages are offered to ensure new members can get a taste of the benefits before coming on board long term.
How much is it to attend?
Playgroup members pay a yearly fee of forty dollars and are provided with a number of benefits, such as Playgroup insurance, support and advise from the Customer Support team, special family events, giveaways, information and discounts.
What else does Playgroup QLD do? (other than playgroups)
Although the foundation of Playgroup Queensland (PGQ) is made up of Community Playgroups Programs, PGQ reaches a far greater catchment of families within the Queensland community. This can be seen by their expanding services which includes the Accessible Initiative and Redlands Bayside Children and Family Hub and the support of the Department in funding the Transition to Kindy project.
Another example of the reach PGQ extends to is through their program ‘Sing & Grow’. Sing & Grow, a national music therapy program that has continued on a growth trajectory that epitomises their dedication, innovation and wide acceptance as an unrivalled early intervention service. Since its inception it has expanded nationally and internationally to the UK and delivered over 1000 programs.
PGQ also established the ‘My Time’ programme supporting parents with children with disabilities – delivering 33 groups in Queensland. In conjunction with this, MyTime for Grandparents also sees eight groups successfully operating, including groups for Indigenous Grandparents. The organisation also exhibits a number of Supported Playgroups and the Play Connect program has also been a successful model within this providing vital support to families in need especially in dealing with Autism or ASD.
How can I become a member of Playgroup?
Playgroup Queensland continues to be the respected Playgroup Specialists, to make a difference in the lives of children and their families, be it through their community Playgroups or supported programs. The aim of Playgroup Queensland is a simple one; to continue the crusade to build sustainable capacity within communities and to continue the delivery for another forty years.
For more information and to join visit their website www.playgroupqld.com.au or call 1800 171 882
Find out more about Brisbane playgroups
- How to get free playgroup membership
- Meet 2 Playgroup members
- Brisbane grandparents playgroups
- A list of Mothers groups in Brisbane
This article was published in Issue 3 of our print magazine, April/May 2014.