The following information was published in a playgroup newsletter almost 20 years ago and we think it is just as relevant and useful today as it was then! We hope you enjoy this ‘blast from the past’ – we certainly did
Nominate a welcoming party. No not rent-a-crowd but a representative whose job it is to welcome new parents and their children at the door and guide them through the session (SMILE).
KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t hand new members a roster, constitution, the playgroup guidelines and the last 12-months of newsletters before they have even crossed the threshold! It’s a great idea to make the transition as gentle and non-threatening as possible – show them where the bags are kept, where the toilets are and introduce them to an easy activity.
Saying goodbye is just as important as saying hello. See your new members to the door and tell them you look forward to seeing them again next week. Have your session leader call them a day or two later to see how they feel and if they have any questions.
Have a clear and simple How our Playgroup Works handout available for members to take home with them after their first visit. Include fees, rules, contact phone numbers, roster explanations and any other things they should know about your playgroup.
Rosters ensure that each member has an opportunity to enjoy playgroup and spend time with their child too! You might even find that self-rostering works – simply leave a blank roster schedule on the table and have members fill it in – any blanks, you take care of!
Never assume! Keep the lines of communication open and talk to your members as much as possible about activities, fundraising and more. Never assume that just because you explained something it was understood!
Encourage members to attend ALL meetings – perhaps each group/session leader could bring a different member to each meeting to break down any barriers.
Keep noticeboards up-to-date to keep members informed.
Finally, don’t take it too seriously. Playgroup really should be fun for everyone involved – not just the kids.
Little Things …
For activity ideas for home or playgroup, ‘search’ our online play ideas or call the Hotline on 1800 171 882 and ask to speak with a Development Officer.
Kath is a 40-year-old mum of three who works part time and enjoys reading, writing and catching up with other stressed out mums in her spare time. Usually she’s racing against the clock to make her boys (+ husband) arrive anywhere on time and feels quite the talented mother when two out of the three make it out of the house with shoes on!