No matter how big or small your playgroup is, all playgroups need people to work together to help make things happen.
Your playgroup may have a formal committee with clearly defined roles and tasks, or you may be part of a group that has a more informal way of organising things. Either way it is important that playgroups have people that volunteer their time to help ensure the playgroup is running the best that it can.
We hear from many playgroups that they fear no one will put their hand up to do this work and sadly this can mean the end of the playgroup. Usually when the call for volunteers goes out, they often find members are a little apprehensive about committing to volunteering their time.
The reality is that if we want to continue to have vibrant, connected communities enriched by playgroups, communities that offer places for families to meet and play, places where families make lifelong friends, where children learn and grow, and places where families feel welcome and included: we need people to think about what they can do to continue the great work of playgroups in local communities.
If you’re thinking about being on a committee or have been hesitant about joining, we’ve come up with our top five strategies on how to make being on a committee easy and simple for you.
1. Work out what you can do
You may not have much time but there may be things that you can do to help that don’t involve giving much time. Think about the skills you have and how they might be helpful to your playgroup. The little things you do can make a big difference in getting thigs done and keeping things going.
2. Share the load
Sharing the work with others can mean that the job becomes quite manageable. It’s also more fun when there are others involved and this can give you a sense of fun and connection.
3. Keep things light and easy so you still get to enjoy your playgroup time
Running a playgroup doesn’t have to be hard work. Sure, there will be times when there is more to do but it’s not always like that and playgroup is meant to be fun for you too! Work out what needs to be done and if the current arrangements are too onerous change the way you do it. Remember, you don’t have to do things the way they have always been done.
Finding new ways of doing things can be healthy for you and for the playgroup. Breaking big tasks up into smaller, more manageable pieces can make it a more attractive proposition for you as well as encouraging others to get on board with you. Have fun and enjoy some laughs with your fellow committee members. We may start coming to playgroup because of our children but don’t forget there is so much about playgroup that is good for us as well. Making friends and having a sense of achievement, involvement, connection and community are as important as what your children gain from playgroup and you can bring this attitude to your committee tasks and roles.
4. Ask for help
One of the biggest mistakes people can make is not asking for help when they need it! You don’t have to be a superhero to be effective! The opposite is actually true. Showing others that everyone can contribute may mean that more people get involved. Tap into the strengths, knowledge and skills that others in your playgroup have and get others involved.
5. Remember Playgroup WA is here to help you
Our job is to support you. We have lots of resources to help you and we are only a phone call or an email away. Rather than letting things build up, jump in early and get some support and advice from our very experienced team. Sometimes even just talking things over with another person who understands can make the issue seem less scary. You can also tap into the wisdom of other playgroup committees through our Committee Facebook page. We email monthly newsletters to our playgroup committees and leaders, called Committee Connect, designed to give you tips and reminders on running your playgroup, as well as information on our website. We have our Hotline phone and email (1800171882 and firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as development officers who can provide tailored support for your playgroup. Our marketing team can share your stories and promote your playgroup as well, email email@example.com.