All playgroups are similar in nature; babies and young children accompanied by caring adults meeting regularly to play and learn together.
Playgroups can also be quite diverse and unique. All families in a group will be different, bringing with them a range of experiences, skills, interests and expectations.
Playgroup WA oversees the development and provision of playgroups in WA ensuring that they are inclusive and accessible to everyone.
Community playgroups make up majority of the groups in WA. These groups cater to a range of children, from babies up to 5 years old and are run by local parents on a voluntary basis. While many of these groups are open to all families, some may focus on specific areas such as allergy awareness; multiples; Montessori or Steiner; nature play; grandparents only; family day carers etc. Other types of community groups include:
Babies need a stimulating environment to play and learn. Recent research indicates that your baby's first three years are vital for brain development and future health and wellbeing. Attending playgroup offers babies a variety of early learning experiences, as well as giving new parents the space to share and discuss the joys and frustrations of parenting.
Many groups cater to running 1 year old, toddler and 3+ sessions. These sessions can be great as they will have specific toys and activities that are age appropriate and support the learning and development of different skill levels.
Many fathers already attend community playgroups but some prefer to join a fathers only playgroup run by local dads and offers support for fathers who are their children’s primary caregiver.
Playgroup WA has a long history of supporting culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups. Many families choose to meet and share their parenting experiences and give their children a culturally rich experience. A couple of popular language and cultural playgroups include Japanese and French.
Head over to our Find a Playgroup page and use the ‘Filter By Category’ drop down menu and select Cultural / Language to find a cultural specific group near you.
Intergenerational groups bring together multiple generations by including seniors. They are unique as they bring together babies, toddlers, carers and older people and build an ongoing relationship in a playful environment. These types of playgroups are established in a variety of aged care settings including residential care facilities, retirement villages and community-based seniors centres.
Participating families do not need to be related to the seniors; they just need to be open to making new friendships and having fun together!
Read about Intergenerational Playgroups here.
LGBTQIA+ Playgroups create inclusive, supportive and positive experiences for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex + (LGBTQIA+) parents and carers. LGBTQIA+ playgroups also allow parents and caregivers to spend quality time with their children, encouraging, helping or simply playing with their children. These playgroups are sometimes referred to as rainbow family playgroups. If you are interested in joining or starting a playgroup please contact our Hotline at 1800 171 882 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Through Playgroup WA’s Enhanced Transition To Schools project, there a numerous schools throughout WA that host playgroups. Playgroups on school sites provide the added benefit of children and families in the area to become familiar with the school environment and build relationships with staff. Most families who are a part of these groups are usually looking to attend the school and find great value in being part of the community prior to starting.
For more about school based playgroups click here.
These FIFO Playgroups consist of fly-in fly-out families. It is a great opportunity to meet other FIFO families that know exactly what it is like when you are home alone, while the other parent/partner is away at work and share parenting tips and challenges. They offer a great network of support whether you are staying at home or flying in and out.
Playgroup WA also offers specific supported playgroups run by facilitators.
PlayConnect groups for families with a child with autism
Playgroup WA runs facilitated PlayConnect Playgroups specifically for families with children aged from 0-5 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or needs related to ASD, or developmental delay. PlayConnect provides safe and supported play experiences and peer engagement opportunities.
Read more about PlayConnect here.
Mother-Baby Nurture postnatal support group
Mother-Baby Nurture groups support mothers and their babies (0-6 months) through the first few months of parenthood. This is a 10-week program that meets once per week, with a trained facilitator, providing a safe, supportive and confidential space for you to share your experiences. Read more about Mother-Baby Nurture here.
These are just a sample of the types of playgroups available. Families are welcome to start up their own playgroup based on their own needs and interests, even if one is already available in their area. Or you might be able to start your own specialised session at an existing playgroup venue. To learn how to start your own playgroup click here.
Ready to find a playgroup? Discover what playgroups are running near you here.