Unless you have small children of your own, Playgroup is probably a distant memory. If you have children under five, you are probably well versed in Playgroup. But for those people who are pregnant or have new babies, Playgroup will probably be another one of those 'ah ha' moments that comes with having children.
So what is Playgroup? Playgroup is typically a regular weekly play session, held locally, where you meet with other families with kids of similar ages. Within this simple definition however, there are many different types of Playgroup under the auspice of Playgroup WA (inc), including multigenerational playgroups, Montessori playgroups, Indigenous playgroups, dads playgroups, same sex parents playgroups, playgroups for twins, specific language playgroups and special needs playgroups. With over 500 Playgroups operating in Western Australia you will be sure to find a group that suits your specific needs.
What are the benefits of Playgroup? For the kids it is pretty simple – friends, fun and learning. But let's be honest, when the kids are teeny tiny, the majority of benefits will be for parents. If you are lucky you will find a group of mums and dads who become lifelong friends, familiar faces to see each week when you are red-eyed from lack of sleep, someone to sympathise with when you are vomited on for the third time that day, someone to hand you paper towel when your toilet-training toddler wees all over the floor.
Where is Playgroup held? Each playgroup is different, some are held in purpose-built buildings, others are in rented space in community halls, church halls, libraries and even people's homes. There are playgroups all over the state, from Tom Price to Albany, from Claremont to Vic Park. Each group is independently run and will have different set-ups. Some may have fixed time slots with organised activities, others will simply have morning or afternoon sessions and leave the running of the sessions to the families.
How much does it cost? Each individual playgroup will charge differently – some have a weekly fee that you pay only if you attend and it might cover coffee and biscuits, others charge an annual fee. These fees will cover a range of items depending on the type of group including rent, insurance, craft and food consumables and cleaning costs. It is not unreasonable to expect an annual fee of over $150. Regardless, if you join a playgroup which is a member of the Playgroup WA, you will be charged a $28 per family fee which comes with a number of benefits such as the quarterly magazine Totline, discounts and offers from a wide range of businesses in Perth, and access to special playgroup events such as the annual Fun Day.
That sounds great, how do I join a playgroup? Start by heading over to the Playgroup WA website and looking for a local group that suits you. Contact details are provided, usually a phone number and email or website. Further details may be available such as the exact location and sessions that are available.
Hi there - great piece any chance you could update the details? The membership fee is now $30 per year and for more information visit:http://playgroupwa.com.au/ Additionally, we no longer distribute Totline BUT we have a value-add website with heaps of updated content/blogs for members to enjoy - :http://playgroupwa.com.au/little-things-blog Many thanks,