Setting up a playgroup sets up a whole new community for both parents and their children. Playgroups are similar to childcare centres in how they operate, but they’re known for having a less formal setting. If you’re thinking about setting up a playgroup of your own, here’s what you need to do.
- Do your research
If you’re setting up a playgroup, check if there’s another one (or more than one) close by that presents competition. Another angle to approach is a speciality playgroup. Some children can have difficulties thanks to disabilities, coming from a disadvantaged background, and a myriad of other reasons. If you’re looking into creating a group aimed at families with special needs, you might be eligible for government assistance.
- Find a venue
You can hold community playgroup meets at member’s houses, but they mightn’t have the right facilities as the group grows.
Look at venues available for hire on a regular basis like council halls and community centres. When setting up a playgroup, you need a space with:
- Areas for indoor and outdoor play
- A kitchen
- Parking spaces or close to public transport
- Low or manageable rent
- Make a schedule
Playgroups have a schedule of their day planned in advance that gives children the chance to play, and the adults time to relax.
Playgroups normally meet for a few hours. This includes time for structured and free play, meals, and clean-up.
- Make a list of fees
You’ll need to charge fees so that you can pay for venue hire and equipment. Parents might pitch in with snacks, but fees can also cover some amount of catering.
- Find families
Where there’s a gap in the market, people are looking for something to fill it. If you’re setting up a playgroup for families with special needs, it’ll provide much-needed respite and an opportunity to socialise.
Advertise your group on community sites and social media. You can post paper notices on community boards found in parks, churches and local schools.
- Source equipment
Playgroups need items to play with, and the venues you use mightn’t have anything available. Facilitators can go to childcare equipment providers, like Kinder Design, for the necessary materials. You need something that’s durable and meets all safety guidelines.
- Register your playgroup
Playgroup Queensland is the place to register your group so other families can find you. Membership benefits include access to comprehensive insurance, an essential in case of accidents, injuries, or materials breaking.
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