Welcoming new families to your playgroup
Starting at a new group of any kind can be daunting and quite overwhelming for lots of families and arriving at playgroup for the first time is no different.
Making families’ first experience at playgroup a positive one can make a huge difference. When families feel welcome and included, they are more likely to come back and to participate more fully in the playgroup.
The following ideas might be useful for your playgroup in welcoming and including new families on their first few visits:
- First impressions count! Being responsive to initial enquiries from prospective new playgroup families is important. Tip: if using email or messenger that is only checked once a week, set up an automatic response acknowledging the enquiry has been received and let them know you will be in touch shortly. Consider providing a link to the group’s Facebook page.
- Create a welcome letter or booklet with basic information about the playgroup and outlining expectations of them.
- Display or make available the playgroup routine or timetable.
- Introduce new families to others, welcome them to the group and help them settle in. A nominated person or “buddy” system to do this can be helpful.
- Use name tags (sticky labels are fine) to make it easier for new families to remember names and for others to refer to them by their names.
- Allow new families to settle in before getting them to take responsibility for any of the playgroup session tasks.
- Check in with new families to see how thing are going or if they have any questions.
Consider following up with new families who do not return for a second session. A brief phone call or text may be the encouragement they need to give it a second try.