Running a Supported Playgroup
Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment
Joining a new group can be extremely daunting for lots of families. A positive first experiences will often make a big difference to how people feel about coming back again. Feeling welcome and included, safe and respected helps families to feel positive about the playgroup and about their participation in it.
How you interact with and welcome families will set the tone for the group and will help families themselves in contributing to the welcoming and inclusive playgroup environment and extending it to others as they join.
Helping families to take some ownership of the emotional tone of the playgroup encourages elements such as social interaction and friendships, a sense of belonging, peer support, and capacity building for individuals and the group.
More information about creating a welcome and inclusive environment can be found on the Creating a Welcoming Environment section.
Running a playgroup session
How you run playgroup sessions will be influenced by factors including the needs and capacity of families, levels of participation and involvement of families, children’s ages, session length, available play areas and space within the venue, assumptions underpinning your model included in your program logic.
Information about a range of issues relevant to running playgroup sessions can be found in the Organising Playgroup Sessions section.
Managing the Playgroup and the Program Contract
If your supported playgroup is funded through a specific contract you will need to maintain a focus on meeting those contractual obligations and requirements throughout the life of the contract. The requirements and performance indicators outlined in the contract will influence a number of factors including:
- record keeping – what program records will you need to keep
- evaluation information and processes.
Supported playgroups generally need to maintain a range of records including:
- enrolment/registration information including contact details
- evidence of attendance, program inputs and outputs
- program evaluation and outcomes.
General information about playgroup specific records and processes can be found in the Managing Playgroups section.
Establishing how you will evaluate the outcomes for your playgroup program is an important task that needs to be considered in the early stages of developing your program model. Mapping this process, including evaluation and data collection timeframes and touchpoints before commencing will help ensure that you collect what is required and that you don’t miss key information. It will also enable you to plan who will be involved in contributing to your program evidence and the evaluation processes you will implement.