Considerations in starting a supported playgroup
Understanding the need for the group
Before you decide to start a supported playgroup, it is important that you investigate the various factors that will contribute to decisions about the playgroup model. There are a range of factors to consider including the following:
- What is the need for the group? Do you have evidence that the need exists? Have you consulted with other stakeholders to verify your information?
- Identify the families that are likely to attend a playgroup. Do they already exist as a group or do you need to recruit them?
- Consultation with families and other key stakeholders is an important part of understanding needs as well as interest in your proposed playgroup and is a key consideration. It is also helpful to have an understanding about the capacity and interest of families to contribute to the playgroup.
- What other programs exist in the community? For example, are there other playgroups or similar programs that are already operating and if so, how will your program differ from existing programs?
- Anticipated participation level of families in the program.
These initial considerations will help guide the next step in thinking about the playgroup model that will best fit the needs and interests of the intended participants or community. Your model will be influenced by:
- The aims and intended outcomes for your supported playgroup, including funding body expectations if applicable.
- The number of families/children you are intending to support and target families if applicable.
- Partnerships/support to be provided by other services or organisations.
- Timeframe – how long ideally would you like the playgroup to operate? (1 year, 3 years etc.)
- The frequency of sessions: for example, 1 session/week, 3 sessions/week. Will the playgroup run in school holidays?
- How much will your preferred model cost to run? (see section on Funding)
- Evaluation considerations.