Playgroup is a place where families feel welcome; where mums, dad, grandparents and carers stay, play and bond with their children. They are informal weekly get-togethers, where families and children connect with each other, build friendships and establish a sense of community. Playgroup is a safe, relaxed environment where ideas, experiences, challenges and the joys of parenting can be shared. Playgroup is designed to support you on your child’s development journey by learning through play. There are many different types of playgroups, including community, supported, therapeutic and specialist.
Play Steps is a playgroup program specifically designed to be run in partnership with a school. Play Steps playgroups are places for children and their families to practise learning skills in a nurturing, safe space within a school environment. Families meet at their local school and create meaningful relationships both with the school and other families attending. This is particularly useful for children before they start school (especially pre-prep), as they meet other children and become familiar with the school in a fun, informal way.
Play Steps activities are planned using the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) Domains. This means that children will have the opportunity to develop skills that support holistic development through planned and open-ended play.
Play Steps uses a play-based approach to learning. The playgroup sessions provide children with activities and experiences that are fun and engaging with educational outcomes. As Play Steps meets on school grounds, it allows children to become familiar with the environment and even create friendships that may last throughout the school years journey. Likewise, parents and caregivers can meet other families and become active participants of their local community. Play Steps strengthens the relationship between families and the school, which helps children build a positive connection between school and life-long learning. This is a flexible program that can be delivered providing structure and routine, which also supports the transition to formal schooling.
Each Play Steps playgroup has a facilitator appointed by the school. In most cases, the facilitator is a teacher aide or prep teacher from the school. The facilitator can also be a parent or volunteer that has experience and an interest in early childhood development.
No, you do not need to be enrolled at the school to attend their Play Steps playgroup. However, a waiting list may apply if the playgroup is at full capacity.
Attending a playgroup is often free, although in some cases a small fee is requested to cover the cost of consumables such as craft supplies. It is advisable to enquire directly with the Play Steps playgroup through the school prior to joining.
Once you have registered as a family member with a state or territory organisation and receive your membership number, you can attend as many playgroup sessions as you like.
We request that you complete a membership form and provide it to the facilitator. This provides a designated emergency contact in the event of a serious incident or accident. It is also a workplace health and safety requirement to sign-in for each session on the weekly attendance sheet.
It is a good idea to bring along a hat, water bottle and sunscreen. A spare set of clothes is recommended in the likely event of a messy play or sensory play activity. In most cases you will also need to bring your own snacks. As Play Steps playgroups are held on school grounds, there may be children with allergies in attendance, so please enquire directly with the school if you are unsure of what is acceptable. If your child uses nappies, please bring your own nappies and wipes.
Yes! Play Steps playgroups are designed for children from birth-5 years. It is very likely that there will be children of a similar age and the opportunity for your child to make friendships is just one of the many benefits of attending a playgroup.
In the first instance please notify the facilitator of the playgroup, they will have access to first aid equipment if needed and will take appropriate action as required. It is also Play Steps procedure that facilitators fill in an incident and injury form.
Yes! A parent, adult family member or caregiver to your child is required to remain and be responsible for the child while at the playgroup.
Play Steps promotes an inclusive environment. The nature of play-based learning allows for children to use their strengths, abilities and interest to engage in rich and meaningful learning opportunities. Speak with your local school Play Steps facilitator, so they can ensure that your child’s needs can be met. The Play Steps sessions are based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains. This means that activities are designed to develop each child’s physical, social, emotional and language skills in a fun, accessible environment.
Yes! A parent or other responsible adult is required to remain at the playgroup. Play Steps uses the playgroup model whereby parental engagement is actively encouraged and viewed as crucial to healthy attachment and supports parents in their role as their child’s first teacher.
Yes! Play Steps playgroups are flexible. While it is important to establish consistency for children and beneficial to participate in all the planned experiences, we understand that sometimes arriving late or leaving early is necessary.
We like to hear about your positive experiences with your Play Steps Playgroup. Feedback helps ensure continuous improvements can be made to provide the best experience for families. As a member of Play Steps you are entitled to lodge grievances. In the first instance it is encouraged that you speak with the facilitator of the Play Steps playgroup. If you feel more comfortable speaking with a staff member of Playgroup Qld please contact the memberships team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1800 171 882.