Playgroups

Mother playing with children at home

Monash Council operates weekly playgroups for families and children from birth to 5 years.

The service has a playgroup facilitator onsite to welcome and support you.

Who Can Attend?

Parents, grandparents, carers and their children aged up to 5 are all welcome.

Cost

FREE

Playgroup School Holiday Update

Playgroup School holiday update

Our regular face-to-face and virtual playgroup sessions have now ended for 2023 and will resume in Term 1, 2024.

We will be holding a few one-off playgroup sessions during the school holidays. If you are interested in attending a playgroup session, or would like more information, including timetable details, please feel free to email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au or phone 0466 026 290

Our Playgroup Centres

Cabena Child and Family Centre: 22 Cabena Crescent, Chadstone

Legend Park Child and Family Centre: 56 King Arthur Drive, Glen Waverley

Essex Heights Playgroup Centre: 15 Outlook Road, Mount Waverley

Wellington Child & Family Hub: 55 Shaftsbury Drive, Mulgrave

Clayton Community Centre: 9-15 Cooke Street, Clayton

Pinewood Child & Family Hub: 13 Pinewood Drive, Mount Waverley

Why visit a City of Monash Playgroup Centre?

  • Experience an engaging environment where children and carers can have quality interactions together and be supported in your community
  • Interact in fun, interesting activities and experiences
  • Meet other families with young children in your local area
  • Gain support in the development of parenting skills
  • Playgroup staff give you the support you need to be the best parent/carer you can be. You will make new friends, get support and have fun with your child.

Benefits of Playgroup

Participation in playgroup provides benefits to children and their parents, grandparents and/or carers.

For children, playgroups provide valuable opportunities for children to learn and develop through play. For optimum development, young children need a stimulating environment to play and learn. Playgroups offer babies, toddlers and young children a wide variety of early learning experiences.

For parents, grandparents and/or carers, playgroups create opportunities to meet in a safe and supportive environment and learn new skills, develop social networks and build linkages to other services, reducing social isolation.

Did you know?

  • Children learn a lot in their early years of life before starting school.
  • Whether you are a parent, grandparent or carer, it is important for you and your child to learn together to give your child the very best start to life.
  • When you spend time playing with your child, you make a real difference to their future.
  • Children’s experiences in their earliest years are vital to their ongoing development.
  • Experiences in the early years have a major impact on future achievements at school and later in life.
  • Supporting children’s learning and health and wellbeing before they begin school will give them a greater chance of a positive future.
  • Learning through play alongside people that mean the most to them is a really positive experience for children.

Please note: we encourage engagement, interaction and participation. We request that no mobile phones are used during sessions so you are present and available to your child.

Types of Playgroup

Facilitated Playgroup

In our facilitated playgroups, parents and carers can interact with their children in fun and engaging activities within one of our playgroup centres. Each centre is well-resourced and has an indoor and outdoor area which children are encouraged to explore. Facilitators aim to support families with particular needs or vulnerabilities by providing opportunities for parents to meet and share experiences, and for children to play, learn and socialise.

Baby Explorer Playgroup

The Baby Explorer Playgroup is for babies aged 0-12 months old. During this playgroup parents and carers will have the time to let your little one see the world with fresh eyes and wonder! The session will allow for baby-led exploration time.

During the first few months of life, babies have a profound amount of growth and development. Through engagement, observation and play, their learning builds and grows. 

Messy play

Messy play gives children a wonderful opportunity to practice many skills. Fine motor, problem solving, creativity, language and socialisation. Cognitive development is stimulated when children are engaged and focusing on an activity they enjoy. These sensory experiences also foster relaxation and activate the senses through play in a fun and inviting environment. We will be using a variety of messy materials during our play, including water, slime, paint and sand. Smocks will be provided, but we recommend wearing cloths you don’t mind getting messy. A change of clothes for the way home is also a good idea. Children will have the opportunity to roam around with their adult to experience all the different, fun textures!

Nature play

Our Nature Play sessions will be based at Cabena in Chadstone. Families will be invited to take part in a nature walk along the local walking trail and can then complete a nature-inspired activity together when they return to Cabena. Note that participating in the nature walk will be optional for families. You can elect to stay at Cabena for the duration of the session if you prefer.

Chinese Playgroup

The Chinese Playgroup provides a great opportunity to meet families from a Chinese cultural background and to build connections within your Monash Chinese community. Join us in a warm, friendly and fun-filled environment with your child to sing songs, dance and for storytelling, while also building on your knowledge of the Chinese culture. Everyone is welcome.

Online Virtual Playgroup

Our virtual playgroups take place online. These sessions are another opportunity for parents and carers to engage with their children with the guidance of our playgroup facilitators.

During these sessions, children have the opportunity to listen to stories, sing and dance.

Virtual Playgroup is suitable for all children aged 0-5 years (bigger siblings are welcome, too!). You are never too young (or too old) to listen to stories or sing some songs! Parents and carers can dance and sing-a-long with their babies and toddlers.

Sessions are held during the evening and sessions focus on stories and getting ready for bed.

Below is the current schedule of our Virtual Playgroup Sessions 

Thursday evenings: 6.30pm to 7pm

These sessions are open to all Monash residents.

A link is sent out the morning of each session. If you are not already on our mailing list, or if you would like more information, please email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au or call 0466 026 290.

Supported Playgroups

Supported Playgroups offer a range of simple, positive parenting strategies called Smalltalk.

  • Sessions run during the school term with a Supported Playgroup Facilitator
  • Eligible families can receive home visits for one-on-one support
  • Parents are supported to learn to celebrate their parenting successes and encouraged to develop their own parenting strategies
  • We welcome referrals from families and organisations

Cost:  FREE.

Eligibility information

Supported Playgroups are available to families with a Health Care Card (or eligible visa), Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and children in kinship care arrangements, or families that have been referred by supporting agencies or organisations.  

Join a Supported Playgroup

Joining a Supported Playgroup is simple, just call the Supported Playgroup Facilitator on 0466 026 290 or email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au

Service Providers

If you would like to refer a family, or for more information, please call 0466 026 290 or email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au

Playgroup Timetable

Our timetable is regularly reviewed to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our families. Playgroup sessions are held across our various centres.

Bookings are essential for all face-to-face playgroup sessions. Families are not required to stay for the whole session and are welcome to come and go at any time.

Sessions run during school terms (excluding public holidays). We offer a reduced timetable during school holidays. Older school-aged siblings are welcome to attend school holiday sessions held at our larger Cabena centre.

To enrol in a playgroup session, or to find out more information about the current timetable, please email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au or call 0466 026 290. 

Playgroup Enrolment and Booking Process

If you would like to join one of our playgroup sessions, please email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au so we can send you an enrolment form.  

Playgroup bookings

Once we receive your completed enrolment form, you will start to receive emails inviting you to book in for the playgroup sessions of your choice. Bookings open one week at a time and families are welcome to attend more than one session per week.

Playgroup for Dads and Father Figures

Monash Council holds regular playgroup sessions specifically for dads and father figures and their babies and children from birth to 5 years of age.

It is a wonderful experience for the dads and father figures to create a stronger bond with their children, but to also build connections and positive relationships with other dads.

These playgroup sessions run approximately fortnightly during the school term on a Saturday morning from 10am to 12pm.  Sessions alternate between our Cabena Centre in Chadstone and our Legend Park Centre in Glen Waverley.  All enrolled playgroup families will be notified of each session via email as dates are set and bookings open.

If you would like more information, please email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au or phone 0466 026 290.

Intergenerational Playgroup Opportunities

At playgroup we love to connect with our senior community! We have many opportunities for our older community to participate in playgroup.

Playgroup for Grandparents

Grandparents are welcome to attend any of our playgroup sessions along with their grandchildren. We have many grandparents who come along each week. It is a wonderful opportunity for grandparents to interact in fun, engaging activities and experiences with your grandchildren while meeting other grandparents and families in your local area.

If you would like more information about attending playgroup with your grandchild, please email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au or call 0466 026 290. 

Intergenerational Playgroup Sessions

The Playgroup and Social Inclusion teams come together for Intergenerational Playgroups sessions. These sessions are a mix of playgroup families and seniors from the Monash community to “bridge the intergenerational gap”. The generations come together for some morning tea, music and dancing.

For more information about this program, please contact the Playgroup Team Leader Barbi Kenny on 0466 026 290 or via email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au, or the Social Inclusion Team on 9518 3247 or via email at socialinclusion@monash.vic.gov.au

Rainbow Playgroup

Monash Council offers a Rainbow Playgroup for our LGBTIQA+ community. These playgroup sessions are an opportunity for families who identify from the LGBTIQA+ community to come together and meet others who have a similar family dynamic to themselves.

If you or someone you know identifies from the LGBTIQA+ community and would like more information about attending a Rainbow Playgroup, please feel free to contact Playgroup Team Leader Barbi Kenny on 0466 026 290 or email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au

Playgroup Victoria - Join a Playgroup

In addition to the playgroup sessions run by Council, there are many other community playgroups running in your local area.

These other playgroups vary in size and love to welcome new families. If you are unable to attend one of the Council-run playgroups, or if you would just like to try something different, we encourage you to have a look to see what these other great playgroups have on offer.

These community playgroups are also a great option if you would like to attend a playgroup session with friends or family who are not eligible to attend a Monash Council playgroup.

Visit Playgroup Victoria to find a playgroup in your area – search for Monash or by postcode or suburb.

You can also find a list of community playgroups running in Monash via our Community Directory.

Start a Playgroup

New playgroups are often created for various reasons, including:

  • There are no playgroups in the area.
  • The playgroups in the area are full.
  • There are no playgroups held on a certain day.
  • An existing parents' group would like to find a larger venue to cater for growing children.
  • There is a need for playgroups for families with a specific interest (for example, fathers, working parents, grandparents, young parents, multicultural, LGBTIQA+ community or school-based groups)

If you are interested in starting your own playgroup, all you need are a couple of families and a place to meet.  

Council has the following venues that are suitable for playgroup sessions:

  • Essex Heights, Mount Waverley
  • Clayton Community Centre, Clayton
  • Wellington Child and Family Hub, Mulgrave
  • Pinewood Child and Family Hub, Mount Waverley

For more information on starting a playgroup, please visit Playgroup Victoria

If you need support in finding a playgroup venue or starting a playgroup, please call the Playgroup Support Facilitator on 0466 026 290 or email playgroups@monash.vic.gov.au

Online Playgroup Activities and Videos