Moruya Playgroup will fold without more kids

A playgroup that has run for more than 30 years needs more mums, dads and kids to stay open.

Moruya Playgroup offers social contact, play and learning, but is at risk of closure.

Facilitator Linda Bennett said the Tuesday group would fold without more regular participants. 

“I have been at the playgroup for the past seven years, but my last child, Bede, starts school next year so I will be leaving,” she said. 

“It is a chance to meet other carers and parents. 

“It isn’t just for mums. We have dads and grandparents as well.

“It is a chance for adults to get out of the house and meet other parents. 

“Some of the people who come have recently moved to the area and didn’t know anyone.

“They made social connections through the playgroup.” 

Over the past 30 years the group has welcomed new generations of some families.

Katherine Jeffrey, who brought her children to the group, now takes her grandson. 

“Alison is 24 and John is now 20 and I bring Alison’s son Travis, who is my grandson and has just turned two, here because we love it,” she said. 

“Because of the different ages, the older ones learn to be mindful of the little ones and the little ones like to watch how the big ones play. 

“It is good interaction for them before they go to school and it is a good chance for the mums to get together and have a chat. 

“I have found it useful.”

Mrs Jeffrey said Travis looked forward to playgroup every week. 

“He loves it,” she said. 

“He has made friends here to go to school with.” 

Ms Bennett said the group was “excellent” for children. 

“We have babies, right up to four- and five-year-olds,” she said. 

“They make friendships and learn how to interact with each other. 

“We give them different experiences.”

The group runs a range of activities every Tuesday from 9.30am to 11.30am in Moruya. 

“We do outside play, construction, art, singing, music and story-telling,” Ms Bennett said. 

“We are a parent-led group, so it means we get to decide what our kids do. 

“We put out the activities that are suitable for our children. 

“It is good for fost-ering connections be-tween adults and children.”

Ms Bennett said the group also gave children an opportunity to learn from other adults. 

“It is about connecting with other people and developing their social skills,” she said.

“Parents and carers talk about things in their lives, whether they have problems or a question about something they are not sure about with their child. 

“We can discus it and tell each other that it is okay and we aren’t alone. 

“It brings together people of different backgrounds.” 

Group attendance is stable, but more members are needed to cover costs.

“We are holding our numbers, but we need to keep going,” Ms Bennett said. 

“If this folded due to lack of numbers, a place to come and meet and socialise outside home isn’t there. 

“It is hard, when you have little babies, to get out and join a sporting team.”

The group needs a minimum of eight people to attend every week.

Each session costs $2.50 for a family, or $20 for a family for a school term. 

Fees cover rent, craft supplies and tea and coffee. 

Participants are also encouraged to register with Playgroup NSW for $39.

“That covers liability insurance for any playgroup in New South Wales,” Ms Bennett said. 

Anyone interested in joining the playgroup is welcome to phone Ms Bennett on 0403 649 551.

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