A local playgroup helped Amy Ball Rodriguez connect with other mothers and build a support network when she had three young children, so she knows what a valuable service playgroup provides.
Amy, whose children are now seven, nine and 10, volunteers to run playgroup sessions at Balga Primary School twice a week catering for families with babies and children up to four years of age.
“I found it so helpful for my mental health as a mum, not only do the kids get the benefit of playing with other children but I got to chat and build a support group,” she said.
Amy is currently studying Psychology and Children and Family Studies at university, so the volunteer role is a good fit for her.
She sets up an activity for the children at each session, providing opportunities for them to practice skills that will help them with their development and interact with other young children.
Playgroups are casual catch ups that give young children a chance to socialise with other children, have free play time and take part in fun activities.
Amy said playgroups open conversations that help mums and dads navigate through parenthood.
“Just today we were talking about what it is like on the first day of kindy, how long parents get to stay when dropping off the kids, that sort of thing. It’s not just me who provides input, other parents also share their knowledge and experience,” she said.
“There are many conversations about raising children and how school works. If I don’t have the answers I can go and ask someone who does,” Amy said.
The playgroup that Amy leads is coordinated from MercyCare’s Warriapendi Child and Parent Centre.
The centre is currently looking for volunteers who love spending time with children to be part of programs delivered from the centre located at Warriapendi Primary School in Balga.
As well as another playgroup coordinator, the centre is keen on looking for volunteers to assist in the creche during weekdays to provide care for children while their parents take part in programs that operate at the centre.
If you have some time to spare and enjoy doing activities with little ones, please contact us for further information at firstname.lastname@example.org