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About playgroups 

Learn more about playgroups.

Four children in a circle finger painting together.


  • support children’s learning and development 
  • are a way to meet other parents and share experiences
  • provide a space for babies, toddlers, and young children to play and learn.  

Playgroups usually cater for children from birth to school age, along with their mums, dads, grandparents, extended whānau, and other caregivers. With a local focus, they can be a great way for families to connect with one another and their community. 

Many playgroups play an important role in promoting and supporting the languages and cultures of their community. 

Resources for parents, whānau and caregivers

See Materials that come with this resource to download:

  • Choices ECE parent booklet (.pdf) - for parents, whānau and caregivers about early learning and early childhood education and how to choose an option that suits their child, family and whānau 
  • Te Whāriki parent pamphlet (.pdf)  - explaining Te Whāriki for parents, whānau and caregivers

Certified playgroups in Aotearoa New Zealand are guided by Te Whāriki, the early childhood curriculum. Te Whāriki provides a framework of principles, strands, goals, and learning outcomes to support the holistic development of all children. 

In Te Whāriki children are positioned as confident and competent learners from birth. They learn by engaging in meaningful interactions with people, places, and things – a process that continues throughout their lifetimes. 

Learn more about certified playgroups at the following Ministry of Education website links: 

Important things children can learn: 

  • How to play with other children of different ages.
  • How to interact with adults other than their own parents or caregivers.
  • language and cultural knowledge.

Playgroup activities may include: 

  • a range of toys, books, and resources that support children’s interests
  • art experiences
  • playdough and sensory play
  • sand and water play
  • singing, dancing, and music-making
  • blocks and construction
  • dressing up and role-playing
  • physically active play
  • gardening and exploring the natural world
  • playgroup coordinators and whānau likely have lots of great ideas for setting up their playgroup environment already.

There are playgroup play idea cards to give further ideas for playgroup programmes. You can find the play ideas cards here: 

Playgroup play ideas

About this resource

Learn more about playgroups, including where to find more information about the regulations governing playgroups. Find more information about playgroup activities and links to the play cards resources.