Establishing a certificated playgroup

'Establishing a certificated playgroup' has been developed to guide parents through the process of establishing a playgroup. It contains information to help you set up a quality playgroup in your community.

The Ministry of Education employs staff in its regional offices to work with parents establishing playgroups and assist them to work towards certification.

Their particular focus is on the set up, delivery and maintenance of quality early childhood education programmes for children.

Contact your local Ministry of Education office if you are interested in establishing a certificated playgroup.

Local Ministry of Education offices

What is involved in running a playgroup

Running a playgroup is like running a small community committee. Your group needs to manage the finances of the group and ensure effective communication.

It takes ongoing commitment to operate a playgroup. The work involved includes:

  • organising people to take on different roles within the playgroup such as equipment librarian, roster secretary
  • creating and running a programme that offers children interesting and stimulating opportunities for learning
  • cleaning, morning teas, rosters and other issues related to day-to-day running will need to be addressed
  • establishing a committee – think about group leadership, secretarial and administrative functions and financial accountability – people who will take responsibility for keeping records such as enrolments and attendance, and someone who will take responsibility for the learning environment
  • organising the finances and funding. This will involve ensuring there is sufficient funding and the required documentation is in place.

You also need to have a contact person to receive and pass on information from the Ministry of Education.

A number of people need to be available from within the playgroup to share the workload. Identify the strengths and motivations of the people within your group. Consider options available to job-share some of these roles. Staff at your local Ministry of Education office can assist your group to get up and running.

The responsibility for the finances belongs to the whole group as it is the group that needs to decide what their income is spent on. It is the group’s responsibility to ensure the Ministry of Education funding is used to provide a quality playgroup for children. The group also makes sure that the criteria for certification to be eligible for funding from the Ministry of Education is met.