The importance of play for a child’s development is well established, indeed, play is considered so important for childhood development that it has been recognised
by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a basic right of every child. Accordingly, parents and caregivers should be encouraged to provide opportunities for their children to engage in regular, unstructured play, however evidence suggests that today’s children are engaging in much less play with other children than previous generations due to a range of factors, such as demographic changes in family structures, an increased focus on literacy and numeracy, an increase in passive entertainment, as well as the perception of a lack of safe outdoor areas for children to play. Playgroups provide a safe environment where children can play with similar aged children on a regular basis, and as such they offer an important opportunity for parents to assist in their child’s development. In addition, playgroups also have a range of positive effects on parents and caregivers which are likely to translate into better outcomes for children, such as reduced social isolation, improved parentingskills and self-confidence, increasedknowledge of relevant community services, and a greater awareness of their child’s needs.