children playing on the floor

Pray with and talk about Playgroup with leaders of the church. Gain support in principle from the vicar, Vestry and parish.

Recruit prayerfully people from your church who will pray for the playgroup, support the playgroup as helpers (in the kitchen, preparing craft activities, setting up and packing away) and as friendship evangelists.

Discuss and pray with potential playgrouping parents - great if you have the support of some parents with playgroup-aged children from church.

Make it clear that the Playgroup is a church activity and therefore responsible to Vestry, and there will be some Christian content but that people with other world views or beliefs are welcome.

Join the Christian Playgroup Network for support, training events and other resources that are aimed at helping churches run playgroups as an intentional ministry.

Advertise with the local paper, posters in the church and the community - especially target baptism families from your church over the previous few years.

Apply for funds to begin and buy some basic equipment. Try the vestry, Mothers Union, the local council. Some local councils have a Resource Centre for playgroups to borrow equipment. If you haven't spoken to the Playgroups Ministry Coordinator of the Diocese, now may be a good time to ask for support.

Join Playgroup Victoria. As well as providing quality resources and training, they will refer local enquiries to you. The local council may also provide referrals, so make sure you contact them and ask what services they can provide. Local groups such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Child Care Centres and the Maternal and Child Health Nurse may also direct enquries to you.

Liaise with other churches in your area for ideas and support. There may be a local children's & families ministry network that you could contact. Check the Children's Ministry Network Victoria website for help with networking.

Clean and prepare the venue. Make sure the area is safe, that toilets are available, and you are aware of the duty of care for all involved. Read the Duty of Care Handbook, and follow its advice and guidelines.

Now you are ready to prepare a program of interesting activities around suitable themes.