Coordinators - Top 20 Tips!
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Attention Coordinators! We’ve put together our top 20 tips to assist you with providing a welcoming, interactive, social and fun place for families. These tips will also make your role easier. We’d love to hear your best Coordinator tips too! Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This role doesn’t need to be formal or exhaustive. Don’t forget to have fun with the families.
Help with the play
Take the time to join in with these weekly activities and encourage others to join in too. Consider the safety and supervision, but allow children the freedom to play, imagine and create.
Create a fun environment
This helps set the tone and keeps a positive, welcoming vibe at playgroup.
Meet, greet and farewell families
Ensure you make time to welcome families and talk to them about what happens at your Playgroup. Also introduce new families to regulars. You may like to sing a goodbye song at the end of each session. Finish the session with ‘See you next week!’.
Meet the needs of families
Plan activities and play spaces to suit the ages of children attending your Playgroup. Also consider the time of your session and the length of your sessions. Ask families what suits them.
Being well organised will help ensure your Playgroup runs smoothly. You can use the Playgroup SA Term Planner to assist with your planning.
Encourage family involvement
Encourage families to assist at the Playgroup. This is a great way to get to know each other and share the workload. Families, parents and carers may like to help by preparing fruit, assisting with craft activities and with set up and clean up. Playgroup really is a group effort!
Even if you don’t like speaking to large groups, it’s important to address the Playgroup families and tell them what’s happening at Playgroup today and any upcoming events.
Keep it simple
Don’t overcomplicate the sessions. There is no pressure to change things all the time. Children love playing with all kinds of toys and activities and will not mind doing the same thing twice. It gives them a chance to practice their skills with that particular activity.
Keep the communication lines open with families. This is extremely important for the success of your Playgroup.
Have a flexible routine
Routines are important for children and families as they ensure that maximum benefits of Playgroup are achieved. Families may feel more comfortable with the predictability of routines and they can be vital for Playgroup success. However, the routine is not set in stone and should be flexible to follow the children’s interests.
Allow time for creative free play
Children need time to enjoy and learn through playing without feeling rushed. Give children enough notice when free play time is coming to an end so they can finish their masterpieces and games before pack up time.
Organise events and outings
You may like to have your own ‘special event playgroup sessions’ to celebrate Easter, Book Week and Christmas. Have a visit from the local fire brigade or hold a Playgroup session in a local park.
Set up a welcome space
Having a dedicated welcome space is a great way to keep everyone informed of what is happening at your Playgroup with term activities and upcoming events. The space Coordinators: Top 20 Tips! Issue One, March 2016 9 can include things like an attendance record, notices, events, name badges, fruit bowl and money tin.
Display the Playgroup Charter
- Welcoming and Friendly
- A Safe Place
- Co-operative and Caring
- A Team Effort
- Supportive and Respectful
Respect families as the first educators
Coordinators can provide many opportunities to learn through play, but keep in mind that every family is different and this need to be acknowledged.
Promote your Playgroup
If you have space available for more families to attend, then promote your Playgroup by putting posters up in nearby businesses, the library, the church and community groups. You can use the local paper, create a Facebook Page and affiliate with Playgroup SA to assist in promotion.
Keep information safe
Keep Playgroup documents, financial records and other information up-to-date and store them securely for easy access.
Attend a Playgroup SA Coordinators Workshop
This is a great way to find out all the information you need to assist in your role, as well as the opportunity to share ideas and network with other Coordinators.
This can be done briefly at the end of each session to encourage continued help and support.
This article was originally published in State of Play, Issue One, March 2016