After three years of change due to the pandemic, playgroups are focusing on the importance of community connections.
National Playgroup Week, which starts on March 20, will provide an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate diverse playgroups and the benefits of play.
This year's theme is connection, learning and play.
Playgroup Victoria chief executive officer Danny Schwarz said National Playgroup Week 2023 was particularly special because it was mostly back to normal with how people were catching up since the pandemic.
He said the focus was on community playgroups which are parent-led and parent-run.
"It's about being present and playing together, and just about being in the moment, which is really important from our perspective," Mr Schwarz said.
"National Playgroup Week is about highlighting what playgroup is all about and particularly given both the state and federal governments are focused on all things early childhood, we're really excited about the opportunities that playgroup is an essential part of the early childhood journey.
"We want to encourage parents to get involved with playgroups because now we know there is a lot of research that talks about the positive things that happen for children when they are at playgroup in terms of their development."
During the week of fun activities, people will be able to vote for their playgroup champion.
"We want to really recognise that playgroups happen because people spend their own time and effort doing what they do to make playgroups work," Mr Schwarz said.
"We thought it would be a really awesome opportunity during National Playgroup Week to highlight some of those amazing people."
Playgroup Victoria is hosting a children's gardening workshops in Ballarat during the week.
The Little Sprouts Kids Gardening Workshop will be held on March 24 between 11.30am and 12.30am, and 1.30pm to 2.30pm, at Barkly Square, 25 Barkly Street, East Ballarat.
Another free event will be held at Creswick Neighbourhood Centre hall on March 23 from 10am to noon. The free event is for children under five, their families and friends to celebrate all children, the benefits of being in a playgroup and joining a playgroup.
It will include the Creswick Playgroup, Ballarat Toy Library, puppet show and Central Highlands Rural Health. To nominate a playgroup champion, visit playgroup.org.au/nationalplaygroupweek.
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