In Amelia Weir's own words, playgroup is a place for community.
The Kardinia Playgroups co-ordinator was named "playgroup champion" following a statewide vote held during National Playgroup Week in March.
Ms Weir voluntarily runs three out of seven playgroup sessions each week at the Sebastopol playgroup. She is passionate about education and music.
"For me, a playgroup is a place for community. It's a chance to connect with other parents and give them encouragement and also to educate about children's development," Ms Weir said.
She launched the playgroup in Ballarat after she went to Geelong's Kardinia Playgroups while pregnant with her first child.
Ms Weir undertook training with Larissa Taylor, who wrote the programs, before starting the playgroup in Sebastopol.
"We run from the church but we are not a church playgroup. We have people from across Ballarat who come along," she said.
Playgroup Victoria chief executive officer Danny Schwarz presented Ms Weir with a prize and certificate on Thursday. The school teacher said she was humbled to be named playgroup champion.
"It's not about me. We have an incredible team of over 20 volunteers and parents," Ms Weir said.
"We do it together. It's a place where everyone can come. It's an awareness to reflect the culture we have as a team."
IN THE NEWS:
Kardinia Playgroups in Sebastopol holds a community event every term, which attracts 80 to 200 people. Each event has a theme and features a musical show, crafts, jumping castle and lots of activities.
The community event will be held next week, Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 11am, with a pirate theme.
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