Two of the Yass Valley’s Playgroups have returned this school term for the first time since their shutdown due to Covid-19 in early 2020.

Yass Community Playgroup at Berinba Public School finished with a lively storytime and songs thanks to Louise Walsh. The Yass Valley Times also wishes Louise all the best as she hands over the reins to Jess Fields

Yass Community Playgroup at Berinba Public School on Tuesdays – Scarlett Smith enjoyed the creative craft

Family Community Liaison and Playgroup Coordinator at Berinba Public School, Jess Fields, was thrilled with their Yass Community Playgroup’s return.

“It was exciting just to have this space available and to have families come and enjoy the space and the equipment we have,” she said.

The playgroup will be restricted somewhat due to covid protocols. Still, Jess says restrictions are unlikely to impact the playgroup too significantly.

“We can go to around 25 kids.”

“We’re quite happy with what we can fit in,” she said.

There are various activities for the children to enjoy, with one activity being particularly popular with the kids on the day.

“Every week, we have some craft, play dough, puzzles, something sensory or some jumping and running activity.”

“The mop and broom this week was the new favourite activity,” she said.

Local Mother Casey Smith was glad to reconnect with the other parents.

She encouraged all parents and children to get involved with the playgroup, which meets at Berinba Public School’s hall on Tuesdays from 9-11 am.

“I really enjoy seeing the other mums, dads and the teachers.”

“Don’t feel like that if you come with messy hair or anything like that, you will be judged.”

“Just come and see what it’s all about,” she said.

Uniting Church playgroup coordinators Helen Poulton and Suzie Graham run a relaxed, friendly and busy playgroup for newborns & up

The Uniting Church Playgroup held on Friday mornings has also returned. Volunteer organiser Helen Poulton had similar advice for those that might be interested, and in particular for fathers.

“For the last few years, we’ve had dad’s here, and it’s wonderful that they feel comfortable.”

“Come along, you’re most welcome, there’s a lot of things to do, and everyone is very friendly,” she said.

Fellow Uniting Church playgroup volunteer Suzie Graham spoke to the social benefits for the children and parents involved.

“I think the social aspect is good for the children to get in and see.”

“The parents get to interact as well, compare notes, chat and get some positive feedback.”

Suzie, like Helen, has been involved with the playgroup since it began five years ago and said her reason for continued involvement is the enjoyment the children and parents provide her.

“I very much feel that’s what God’s calling was; he was really pushing that we needed to do this for the community.”

“I haven’t got my grandchildren around all the time so that I can keep in touch with the little ones,” she said.

During school term- The Berinba Public School Hall playgroup runs on Tuesday from 9:00-11:00am, whilst the Uniting Church playgroup runs on Friday from 9:30-11:30am at the Uniting Church hall opposite Yass Hospital. A donation per family of $5 or less is requested. There is one more playgroup for the Berinba location while both will be back after the upcoming school holidays.

Max O’Driscoll

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