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Pre-school/playgroup Support Groups


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About 4 years ago the pre-schools in Stockport had become very disillusioned with the service provided by the Pre-school Learning Alliance. Two colleagues decided to set up a local support group called Stockport Pre-school Providers and I joined them at the outset and became the treasurer. We charge £25 membership fees. We send out a newsletter every half term with upto date info for groups, book reviews etc. and meet every half term also. We have been given a networking grant by Stockport EYDCP to enable us to hire venues for meetings and to publish the newsletter. We also buy equipment, such as story sacks and larger items that take up a lot of room, and loan them out to groups for a half term.

I am doing some research for Playgroup Network trying to find out if there are other groups like this around the country. I would be grateful if you could let me know if you belong to such a group and what sort of service they provide.

Many thanks

Linda

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Linda, dont know if we would be eligible but would be interested. We are attatched to a school. Would the network be for all groups? I think it sounds a great idea. :o Chris

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  • 4 weeks later...

Firstly, I must apologise for neglecting this topic! I wanted to wait until I had been to a Playgroup Network meeting this weekend before I posted again-I should have explained this. Sorry!!!

There is a web site with a lot of this information on but sadly it is a little out of date so I will let you have the info here. (I'm hoping to take on the web site in the near future!)

Playgroup Network set up about 10 years ago, again because playgroups in the Newcastle area were disillusioned with the then PLA. National Playgroup Network provides an umbrella organisation for autonomous local organisations, such as ours in Stockport. There are 15 such groups around the country as follows:

Bexhill and Battle

Bradford, Yorkshire

Cleveland

Derwentside

Hampshire

Hastings

Newcastle

Norfolk

Richmond

Stockport

Sunderland

Tower Hamlets

Wandsworth

Wessex

West Sussex

As you can see we are widely scattered around the country. Each local association has a representative to sit on the main committee. We meet once a term to discuss developments around the country and what is happening in particular to pre-schools/playgroups. We are funded by the DFES and the money is spent on such things as developing a QA scheme, training, publications, such as registers and accident books, and a newsletter each term and much more.

We are all volunteers which is the major difference between us and PSLA. We do not get paid, in fact there are no paid staff at all on Playgroup Network. We are paid our expenses to attend meetings, hotel accommodation and travel costs. We meet in Peterborough because it is inconvenient for all of us!!!!!!! Which makes it fair! That way the vast majority of the money both from government and membership charges goes into the group to fund the work we do.

You have to be a member of a local association to join Playgroup Network, and I suppose if you didn't have one local to you you could join your nearest. But that would make it a little difficult when it came to attending meetings. Stockport Pre-school Providers charges a £25 membership fee and the Playgroup Network membership is paid out of this.

We are hoping that more groups will be set up in other areas of the country and join us. If you would like any more information about Playgroup Network, on how to set up a group or who your nearest group contact is either e-mail me and I will send you the information you need or contact directly in the following ways:

PLAYGROUP NETWORK

PO BOX 401

MIDDLESBROUGH

TS7 0XT

TEL:0191 230 5520

E-MAIL: playgroupnetwork@playgroupfsnet.co.uk

WEB SITE: www.playgroup-network.org.uk

 

I hope this is of use to some settings who are perhaps looking for some support.

Linda

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