Dad and child painting

Parenting Support

Play Matters > Parenting Support

Play Matters Australia knows how important support for parents and carers with children aged 0-5 years is. We offer a range of support programs and services for families across Australia.

Child on swing

Parenting Support

Parents and caregivers are a child’s first teacher, responsible for shaping early life experiences that set the foundation for lifelong health, wellbeing, and learning.

Play Matters embeds this ethos in all of our programs, focusing on building parental capacity and confidence as well as improving the quality of parent-child interactions. We tailor our parenting support programs to meet the needs of communities and partner with organisations and other experts to deliver high-quality offerings.

Dad and little girl painting

Outcomes for families

When it comes to parenting support Play Matters strives to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Improve child development
  • Increase parent/carer awareness of, and engagement with, their child/ren’s development
  • Increase connection and access to the right services at the right time for parents/carers and their children
  • Increase parent/carer skills, knowledge, and confidence
  • Increase peer interaction and support
Mother and two children reading

What we offer

Play Matters creates tools to support parents and carers to connect with their children and services in their communities.

These tools come in the form of

  • programs that are targeted and intensive for families experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage, including working with isolated, regional, and remote communities
  • access to online and print resources created by early childhood experts such as tip sheets, play activities, resource kits, video content, and blogs
  • an extensive digital platform and offering
  • current research findings on early years’ learning and related topics.

Find a Play Matters experience near you


Play Matters Australia supports many playgroups some of which are facilitated by volunteers, others are facilitated by trained early childhood staff. We have specific ‘baby playgroups’ aimed at babies from 0-12 months. Other playgroups are for children from 0-5 years.

All playgroups aim to support parents, as we know that parents are critical to child development and parents are their child’s ‘first teacher’. Parenting is often challenging. At Play Matters Australia, we are here to walk alongside parents on their parenting journey.

We support parents by

  • helping them to build connections with other parents in a relaxed environment
  • helping them to feel confident in their parenting
  • providing advice and referrals where more support is required

MyTime Groups

MyTime groups are for parents and carers of children aged under 18 years who need a higher level of care than other children. This may be because of disability, developmental delay, or chronic medical conditions.

MyTime is a place you can connect with others who are raising children with additional needs. It can be a great opportunity to find out about new services and supports, and talk to other parents about their experiences with services, therapies, and medications. MyTime is an opportunity to take care of you, with guest speakers, fun activities, and morning tea provided.

Children under school age are welcome to attend and will be cared for by a play helper.

Dad and child with spaghetti

Do you need support?

Participating in a playgroup is one way you can be linked to additional community support. You can find a Play Matters experience near you here. If you'd like to speak to a member of our support team call  1800 00 PLAY or use the chatbot on our website.

If you need some additional support with parenting, consider calling

Parentline - Confidential counselling and parenting support over the phone, 1300 30 1300 or online. Support is available 8am-10pm.

PANDA - Confidential support for post-natal depression or anxiety. Many parents, both mums and dads, experience depression or anxiety associated with pregnancy and new babies, so don’t hesitate to seek support. Call 1300 726 306.

Parents at playgroup

Championing and supporting

Founded in 1973, Play Matters Australia supports children and families to build relationships, skills, and confidence through play. We are a national organisation with staff in every state and territory in Australia. Click below to learn more about us.

“Play is the beginning of knowledge.”

George Dorsey