What I love about it is that it is very family like. There is a good mix of regulars and a 'rotating cast' of visitors. When I was home on maternity leave I went there nearly every day. There are other groups closer to my home, but they have policies that limit the number of visitors per week and they were also not quite as awesome as this one. When we started going to playgroups my son was very shy and he would cling to me the entire time, but he felt totally at ease the very first time we went to this one.
This group is a little more low-key than some of the more rambunctious playgroups I've been to. There is a set schedule which generally goes; free play - snack time (healthy snack provided!!! total bonus) - independent book time - circle time - free play/music - lunch (bring your own) - free play/music. About twice a week independent book time is replaced by Gym Day and everyone goes into the gym for running games, ball play, parachute time and other games.
While I was taking my son there, I had the opportunity to observe a couple of home daycare providers care for the children in their charge and to build a rapport with them. I was planning on going back to work and had a lot of anxiety about the large daycare centre we had gotten into using the City's child car waiting list. Thankfully, the woman whom I felt was the best fit with my son, and whose kids already were friends with my son, was able to become his daycare provider.
Even though I'm back at work, my son still goes to this playgroup a couple of times a week and he tells me about his friends that he made back when I used to go with him and also about the new friends he's making along the way. Sometimes when I'm sitting at my desk I wish I could be back there hanging out with him and that group of parents. It's such a comfortable and welcoming environment.
Tiana is the mother of a very vocal 22 month old Bobby Hurricane. She also blogs at Sassy Red Head.