New playgroup a hit with locals

Families with young children now have a new and exciting place to learn and have fun, with the Highway Church creating the Highway Community Playgroup.

The newly established playgroup, which is affiliated with Playgroup SA, officially opened at the church early last month, with a number of parents and caregivers bringing their young ones.

Jenni Altus, who was among those to help get the playgroup running, said the motivation to create the group came from interacting with mums who were often without family close by and were looking for support networks.

"The more and more I interacted with mums and caregivers, the more I found that there are a lot of people who needed non-judgmental connection," she said.

"I spoke to pastor Janine and Matt to see whether they were keen to host something like this, and they were 100 per cent behind the idea - they saw it as another way to bless the community."

The mixture of experienced parents and new parents provides the perfect opportunity to share advice and offer valuable support.

A teacher by trade, Mrs Altus said being able to help people who were raising kids through the use of play and education was important.

If the first session is any indication, the playgroup is set to become a popular location for parents, caregivers and children.

Mrs Altus praised the "beautiful team" at the church who helped bring the idea to life.

"We have a beautiful team here who are supportive and have jumped on board, they are fantastic," she said.

The teamwork has resulted in an exciting space for families, and while it is in its early stages, there are already plans for the near future.

Mrs Altus said she had a desire to incorporate more education into the program, including visits from local services such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists or health nurses.

While playgroups are nothing new, the church hopes their program is something "a little different".

"I hope that this is something else within the community that is just a little bit different and fills a need," Mrs Altus said.

Sessions currently take place once a fortnight - during odd-numbered school weeks - and parents are highly encouraged, for insurance purposes, to become Playgroup SA members after the first two or three sessions.