Home Based Program Option: Playgroup Socializations

The FCR- Early Head Stat Home Based option is for children under three and their parents, and also for pregnant moms.

In addition to home visits, Home Based organizes group socializations. Currently, we are meeting every week in an outdoor site in the community.

At every home based playgroup socialization, children bring at least one their parents to the sessions!!

Both children and parents find a welcoming environment to interact and learn. The families’ home visitor are present and the children recognize their home visitor friendly, familiar face in the group.

No matter if the group socialization happens indoors or out in a park, garden or farm, the children are given the same opportunities to interact with their parents, their home visitors and with other people in a social setting.

Developmentally, children under three tend to explore, play on their own or interact with their primary caregiver rather than playing with other children, unless they are very familiar with them. At playgroups, parents come to understand that this behavior is natural and that group gatherings offer multiple benefits for their children and also for them as parents.

The playgroup environment is prepared so that the children can move around, explore and find interesting activities to do. But very importantly, it’s also prepared so that the parents have opportunities to play with their children, strengthening the attachment between them.

At every playgroup, there is a group activity (“circle time”) for children and their parents that may involve singing songs, reading a book or playing a simple game. During this activity, the children are near their parents or sitting on their laps. Parents are proud when their children are able to focus on the group activity and participate in their own way according to their age and interests.

Parents beam when their children are able to follow a story or participate in finger plays, or when they achieve a skill; or when eventually, they are able to separate from them, explore the room and even begin to make short interactions with other children.

Parents understand that it’s natural to feel proud of every little achievement made by their children, that these small steps forward are something to be celebrated every time!!

At group socializations, parents also get to network and exchange knowledge and ideas. A topic is selected for discussion at group time; often this topic focuses on child development but other times, we discuss for example, opportunities available for the families in the community.

In short, our playgroups create community and provide a safe and welcoming environment for all to enjoy.

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