KU Newcastle Supported Playgroups - Maryland Public School

Maryland Public School, 51 John T Bell Drive
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  • Monday 9:00am - 11:00am
Babies Toddlers Preschoolers

Our Program and Approach

A supported playgroup is a family program that aims to empower and support families who may experience vulnerabilities or isolation whilst caring for their young children. The program is run weekly in two hour sessions by KU's qualified early childhood educators and with regular engagement of various health therapists.

Our program is designed to enhance the development and wellbeing of your child and to prepare them for their next educational setting. During your enrolment in our program, we will provide you with a range of resources regarding your child’s developmental milestones and help you to build nurturing play interactions with your child. Should you need a referral to local health and community services, we would be happy to support you in this process.

Supported playgroup provides you and your child with opportunities to:

  • Spend quality learning time together
  • Enjoy our play-based activities and our educational equipment
  • Discover your child’s interests and strengths
  • Share your ideas with other families
  • Learn about community services for families
  • Receive referrals to other professionals
  • Get additional individual support when needed
  • Engage in excursions to parks or public areas
  • Have lots of fun

Our Quality

We are proud of the high quality early learning sessions we offer, however what matters most is what our families think....

"KU Early Educators are always providing activities and resources to allow the children to learn through play." - KU Newcastle Supported Playgroup parent

"This playgroup, with the support from the educators, has allowed myself to gain confidence and be the best parent I can for my child." - KU Newcastle Supported Playgroup parent

Your Feedback

Your feedback and satisfaction are of utmost importance to us. Please inform us if you have any suggestions, concerns or compliments.

Our Supported Playgroups Program is proudly funded by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice.

Other Features

Hat and Sunscreen
Transition to School
Public Transport
Play-based Learning
University Qualified Educators
Experienced Staff

photo of Katharine Staunton

Katharine Staunton


Katharine (Kat) is a university qualified early childhood teacher with almost 25 years’ experience working in the early childhood sector, over 10 years' teaching experience, and has worked for KU for over 15 years. She has been the Coordinator of KU Newcastle Supported Playgroups since 2021, previously working at a range of services within KU.

Kat is a Marte Meo Practitioner and trained in The Circle of Security Program. Both these programs have strongly informed Kat in her practice in supporting children and their families’ social and emotional wellbeing and underpins her practice when working with children and their families. Kat believes in providing a safe and supported environment where children and families can connect and form positive relationships.

Educators at KU Newcastle Supported Playgroups are skilled, qualified and experienced in delivering a high quality program for you and your family needs. We are seen as partners, nurturers and guides in the foundational stages of the early years.

We believe in celebrating children’s play, discoveries and learning, and will do so through reflection, meaningful documentation and professional development.

The staff recognise and value families and children as individuals, and as members within the community – all which bring diverse life experience.

Parents and Families are valued for their bonds, traditions, their commitment to work, home, community and their dreams for their children:

  • Parents are viewed as partners, collaborators and advocates for their children
  • We support and welcome parents interests and involvement in the playgroup sessions
  • We value and support families in their decisions for their children

We believe a team approach in our care giving and play-based learning, promotes the best outcomes for families and their children with open communication.

Our team of early childhood educators are qualified, experienced, caring and highly motivated. All hold specialist qualifications in early childhood education. We believe that the positive interactions children have with our staff are the most important component of our high quality program.