New Supported Playgroup for Hindmarsh Shire

Published on 01 May 2023


After a 12-month hiatus, Hindmarsh Shire Council is relaunching its Supported Playgroup program, re-establishing the weekly session in Jeparit where it has benefited families for several years (prior to a break in 2022), while looking to establish a new Supported Playgroup in Dimboola.

An initiative of the Victorian Government delivered by local Council’s, the Supported Playgroup program seeks to engage families with children from birth through to school age. Hindmarsh Shire Supported Playgroups will be hosted by Ellen Wheaton, who recently joined Council to deliver the program. Ellen has extensive experience in Allied Health and a passion for assisting Hindmarsh families, aiming to improve learning and development outcomes for local children, and provide support for parents.

The Supported Playgroups include time for play, parent / child interaction, music, and morning tea – all in a fun, informal environment! Attendees will also learn about the smalltalk program, which aims to increase parent’s confidence to do the things that have an impact on their child’s learning. Smalltalk is about using everyday opportunities and activities that parents already do in the home to engage and enhance their child’s learning and development.

There is no cost for eligible families to participate in the Supported Playgroup program. Eligible families include those with a health care card; who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander; care for children in out of home care; and those referred by Child FIRST or Maternal Child Health Services. Each session is managed by the Group Facilitator, leaving parents and children to simply participate and enjoy the experience.

For those who aren’t quite ready to venture out to a Supported Playgroup session, there is also the opportunity for home visits by Ellen to learn more about the smalltalk program as well.

If you’d like more information, please contact Ellen Wheaton, Supported Playgroup Facilitator, on 03 5391 4444 or email

Greg Wood
Chief Executive Officer