Children and families

Helping young children to learn is critical to success at school and beyond. Through our programs we encourage and support the crucial role parents play in giving their children the best start in life.

Supported playgroups

Playgroups at the Brotherhood are safe and stimulating environments for children, helping them to develop physically, mentally and socially. They also give parents a welcoming space to share advice and concerns and build their social connections.

Our staff who support each playgroup are fully qualified and our programs are underpinned by the Australian and Victorian Early Years Learning Frameworks.

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(03) 9426 1500
Community Playgroup helps families from diverse cultural backgrounds, with children aged five years and under, to meet and develop connections in their local community of Fitzroy. 
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(03) 9426 1500
The Parents Learning Together playgroup gives parents and children aged three to five years from diverse cultural backgrounds opportunities to enjoy early learning activities together.
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(03) 9426 1500
Parents and their children aged two years and under are welcome at this weekly playgroup that encourages a love of books and reading.
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(03) 9426 1500
In this playgroup just for fathers – or uncles and grandfathers – and their children aged between one and seven years, dads take part in fun learning activities with their children and meet other dads.
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Support for parents and families

Our programs focus on connecting parents with other parents and becoming involved in their child's education and school. We also assist parents to gain access to the services they need.

The Brotherhood’s Parenting Programs develop parents' knowledge, skills and confidence, to help them understand and manage their children's emotions.

View programs

(03) 9543 1324
The Breakfast Club welcomes children and parents for the most important meal of the day every weekday before school, laying the foundations for better concentration and participation in class.
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(03) 9445 2400
Our two-year early-learning program works with families with young children in disadvantaged communities across Australia by helping parents to be their children's first teacher.
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(03) 9543 1324
Parent School Connect involves parents from diverse cultural backgrounds in their children’s learning at school, and encourages shared responsibility for education among parents and teachers.
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(03) 9543 1324
In this program parents learn new ways to parent, in particular how to recognise, understand and respond to their children’s emotions.
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» Visit our Refugee, Immigration and Multiculturalism section for programs assisting refugee, asylum seeker and newly arrived children and families.

We are committed, through our integrated service centres, to helping local communities dealing with poverty and disadvantage to succeed and prosper. In particular we are focused on strengthening areas on the outskirts of Melbourne and country towns where the lack of jobs and services holds back individuals, families and communities.

View our list of Services and community hubs »

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse. Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Brotherhood Books
Brotherhood of St Laurence Communtiy Stores
Hippy Australia
Given the Chance

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.