You’ve decided to start a mom & baby group – now where to begin? A good place to start is finding a location to host your moms group play dates. There are many options such as gymnasiums, church halls, community halls, a members home, etc. but be sure to keep cost in mind. If you are trying to keep the cost as low as possible for yourself and the other members, you want to find a place that is willing to lend you the space free of charge.
Something to keep in mind is that if you are hosting an event and someone is injured, you could be liable for injuries or damages. You could register your moms group as a corporation, but I found it easier to locate an organization that is already established that is willing to sponsor the group. I contacted a community association in my city and let them know what type of group we wanted to start and asked if I could meet with them to discuss the options available to us in the community. They were kind enough to offer us the use of a city facility free of charge if members purchased a community membership. The cost for this is very low ($6 per year in my city) so it seemed like a great option. The group members then must purchase their membership from the community association and sign a waiver as they would for any other city program. As an added bonus, we were then given free advertising in the community association newsletter. This is a great way to recruit new members and also advertise that we are looking for guest speakers/demonstrations.
Another bonus of asking the city/community association to sponsor your group is that they often have access to quite a few facilities in your area: leisure facility gymnasiums, swimming pools, skating rinks, school gymnasiums, community facilities with kitchens, etc. When speaking to your community association, ask what options would be available to you and your group.
A good idea is to choose a certain day of the week and time to meet regularly. This will help the other members of your group work the play dates into their schedule. A good time to choose may be a week day morning. With selecting a morning on a week day for your moms group, you’ll have a lot of options available to you for rental space. Also, as little ones get older it’s easier to plan morning play dates so you don’t interfere with afternoon naps.
Now that you have a location you can think about how many moms & little ones you’d like to have in your group. The size of the facility will have a big part in this decision. What I found in our group is that many moms request to join the group but only about 25% attend to the play dates. You may want to establish rules that state if a member hasn’t attended a certain amount of meetings that you’ll ask if their spot can be given to another mom on the wait list. In the next section for starting up a moms group, I discuss samples of some rules you may want to put in place for your moms group. Click here for Setting Up Group Rules.
This post belongs to a series dedicated to Starting a Moms Group. If you’d like to read this series from the beginning, please click here.