Rainbow Families is a 100% volunteer organisation, providing a network of support to children and families within the NSW LGBTIQ community. One of the ways we support the LGBTIQ community is by working with Social and Play Groups that support Rainbow Families.

Do you live in the Inner West, Eastern suburbs or the City of Sydney? Are you looking for a place to take your child for a morning activity with other Rainbow Families? Do you want to meet lesbian mothers, queer parents and gay dads with their children? The Erskineville Rainbow Families Playgroup is a friendly and relaxed playgroup for children from birth to school age.

Most of us don’t live in quarter acre blocks, so the thought of setting up art and painting in your apartment can be a headache

Erskineville Rainbow Families Playgroup

The Erskineville Rainbow Families Playgroup runs from the Joseph Sergeant Centre in Erskineville and provides parents and carers with an opportunity to meet other parents, make friends and share experiences and ideas. Children have fun, make new friends and develop through play.

The Rainbow Families Playgroup in Erskineville is one of the longest running LGBTIQ family play groups in New South Wales. In 2009, several babies and their LGBTIQ parents started meeting regularly at various cafes and playgrounds around the inner west. They met for friendship both for the children and the parents, and for their children to be around other families similar to theirs. The group’s founder, Nadine Sharpe approached Playgroups NSW about joining their organisation in order to create a more permanent space that could welcome more families. Playgroups NSW was happy to have a Rainbow Family group and the Erskineville playgroup was established and became a funded group through Playgroups NSW that serves lesbian mums, gay dads, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) families, including grandparents from around the Inner West and beyond. The group is now coordinated by Justine Harris, who also serves as a committee member for Rainbow Families.

At each Thursday morning session, children have an opportunity to play music, play with water, make artworks and explore with toys

What happens at the Erskineville Rainbow Families Playgroup?

Use of the venue is subsidised by the City of Sydney, and with both a spacious indoor (with air conditioning!) and outdoor play area, plus a basketball court, parents love the facility.“Most of us don’t live in quarter acre blocks, so the thought of setting up art and painting in your apartment can be a headache,” says a playgroup mum. “It’s great to come here and let the kids have those experiences.” “At each Thursday morning session, children have an opportunity to play music, play with water, make artworks and explore with toys”. The children all sit together for a shared morning tea which is an opportunity to socialise and learn food etiquette from each other. Currently there are also a number of parents with little babies attending, providing a friendly environment for LGBTIQ parents to chat, swap information, swap baby clothes and get support for being a new rainbow family.

Although many of the play group's attendees families are local and come from Newtown, Alexandria, Marrickville, Redfern, Dulwich Hill, Leichhardt and other Inner West suburbs, some come from as far away as Darlinghurst, Surry Hills, Potts Point Paddington in theEastern suburbs and Wollongong, Strathfield and Camden to interact with other lesbian mothers, gay dads and other Rainbow families. Friendships made at playgroup have continued outside of the group, for both the lesbian mum and gay dad parents and the children. Many friendships continue once the children leave to attend school. The group is 100% volunteer, is run by the same sex parents and is part of the playgroup network of Playgroup NSW, which is very supportive of the group.

Playgroup attendance evolves over time, kids go off to school and new babies arrive. All playgroups depend on new memberships and families getting involved help them grow and keep them running! We would love new members to come and be part of our group!

For more information on the Erskineville playgroup you can ring Justine (see below), or just turn up on the day - you are welcome to try two sessions before deciding to join Playgroups NSW. Our weekly session fees are $3 and a piece of fruit to share for morning tea. Once you have paid your annual Playgroups NSW membership fee ($39 – which cover insurances etc), you can attend any number of Playgroups NSW playgroups through the week; local session fees still need to be paid however.

Where: Joseph Sargeant Community Centre, 60 Prospect St Erskineville

When: Thursdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm

Contact: Justine Harris on 0477 677 643 or email

We hope to see you and your Rainbow Family at an event in the future.

To stay informed about upcoming events, connect with us by subscribing to Rainbow Families newsletter at the bottom of this page.