The team of volunteers behind Woodend Playgroup has been honoured in the Playgroup Victoria 2017 awards.

Early Childhood Education Minister Jenny Mikakos presented the group with the Minister’s Award for Innovation and Excellence at a ceremony last month.

Woodend Playgroup president Kim Turner said her team didn’t expect to receive an award, only attending the ceremony to meet other committees and find out about their work.

“We couldn’t have been more surprised and delighted to receive such an honour,” Ms Turner said.

Woodend Playgroup was commended for its commitment to helping families connect with one another and the environment.

Playgroup Victoria chief executive Danny Schwarz described Woodend Playgroup as “a bustling, vibrant and eco-friendly centre”.

Woodend Playgroup aims to foster a strong sense of community through its links to organisations such as the Woodend library.

Each week, the playgroup hosts a two-hour open session to allow members to meet other families and groups.

Children and parents are encouraged to get into nature on Saturdays through pram-friendly bush walks.

Interested families with children aged 0-5 can contact the playgroup on 0467 093 878 or woodendplaygroup@gmail.com