A best practice framework for playgroups-in-schools Research

A best practice framework for playgroups-in-schools is a 3-year project funded by the Australian Research Council (Linkage) and Playgroup Victoria (Partner Organisation). The project will run from December 2017 to December 2020, and will generate a Best Practice Framework to inform the provision of playgroups-in-schools as an innovative form of early childhood integrated service delivery.

Together we have completed Four Projects examining:

In the last five years we have collaborated with Playgroup Victoria to break new ground in understanding the nature of playgroups, and in particular, playgroups-in-schools.

1. Parental capabilities about play following playgroup participation
2. Parent and school-staff perspectives on playgroups-in-schools
3. Parental and school-staff relationships in playgroups-in-schools
4. The role of social media in facilitating playgroup relationships

From this body of research, we know that relationships are core to enhancing parental capabilities about play that promote children’s access to quality play-experiences at home and in the community.

We also know that playgroups-in-schools are a rich site for cultivating these capabilities. Victoria has 411 playgroups-in-schools and these groups currently operate without formalised guidance on best practice based on empirical research. The project outcome directly informs policy and practice in schools via Playgroup Victoria’s increased capacity to advise school-leaders on playgroups-in-schools that most effectively enable parental capabilities about play. Enhanced parental capabilities about play impact children’s long-term outcomes with social and economic benefits for Australia.