Supported playgroups in schools: What matters for caregivers and their children?

Karen McLean*, Susan Edwards, Yeshe Colliver, Clare Schaper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


SUPPORTED PLAYGROUPS IN SCHOOLS (SPinS) are playgroups co-located with primary schools that are hosted by a playgroup coordinator. For schools, SPinS are associated with making primary school venues more accessible to the local community. While research shows that caregivers do value supported playgroups, little research has investigated which elements of playgroups contribute to this assessment. This paper reports on research examining caregiver descriptions of significant elements of SPinS for caregivers and their families. Drawing on ecological systems theory, the paper defnes SPinS as a ‘setting’ associated with the microsystem of caregiver development. Three main elements of the microsystem were identified as being significant. These were the elements of location, provision of activities, and the role of SPinS in enabling caregiver understanding about children’s learning and development. The findings indicated that caregivers attending SPinS valued the social connections with schools that are associated with belonging to the school community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Journal of Early Childhood
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


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