School Playgroups: which features of provision matter?
April 7, 2022 - April 7, 2022
School playgroups are an innovative approach to early childhood education and care, in which children, families and school-staff participate in shared opportunities for play and socialisation.
Research shows that playgroup participation benefits children and families in terms of increased school readiness for children (Sincovich, et al., 2020) and in terms of increased opportunities for social connections for adults (Keam, et al., 2018).
However, little research concerning the provision of school playgroups exists, particularly concerning the relationships between families and school-staff informing best practice.
This webinar reports on findings from an Australian Research Council Linkage Project, featuring Playgroup Victoria as the Industry Partner. Using a combination of social capital theory (Gittell & Videl, 1998) and the capabilities approach (Sen, 2010), this project theorised relationships between families and school staff in terms of bonding and bridging relationships, with bonding relationship reflecting those between families and children, and bridging relationships those between families and school staff.
Positioning these relationships as resources for the expansion of capabilities this project sought to identify the range of features evident in school playgroups with strong bonding and bridging relationships.
The participating school playgroups included rural, regional and metropolitan settings, and families living in communities ranging from the lowest to highest decile on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD).