Supporting parents’ informed early childhood education and care choices through playgroups

Tina Stratigos
Marianne Fenech
The University of Sydney

Providing information to families about quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) is important for supporting informed choices. The Australian Government has attempted to build parents’ capacity to make informed choices through the National Quality Framework and the National Quality Standard (NQS) rating system. Many families, however, have limited or no knowledge or understanding of the NQS. This study investigated the potential of playgroups as a site for raising awareness about quality ECEC and the NQS ratings among families. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six supported playgroup coordinators, and focus groups were held with families from seven playgroups. Findings suggest that playgroups could be an effective avenue for disseminating information about quality ECEC. For supported playgroups, the informal and trusted approach of the playgroup coordinator may play an important role in raising awareness about quality ECEC, and they could be better supported in this role through accurate, up-to-date information and resources that are respectful of families’ diverse backgrounds and needs.

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood—Volume 43 Number 4 December 2018.

Don’t forget, the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood is tax deductible for early childhood professionals.