Supported playgroups for children from birth to five years
Title: Supported playgroups for children from birth to five years
Author: Parenting Research Centre
Commissioned by: The Benevolent Society
Published: March 2016
This Evidence Brief looked at two systematic reviews and three single studies to summarise the current state of knowledge about the impact of supported playgroups for children from birth to five years. Overall, it found the quality of research in this area was quite low, focusing on outcomes such as feasibility, acceptability and satisfaction rather than outcomes for children. More high-quality research and a consistent definition of supported playgroups is needed.
- There is only limited high-quality evidence to suggest that supported playgroups improve child outcomes. Very few studies examine effects such as child physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, and the quality of this research is low.
- Supported playgroups with the strongest evidence are those that included specific interventions, e.g. to increase physical activity, or to increase learning and cognitive development.