Relationships matter: The social and economic benefits of community playgroups

McShane, I, Cook, K, Sinclair, S, Keam, G and Fry, J 2016, Relationships matter: The social and economic benefits of community playgroups, Centre for Urban Research, Melbourne, Australia


Document type: Commissioned Reports
Collection: Commissioned Reports

Title of report Relationships matter: The social and economic benefits of community playgroups
Author(s) McShane, I
Cook, K
Sinclair, S
Keam, G
Fry, J
Year of publication 2016
Publisher Centre for Urban Research
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Subjects Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
Family and Household Studies
Applied Economics not elsewhere classified
Abstract/Summary This report is the major outcome of a research project that sought to analyse the social and economic value of playgroups. Drawing on qualitative and quantitative data, detailed in the report, the research contributes to knowledge and advocacy gaps by critically appraising: • the contribution of playgroups to the landscape of social care • their adaptive response to changing social and economic trends • their role in developing social capital and acting as a catalyst for parents and carers to engage with other social settings, and • their contribution to the informal or nonmarket economy. To achieve these aims, the report conceptualises playgroups as a form of community capacity building. The concept of community capacity describes the range of personal, social and organizational resources available to playgroup members. These resources are enhanced and developed as a result of playgroup participation, and in turn build the capacity of the wider community. The report adapts Chaskin's (2001) model of community capacity to the playgroup environment to structure our literature review and findings. This report draws on LSAC's data to show that playgroup participation is an important predictor of social trust.
Commissioning body Playgroup Australia
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