Although research on community play groups is limited and assisting them, recent evidence suggests that some families may be reluctant to attend, indicating that there may be a particular need for supported play groups to support these families. Although supported play groups have been shown to provide some benefits to parents and children, particularly in terms of social support and learning, the evidence base is limited, especially with regard to how the supported playgroup contributes to early childhood development. The playgroup program supported by Family NSW has a complete and flexible delivery model that uses a holistic, family-based and force-based approach (ARTD Consultants, 2008b; FACS, 2014).
The need to minimize the burden of data collection can also be compensated with the existing data already collected by the facilitators (Dadich & Spooner, 2008). Jackson studied a sustained play group for young mothers who were only eligible for the group when they were under 25 years of age. The possibility of losing the social support that parents had found for many years in the playgroup caused distress to the parents. Based on previous experiences, they felt that they would be marginalized if they joined a conventional community game group. Jackson recommended strategies such as information sessions between the parent in transition and the facilitator, and the organization to support parents during their first visit to new groups to help with this transition. Families from various communities face many challenges in establishing themselves in new communities in external-Based or rural Australia (McDonald et al. 2014).
Research on families living in very disadvantaged areas who frequent sustained play groups differs from those who attend major services. Families in supported play groups encountered more difficulty accessing, understanding and applying information on children’s health, and children showed more about health practices (Myers et al. 2015). These results indicate that families with the greatest need for information may not access it (Myers et al., 2015), and that compatible playgroups can be a potential platform for transmitting key messages that promote results for children’s health. However, these limited results from evaluation studies suggest that sustained and intensive play groups generate positive benefits for children. Parents reported a positive change in the social skills of their children in various studies (ARTD Consultants, 2008a; ARTD Consultants, 2008b; DEECD, 2012; AIFS, 2011), evident, for example, in their increased ability to get along with other children and learn to share .
The Australian-supported gaming model has a dual objective of jointly supporting the development and well-being of children and their parents . Supported play groups target families who are often vulnerable, who face stressful living conditions as well as weak social support and economic pressures. The supported reading groups offer an option for families who may not be able to interact, feel included and benefit from community play groups led by parents (Berthelsen, Williams, Abbot, Vogel and Nicholson, 2012; Warr, Mann and Forbes, 2013; Mulcahy, Parry and Glover, 2010). Intergenerational playgroup play groups in caring for the elderly are limited and little is known about the perceptions of those who have participated in such programs. Most of the research focuses on intergenerational programs involving two generations of people: young people and the elderly or young people and people with dementia reported significant results for each group of participants. In this study, several generations participated in the intergenerational intervention of the play group which included the elderly, guardians of parent children, grandparents or babysitters and children from 0 to 4 years old.
Parents generally report on the development of new relationships and friendships between families, and they said that the supported playgroups helped them learn new things about caring for their young children (ARTD consultants, 2008a; ARTD consultants, 2008b; Berthelsen et al. 2012; Department of Early Childhood Education and Development, 2012). A 2008 evaluation of the federal government-funded Playgroup program, which followed the transition model, found that 70% of parents or guardians had switched to the community game group within 12 months of participating in a game group supported . The evaluation found that this model may have additional community benefits as it is based on the ability of local communities to “develop and maintain play groups in response to local needs” (ARTD Consultants, 2008a, p . 39). The benefits to parents attending the sustained play group were related to attendance and engagement levels.
The discovery of this study can be important in care centers for the elderly, as the PPI has the potential to provide an appropriate intergenerational program that benefits all participants and improves the dignity of the elderly and people with dementia. The strategies used by facilitators to generate parental support were based on real parent-facilitator relationships and other participants. Facilitators recognized that parents had tacit parental knowledge “which demonstrated their willingness to work alongside parents to create an environment that maximized their strength and abilities” (Jackson, 2011, p. 35). In these cases, support was found co-built between parents and facilitators rather than provided in a formal setting by experts .
Consider the supported game group as a soft entry point for other services, and look for research and evaluation studies that identify important components of compatible game groups. Some models of supported play groups aim to move families to community play groups within a specified time, generally over a period of nine to 12 months (McLean, Edwards, Colliver and Schaper, 2014; Oke, Stanley and Theobald, 2007) while others are underway, depending on the model and funding. Some supported play groups operate as mobile services to improve the service’s ability to reach families who may be marginalized from main services or enter, for example, remote communities, caravan parks and correctional facilities. Playgroup provides an ideal environment for children to develop crucial social skills from an early age.