1st Edition

Parents and Playgroups A Study by the Pre-school Playgroups Association

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    292 Pages
    by Routledge

    Originally published in 1981 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the birth of the Pre-school Playgroups Association, Parents and Playgroups brings together three wide-ranging reports which examine the role of the playgroup movement, its underlying philosophy and the contribution made by both playgroups and Mother and Toddler groups to the lives of thousands of mothers and children throughout Britain at the time.

    Formed following a letter to the Guardian in 1961, the PPA together with its sister organization the Scottish PPA had a membership of approaching 16,000 playgroups, serving nearly half a million children. Yet there had been very little research into the workings of the movement until 1975, when Barclays Bank funded a major research project which resulted in the three reports Parental Involvement in Playgroups, Mother and Toddler Groups and Patterns of Oversight published in this volume.

    The many questions explored and debated include:

    • How should the playgroup movement develop in the 1980s and after?

    • What do parents contribute to playgroups – and what do playgroups and Mother and Toddler groups offer in return?

    • Should Social Service Departments take over the running of playgroups and Mother and Toddler groups? Do local authorities give playgroups enough support? Or does statutory ‘oversight’ inhibit flexibility and imaginative development?

    • Are playgroups and Mother and Toddler groups too middle-class oriented – and do they work equally well in different kinds of neighbourhood?

    • How do playgroups compare with nursery schools?

    As Lady Plowden writes in her Foreword, ‘the three studies will serve as an introduction to the developed thinking of the association, and point to further areas of research. They describe something increasingly vital in our present society, which is so often rootless and purposeless, as the group studying parental involvement says "one of the greatest strengths of the playgroup movement is that overall it is a positive force in a largely negative society."’

    In the words of Max Patterson, President of the Scottish PPA: ‘This is a valuable set of studies… There is a challenge in the material to those with power to effect change. The experience and hard-earned knowledge of the Playgroups Association raises important questions for all whose interest is family and pre-school child.’

    Foreword by Lady Plowden.  Glossary.  Part 1: Parental Involvement in Playgroups  Introduction.  1. Involvement as a Common Experience of Living  2. What is Meant by Parental Involvement in Playgroups?  3. The Results of Parental Involvement in Playgroups  4. How Can Parental Involvement be Encouraged?  5. Some Hindrances to Parental Involvement in Playgroups  6. Some Questions for Further Discussion  Part 2: Mother and Toddler Groups  Introduction  1. The Mother and Toddler Club  2. The Survey  3. The Scene  4. Reflections and Conclusions  5. Recommendations  Part 3: Patterns of Oversight and Support for Playgroups  Introduction  1. New Skills for New Work: The Oversight and Support of Playgroups  2. Registration Procedures: The Practice of Registering  3. Impact of Oversight and Support as Recorded in Playgroups: Response to the Playgroup Questionnaire  4. Persons in Support of Playgroups  5. Job Descriptions  6. Grant Aid: Facts and Figures  7. The Contribution of Education Departments: Moves Towards Interdepartmental and Inter-Agency Consultation  8. Playgroups in New Towns  9. Playgroups: Self-Help Pressure or a Strategy to Meet Need?  Appendixes.


    Pre-school Playgroups Association (now Pre-school Learning Alliance trading as Early Years Alliance)