Smoothing the way: Investigating the role of a supported playgroup located at a school

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Australasian Journal of Early Childhood


SAGE Publications


School of Education




Knaus, M., Warren, J., & Blaxell, R. (2016). Smoothing the way: Investigating the role of a supported playgroup located at a school. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 41(2), 59-68. Available here


The transition to kindergarten is a period of change that can be challenging for many children and their families. While there is wide recognition for the need to support children before and during periods of transition, there is little research on the role of how supported playgroups assist children and families. This research tracked a cohort of children who attended a supported playgroup located on school grounds and their transition to kindergarten the following year. The study was conducted at a metropolitan school in a low socioeconomic suburb of Perth, Western Australia and included data from the children, families and school staff. The social and emotional development and learning dispositions of the kindergarten class were observed in the early weeks of the new school year. Interviews with the families and school staff examined perspectives on how the children transitioned into kindergarten. The supported playgroup and the relationships formed between all stakeholders were instrumental in the smooth transition to the kindergarten program.

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