Supported and community playgroup program logics
Two program logics have been developed, one for community playgroups and one for supported playgroups. Although there is commonality in many of the core inputs, activities and outcomes, the two program logics have been developed to reflect the different inputs and the slightly different goals of each.
For a detailed description of a program logic and how to develop one, see How to develop a program logic for planning and evaluation, designed as part of the Expert Panel project.
A program logic is a living document. These program logics have been designed to be broad so that they demonstrate the logic behind playgroups generally, and are intended to be adapted by playgroup providers to reflect the specific aims and objectives of individual playgroups (e.g., if a playgroup has a specific objective to improve school readiness, this should be included in the outcomes, and the activities that contribute to this should also be added). Once developed, a program logic should be monitored and reassessed as part of your playgroup operations. You may need to update or adapt the program logic to reflect changes in your playgroup, or make changes to the program as you identify a missing step in the program logic.
These program logics are based on the available research evidence and input from sector professionals (e.g., playgroup practitioners, funders, researchers) of what core outcomes are likely to achieved if a good quality playgroup is delivered as intended. It is important to note that the long-term outcomes cannot be achieved through playgroups alone. Although playgroups can contribute to these outcomes, “external factors” will also contribute to or detract from the likelihood that these outcomes are achieved.
Whether or not attendance at a playgroup results in the short- and medium-term outcomes listed in the program logic is also dependent on whether the playgroup is delivered as intended. This means that in order to achieve those outcomes, a playgroup must demonstrate that all the inputs and activities in the playgroups are in place, and that the “assumptions” listed in the program logic are met (e.g., carers and children will attend playgroup regularly for an extended period of time).
A blank program logic has been provided so that you can create your own based on your particular target group, their needs and the intended outcomes of the playgroup.
Playgroups in Australia
Playgroups in Australia: building the evidence base
The full suite of resources can be found here
The principles for high quality playgroups
This resource expands on the principles to provide greater details on the research and practical examples.