Institute for Learning Sciences & Teacher Education

Supported playgroups in schools


This project aimed to understand the benefits to schools, families and children when schools host supported playgroups. Findings suggest that parental connections with the local school were strengthened; parental participation increased relationships with other parents and school community, which – in turn – promoted basic elements of school transition, including familiarity with school routines.


  • William Buckland Foundation $150,000
  • Supported Playgroups Consortium $85,000


  • 2012 – 2015


  • McLean, K., & Edwards, S. (2015). Beginning the conversation about young children’s technology use in contemporary times. Chapter in S. Garvis and N. Lemon (Eds.), Understanding digital technologies and young children: An international perspective, (pp.155-166). New York: Routledge.
  • Edwards, S., & McLean, K., & Lambert, P. Fostering children’s everyday mathematical knowledge through caregiver participation in Supported Playgroups in Schools. In S. Phillipson., P. Sullivan & A. Gervasoni (Eds.), Engaging families as the first mathematics educators of children. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • McLean, K., Edwards, S., Colliver, Y., & Schaper, C. (2014). Connecting Schools and Communities through Supported Playgroups. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 39(4), 73-80.
  • McLean, K., Edwards, S., Schaper, C., & Colliver, Y. (2013). Connecting Schools and Communities through Supported Playgroups. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Catholic University.
  • McLean, K., Edwards, S., Lambert, P., Wickham, D., & Schaper, C. (2015). Supported playgroups in schools: Stakeholder perspectives on belonging, home learning and young children’s play. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Catholic University.
  • Lambert, P (2015). Supported playgroups in schools and parent perspectives on children’s play. Melbourne, VIC: Australian Catholic University. The thesis was passed with minor amendments and praised by both examiners for making an original contribution to knowledge at a level beyond that expected of this degree.
  • McLean, K., Edwards, S., Evangelou, M., & Lambert, P. (2017). Supported playgroups in schools: bonding and bridging family knowledge about transition to formal schooling. Cambridge Journal of Education, 1-19. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2016.1268569