This project analyses trends in the provision and management of community facilities impacting on the organisation of community playgroups in Australia.

  • Project dates: 2015

The Australian model of self-organised community playgroups (CPs) has flourished for at least four decades, but there are concerns over its future viability.

CPs gathered strength during the 1970s, a time of heightened interest in community participation and engagement. Community strengthening and a vibrant civil society have re‐emerged as important policy objectives in recent years. However, a range of social, economic and governmental changes, including changes in workforce participation, the expansion of early childhood education and care provision, and reform of the local government and not‐for‐profit (NFP) sectors, have impacted on the organization of CPs and the places where they meet.

This project analyses policy and operational trends related to community facilities and venues which CPs typically use, but are finding increasingly difficult to access. CPs, like many other activities of civil society, are highly dependent on community facilities. However, despite the development of a ‘community turn’ in social policy, community‐level infrastructure struggles for visibility and policy attention.

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