A pre-school playgroup, or in everyday usage just a playgroup, is an organised group providing care and socialisation for children under five. The term is widely used in the United Kingdom. Playgroups are the same as preschool education and nursery schools. They can provide full-time care, or operate for only a few hours a day during school term time or all year round. The business model of a playgroup has changed across the year and they are now very similar to pre-schools, nurseries and schools. They are staffed by nursery nurses, nursery teachers or qualified nursery practitioners, and are run by private individuals or charities, rather than by the state or companies.
This article relies excessively on references to primary sources. (December 2007)
|Outside the home|
|Institutions and standards|
In the United Kingdom, since around the 1980s, the traditional territory of the playgroup has been encroached on by the expansion of more formal nursery education, and playgroups often now cater for children aged between 2 and 5 years of age before they move onto school. Over the same period there has been an increase in the state supervision of playgroups.