Building parents’ understandings of quality early childhood education and care and early learning and development: changing constructions to change conversations

Marianne Fenech, Andi Salamon, Tina Stratigos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Educator-parent partnerships have long been constructed in a discourse of improving outcomes for children. Notwithstanding the value of parent engagement for children’s learning,development and wellbeing, this paper calls for a broader construction. In the context of marketised provisioning in which parents generally operate as uninformed consumers, the paper proposes a positioning of parent engagement that builds parents’understandings about quality ECEC and early learning and development, and which operates from a strengths-based platform. Findings from an Australian study that explored such a positioning from the perspective of five centre directors highlight the challenges involved, with participants exercising different degrees of intentionality. Those who actively sought to build parents’ understandings demonstrated a professionalism that viewed parents from a strengths-based perspective, and strategically used time with parents and educators to undertake this work as part of their daily practice. In contrast, the less intentional participants appeared to comply with a marketised framing of parents as consumers, whose real or perceived needs took priority
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-721
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Volume27
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 06 Aug 2019

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