Parent & whanau relationships in ECE
Parent partnership practices that increase family involvement in early childhood education are related to a range of positive outcomes for children’s learning and development.
Parent partnership involves teachers in developing genuinely responsive and reciprocal relationships with families in which teachers and families collaborate in making curriculum decisions about children’s learning.
Parent partnership in early childhood education can support a healthy developmental trajectory for a child that continues into the schooling period. Parental participation in early childhood education is related to children’s increased achievement, self-esteem, motivation, and wellbeing. Parental participation can decrease the achievement gap between high and low income families, and is associated with the support and maintenance of children’s culture and languages.
Strong parent partnerships enable teachers to develop knowledge of children’s home experiences to support higher quality learning interactions in the setting, and families to develop skills and confidence for enhancing their children’s learning at home. This enables greater continuity between home and the early childhood setting. This is important because discontinuity has a negative effect on children’s development, particularly their behaviour, social competence, language and motor skills.
Parent partnership is well-established in the research literature as a key factor in effective early childhood programmes and interventions. There is a large body of research documenting a greater impact on children’s achievement when early childhood settings include parents and families in making a change to practice and provide parental education in areas such as picture book reading, joint writing or elaborative conversations.
- Develop strategies for two-way communication and collaboration
- Strengthen relationships with families through regular and positive interactions
- Create a sense of reciprocity with families that is about helping each other and sharing information
- Uncover shared goals, attitudes and values
- Empower families with equal power in decision-making
- How regular are your interactions and discussions with parents?
- How do you find out about parents’ needs, aspirations, goals and concerns?
- How do you promote the two-way exchange of information between families and early childhood settings?
- How open are you to differences in expectations and values of families?
- Do you collaborate with families to make curricular decisions about programmes and learning?
How to use a superdiversity approach to work with migrant families in early childhood care and education settings
"Sometimes we all need a little inspiration. I think that learning from each other's experiences is really helpful, so we can all move forwards together."