ERIC Number: ED446839
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Parent Involvement in Decision-Making. NCEDL Spotlights, No. 23.
National Center for Early Development & Learning, Chapel Hill, NC.
A study examined parent involvement in decision making in the Smart Start early childhood programs in North Carolina. Data were collected through observations, interviews, and surveys. Findings indicated that both the interested public and the Smart Start board members agreed that having parents involved in decisions about how Smart Start money was to be spent was important, but was not always easy to implement. Three equally important factors were found to affect the level and quality of meaningful parent involvement in board activities and decision making: (1) logistics, including arranging child care and transportation; (2) structure, including group size, lack of orientation prior to meetings, number of parents, and the decision-making process used; and (3) climate, including feeling intimidated, not knowing others, not feeling useful, and the vocabulary used. Citizens thought that parents were qualified to be included in the decision-making process for how to allocate money in the early childhood program budget, but did not believe that parents currently have much influence. Local board members agreed that parent involvement is important, but pointed out that recruiting and retaining parents to regularly attend board meetings was difficult because of the many barriers to participation and because of difficulty in defining the parents' role. Three partnerships identified by executive directors as successfully involving parents in boards provided information on how to involve parents more effectively. (KB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Early Development & Learning, Chapel Hill, NC.