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ERIC Number: EJ1023054
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Supporting Parental Involvement in Children's Early Learning: Lessons from Community Childcare Centres in Dublin's Docklands
Share, Michelle; Kerrins, Liz
Child Care in Practice, v19 n4 p355-374 2013
Recently in Ireland attention has been placed on the importance of parental involvement in early childhood care and education settings as seen in the Síolta Quality Standards and Aistear Curriculum Framework. Yet there is little Irish empirical evidence on parental involvement in childcare settings; on the involvement models being used, or on the benefits and limitations of efforts to involve parents. This paper reports on research in five Dublin Docklands community childcare centres where practitioners had been trained in the Pen Green Parental Involvement in Children's Early Learning programme (PICL). The research aimed to understand how practitioners were able to implement new parental involvement techniques as a result of their training, how the training impacted on centres' understandings of, and approach to, parental involvement; and barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a parental involvement model from a different cultural context in community childcare settings in Dublin. A participatory research strategy involved a stakeholder reference group; documentary analysis; interviews; and focus groups conducted with childcare practitioners, and with parents. Their involvement in PICL has benefited childcare workers in a variety of ways that include: improved image as professional childcare practitioners-- (they are not just "babysitters"), the validation of existing practices, the introduction of new techniques and the confidence to communicate with parents. A number of structural issues impede practitioners' efforts to involve parents in their children's early learning. These include childcare regulations, short-term staffing, police clearance, resources, and dependence upon Community Employment Scheme staff. Involving parents in their children's early learning may also be constrained by attitudes about the role of child-minders and childcare centres. While there has been considerable practice change, there is still some distance to go in the Docklands childcare centres to develop the partnerships between practitioners and parents envisaged in the PICL framework. Consistent work is required to change parental values and attitudes about the role of the childcare practitioner, and to embed the idea of parents as partners in early education amongst both practitioners and parents.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland