Working with Parents and Families in Early Childhood Education: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Working with Parents and Families in Early Childhood Education

1st Edition

Edited by Ute Ward, Bob Perry


158 pages

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Hardback: 9780367256531
pub: 2019-05-31

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This book reports initiatives to listen to parents and families, to ascertain what families believe and do as they seek to engage collaboratively with their children’s educators, and what educators and educational systems might do to facilitate and/or establish barriers to such engagement.

Parental engagement in children’s learning and development has many positive benefits. However, in the current environments of accountability and performativity which are pervading early childhood education in many countries, the opportunities for parents and other family members to be part of the development of respectful, collaborative relationships with their children’s early childhood educators are becoming more and more restricted. Many educators feel forced to choose between curriculum outcomes and parental engagement, as both involve their time. There is a danger that the voices of parents and families in their children’s early learning and development will not always be heard, seen, or fully understood. This volume addresses this important issue.

Researchers, educators, and families will all benefit from this book, to the ultimate benefit of the young children who are the future. This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

Table of Contents


Ute Ward and Bob Perry

1. Parents’ play beliefs and engagement in young children’s play at home

Xunyi Lin and Hui Li

2. ‘She thinks her toys don’t understand Romanian’: family engagement with children’s learning during the transition to school

Susanne Rogers

3. Would it really matter? The democratic and caring deficit in ‘parental involvement’

Katrien Van Laere, Mieke Van Houtte and Michel Vandenbroeck

4. ‘Remote parenting’: parents’ perspectives on, and experiences of, home and preschool collaboration

Tuula Vuorinen

5. An observational assessment of parent–teacher cocaring relationships in infant–toddler classrooms

Elly Q. Maras, Sarah N. Lang and Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan

6. Chinese and German teachers’ and parents’ conceptions of learning at play – similarities, differences, and (in)consistencies

Shu-Chen Wu, Stefan Faas and Steffen Geiger

7. How educators define their role: building ‘professional’ relationships with children and parents during transition to childcare: a case study

Janine Hostettler Schärer

8. Parental involvement in Finnish day care – what do early childhood educators say?

Sevcan Hakyemez-Paul, Paivi Pihlaja and Heikki Silvennoinen

9. How do early childhood practitioners define professionalism in their interactions with parents?

Ute Ward

10. Written communication with families during the transition from childcare to school: how documents construct and position children, professionals, and parents

Joanne S. Lehrer

About the Editors

Ute Ward worked in a pre-school, Sure Start local programme, and children's centre before becoming a Senior Lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. She leads the BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education and teaches on the MA Education. Her research interests focus on parent-practitioner relationships which is reflected in her doctoral research exploring parents' views and expectations of their children's early childhood practitioners.

Bob Perry is recently retired after 45 years in higher education. He is Emeritus Professor in the School of Education at Charles Sturt University, Australia, and Director of Peridot Education Pty Ltd. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Mälardalen University, Sweden, in recognition of his body of research.

About the Series

EECERA Collection of Research in Early Childhood Education

Written in association with the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA), titles in this series will reflect the latest developments and most current research in early childhood education on a global level. Feeding into and supporting the further development of the discipline as an exciting and urgent field of research and high academic endeavour, the series carries a particular focus on knowledge creation and reflection, which has huge relevance and topicality for those at the front line of decision making and professional practice in early years services.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Parent Participation