Recent years have witnessed increasing attention to early childhood education and care as a foundation for children's successful development in school and beyond. The great majority of children in postindustrial societies now attend preschools or daycare, making this setting a major part of their culturally constructed developmental niches. Although an extensive literature demonstrates the importance of parental involvement or engagement in their children's schools, relationships between parents and their children's preschools have received scant attention in the research literature. This paper aims to address that gap through a mixed‐methods cross‐cultural study of parents and preschools in four Western countries: Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Following an introduction to national systems of preschool in each country, parents’ involvement and ideas about the family–school relationship are presented, drawing from parental diaries and from semistructured interviews (n = 110). Results indicate areas of cross‐cultural similarity but also some differences, especially between the U.S. sample and the three European samples. Discussion addresses the question of how preschools and parents can work together to create optimal developmental niches for their young children. The authors also suggest that parent–preschool relationships deserve greater attention by both researchers and program developers

Parents, Preschools, and the Developmental Niches of Young Children: A Study in Four Western Cultures

Sabrina Bonichini
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2020

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed increasing attention to early childhood education and care as a foundation for children's successful development in school and beyond. The great majority of children in postindustrial societies now attend preschools or daycare, making this setting a major part of their culturally constructed developmental niches. Although an extensive literature demonstrates the importance of parental involvement or engagement in their children's schools, relationships between parents and their children's preschools have received scant attention in the research literature. This paper aims to address that gap through a mixed‐methods cross‐cultural study of parents and preschools in four Western countries: Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Following an introduction to national systems of preschool in each country, parents’ involvement and ideas about the family–school relationship are presented, drawing from parental diaries and from semistructured interviews (n = 110). Results indicate areas of cross‐cultural similarity but also some differences, especially between the U.S. sample and the three European samples. Discussion addresses the question of how preschools and parents can work together to create optimal developmental niches for their young children. The authors also suggest that parent–preschool relationships deserve greater attention by both researchers and program developers
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3369225
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