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Barriers to Participation: The experiences of disadvantaged families in engaging with early childhood services

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Abstract:

Within Australia there is widespread commitment to the benefits of early childhood education and widespread concern about the low levels of engagement with these services in disadvantaged communities. This research explored the barriers and facilitators of participation in early childhood services for families who live in disadvantaged communities.
A mixed-method approach was employed, utilizing both surveys and in-depth qualitative interviews. An ecocultural approach guided the research design, placing the focus on the sustainability and meaningfulness of family routines and understanding engagement with services through this lens.
One hundred parents of preschool-aged children from 6 targeted areas across NSW, representing rural, remote and suburban communities, participated in this research. This sample included sub-samples of Indigenous families and NESB families. Most of the participating families (85%) had enrolled their child in an early childhood service. However, there were varying degrees of engagement amongst the families. Findings demonstrate that decisions around early childhood service engagement are influenced by financial constraints, as many would predict. Also of significance are family beliefs around the role of early childhood services and the role of the family as carers. Past experiences with, understanding and trust of formal services, particularly educational services, play a pivotal role in parent decision making. There were clear intersections between cultural practices and the nature of engagement.
The findings of this research have important implications for practitioners and policy makers as they strive to reach the target set by the Rudd Government for all 4-year-old Australian children to attend a pre-school setting.
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Association:
Name: Children and Childhoods Research Symposium
URL:
http://www.iec.mq.edu.au


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438220_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Grace, Rebekah. "Barriers to Participation: The experiences of disadvantaged families in engaging with early childhood services" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, Sep 24, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438220_index.html>

APA Citation:

Grace, R. , 2010-09-24 "Barriers to Participation: The experiences of disadvantaged families in engaging with early childhood services" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Children and Childhoods Research Symposium, Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p438220_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Within Australia there is widespread commitment to the benefits of early childhood education and widespread concern about the low levels of engagement with these services in disadvantaged communities. This research explored the barriers and facilitators of participation in early childhood services for families who live in disadvantaged communities.
A mixed-method approach was employed, utilizing both surveys and in-depth qualitative interviews. An ecocultural approach guided the research design, placing the focus on the sustainability and meaningfulness of family routines and understanding engagement with services through this lens.
One hundred parents of preschool-aged children from 6 targeted areas across NSW, representing rural, remote and suburban communities, participated in this research. This sample included sub-samples of Indigenous families and NESB families. Most of the participating families (85%) had enrolled their child in an early childhood service. However, there were varying degrees of engagement amongst the families. Findings demonstrate that decisions around early childhood service engagement are influenced by financial constraints, as many would predict. Also of significance are family beliefs around the role of early childhood services and the role of the family as carers. Past experiences with, understanding and trust of formal services, particularly educational services, play a pivotal role in parent decision making. There were clear intersections between cultural practices and the nature of engagement.
The findings of this research have important implications for practitioners and policy makers as they strive to reach the target set by the Rudd Government for all 4-year-old Australian children to attend a pre-school setting.


Similar Titles:
‘Hard to Reach’ or Nomadic Resistance? Families ‘choosing’ not to participate in Early Childhood Services.

Understanding the Process and Experiences of Latino Parents’ Initial Engagement in Mental Health Services for Youth with Depression

Riding the Wave of Service-learning: Student Participation in Social Movements at “Engaged” Universities


 
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