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Browsing by Author "Danellakis, Ann-Mikaela"

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  • Danellakis, Ann-Mikaela (2019)
    The purpose of this study is to examine the different ways in which parents of children participating in municipal early childhood education conceive what is important in early childhood education. In addition, it is investigated in the study how parents’ perceptions coincide with national early childhood education policy’s values and goals for children’s develpoment and education. The subject is approached from the viewpoint of parents’ expectations and perceptions, and parent-teacher collaboration and early childhood education plan conversation. While conducting this study, it was found, that scientific research regarding parents’ expectations and perceptions of early childhood education is limited.According to studies abroad (Iceland, Malta and Australia) parents wish for early childhood education to develop their children’s development comprehensively, but especially their social skills, self-confidence, self-reliance, and ready the children for school. Furthermore, the parents in Iceland and Malta considered it important for the children to feel and to be kept safe. The staff of early childhood education was expected to possess approriate professionalism and competence, as well as to like children, and to treat them with respect and as individuals. The material for the study was collected through a survey that was distributed to the parents through e-mail. The survey was anonymous, and was conducted in one of the metropolitan area’s large municipality. The study received 155 answers from parents, whose children attended municipal early childhood education at the time of this study being conducted. The survey was held at the end of 2018, when all their children’s early education plan conversations had been held at the day care centers. With respect to this, it could be assumed that all of the parents taking part in this study had at least a couple of month’s worth of experience of their children’s early childhood education, and had in addition reflected on goals for their child’s education. As a result from this study it can be stated that the parents’ expectations of early childhood education can be grouped through phenomenographical analysis into seven categories of description, according to which the parents consider 1) the development of children’s social skills and supporting their social relationships; 2) offering children goal-oriented and diverse activies and create a basis for life-long learning; 3) treating children as individuals; 4) the children’s development is supported comprehensively; 5) the children’s safety is ensured; 6)there are sufficient resources to execute quality education; and 7) the needs of the families are met to be important in early childhood education. Moreover, the parent’s expectations coincided with the national early childhood education policys values and goals for children’s development and education, apart from involvement.