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Parental Involvement in ECEC in Finland and in Sweden.

Chapter in book
Authors Liisa Uusimäki
Tina Yngvesson
Susanne Garvis
Heidi Harju-Luukkainen
Published in Palgrave Macmillan
Publisher Palgrave MacMillan
Place of publication Australia
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Department of Education and Special Education
Language en
Keywords Parental involvement in ECEC, Finland, Sweden
Subject categories International education


Around the world, there is a growing awareness of the importance of parental involvement in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) (OECD, 2001, 2006), with research highlighting the benefits of positive partnerships between ECEC with parents encouraged to take an active role in their schooling (Hakyemez-Paul, Pihlaja & Silvennoinen 2018; Hujala et al. 2009; Venninen & Purola 2013). The Nordic countries share a model of inclusion of all children in ECEC and have a long tradition of partnership with families. They share common values and beliefs about the rights of the child and importance of education, where differences emerge relate to policy documents and approaches to partnerships. This chapter explores the differences in parental involvement in ECEC between Finland and Sweden. While Finland and Sweden share a border and have a common language (Swedish), the way the two nations approach parental involvement in ECEC differs. The differences relate to teacher training, traditions, cultural contexts, and ECEC steering documents (or policy documents). This chapter begins with a brief overview of international literature about the effect of families’ socio-economic backgrounds on children’s educational achievement, parental involvement in children’s education and family expectations. This is then followed by a presentation of the Finnish context and the Swedish context where the following three areas are described, (1) ECEC context, (2) Steering documents and Parent/Carer involvement in ECEC, and (3) Research and Parent/Carer partnership in ECEC. A discussion and reflection about parental involvement in ECEC from Finland and Sweden concludes the chapter.

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