High quality = strong cooperations? : Effects of preschool quality on the cooperation with immigrant parents and on young childrens' development
2013-09, Hachfeld, Axinja, Anders, Yvonne, Kuger, Susanne
Home and school are the most important influences for children's development, and a positive relationship between the two helps determine later academic success (Galindo & Sheldon, 2012). Therefore, building up positive partnerships with parents is a key component of early childhood education and care (ECEC). Yet, not all settings foster family involvement and partnership equally well, and characteristics of the ECEC as well as of the families themselves play a role in this process. Relevant characteristics can be the quality on part of the ECEC, and social background of the families. Building up strong partnerships might be especially important for immigrant parents, possibly yielding to compensatory developmental effects for their children. Against this background, the presentation investigates (a) how immigrant parents and ECEC teachers perceive their partnership, (b) how different aspects of preschool quality relate to the perceived quality of partnership, and (c) if family involvement is associated with children's outcomes. Data comes from BiKS 3-10, a longitudinal study investigating the cognitive and social development of children aged 3 to 10 years (N=550 children from 97 ECEC centers and their parents). Parents' and teachers' evaluation of their partnership were collected via interviews and questionnaires; children were tested in individual sessions. Quality of the ECEC centers was assessed with the German Kindergarten-Einschätzskala (KES-R, Tietze, Schuster, Grenner, & Roßbach, 2007). Results highlight (a) the importance of partnership for both sides but show great variation in how it is implemented. One third of the parents reported information deficiencies regarding daily routines in the centers. The results indicate that - contrary to previous findings - immigrant parents' interest in cooperation and partnership is higher than that of native-born parents. Preliminary regression analyses suggest that (b) structural aspects of quality, e.g. percentage of immigrant but not overall number of children, are negatively related to perceived satisfaction with partnership for the teachers. Future analyses will focus on how family involvement effects children's literacy and numeracy development. In light of the creation of family centers in Germany, following implications and open questions are discussed: (1) how strong partnerships can be built and maintained, (2) involvement of different target groups, and (3) beneficial effects for disadvantaged children.