Chapter 11: Working in groups with parents of young children: Growing together at the Pen Green Centre

Widen your reading by taking a look at this list of useful journal articles.

Article 1: Owen, A., & Anderson, B. (2015). Informal community support for parents of pre-school children: A comparative study investigating the subjective experience of parents attending community-based toddler groups in different socio-economic situations. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 15(2), 212-224.

Abstract: Within the UK, the importance of the appropriate parenting of children in their early years has received significant political support. However, it has been found that positive outcomes for young children, in terms of their present experience and future life chances, are often significantly weakened by the impact of poverty. A phenomenological scoping study was undertaken to explore the reasons why parents living in poverty access informal social support networks, in the form of community-based toddler groups. The study found that engagement with these networks has value for parents in terms of their mental well-being and their peer education, both of which support their ability to parent a young child appropriately.


Article 2: Nichols, S., & Jurvansuu, S. (2008). Partnership in integrated early childhood services: An analysis of policy framings in education and human services. Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 9(2), 117-130.

Abstract: There is currently movement internationally towards the integration of services for young children and their families, incorporating childcare, education, health and family support. Shifting service provision towards partnership between services, and between these services and families, has been the subject of policy formation at various levels. As part of a study into the first year of operation of integrated children’s centres in South Australia, a policy analysis was undertaken surveying policies in two domains: education on the one hand and human services (incorporating health) on the other. This analysis found different policy framings of partnership operating in the two domains. In addition, the policy landscape is layered with old and new constructions of the relationship between families and services. The authors argue that the terms within which policies frame partnership, families and services should be the subject of debate and also dialogue involving those practitioners whose role it is to make integration work on the ground.