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Early childhood educators’ and parents’ perspectives of literacy for children under three: An exploratory study

Full reference
McFarlard, L., Mackenzie, N. & Thompson, N. (2018). Early childhood educators’ and parents’ perspectives of literacy for children under three: An exploratory study. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 21(2), 45-58. Retrieved from https://www.childforum.com/research/2018-issue2-nz-international-research-ece-journal/1642-literacy-infants-toddlers.html 

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Original Research Paper
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Early childhood educators’ and parents’ perspectives of literacy for children under three: An exploratory study

Laura McFarland, Noella Mackenzie and Natalie Thompson
Charles Sturt University, Austalia

Abstract

There has been little empirical focus on practices to promote literacy for children under three years. Using a qualitative case study approach, this pilot study investigated the understandings and practices of parents and early childhood educators in relation to literacy for children birth to two years. The study took place in regional New South Wales, Australia. Telephone interviews with 13 parents and two educators were conducted to explore their perspectives on what literacy for children birth to two years “looks like” and how it is enacted. Results indicate that parents tended to understand early literacy in terms of print based book reading, rather than as also including drawing, talking, viewing and singing. Educators’ understanding of literacy included book reading, drawing and talking to children throughout caregiving routines. Meeting the physical needs of children was reported as a barrier to literacy promotion by parents and educators. Implications for future research and practice for the promotion of literacy in young children are discussed.

Key words: Early childhood, literacy, birth-two, early writing, reading.

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