The purpose of this literature review is to investigate parent partnership and home learning in the early years. It will look at why working in partnership with parents and involving parents in the learning at home with their children may improve the learning outcomes for children in early years.
Margaret McMillan (1860 – 1931) was among the first to state that parent involvement was important, even thought this was a positive step to developing partnerships with parents there were many obstacles to overcome (Fitzgerald 2004 p.3). In recent times parent partnership has become a key theme within policy. Parent partnership is fundamental to the philosophy and strategic approach underpinning the Every Child Matters agenda and the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) developed the ecological systems theory which explains how everything in a child’s environment affects how a child grows and develops. He divided the person’s environment into five different levels:
Children’s microsystems will consist of any immediate relationships or places they have direct contact with. Some examples would be home, early years setting and school. A microsystem usually includes the family, any peers and caregivers (Macleod-Brundenell, Kay 2008). The themes and principles in the EYFS, emphasise that the child is of first importance and that all relationships, experiences and the environment together influence how the child will develop, play and learn.