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Embracing the spirit of ako: Growing partnerships between parents, early childhood educators and researchers

Elizabeth Schaughency, Jessica Riordan, Shika Das, Jane Carroll, and Elaine Reese

This article has two aims. First, it conveys the results of a questionnaire and focus-group study. This study asked parents of 3- to 5-year-old children what they would like to help support their children’s development toward the transition from early childhood services to primary school. Second, it describes the process of university researcher interaction and consultation with the early childhood community in planning and carrying out this study. Resulting budding relationships between early childhood educators and university researchers, formed through interaction in the spirit of ako, provide the basis for growing partnerships to foster programme and professional development in early childhood education.

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