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Parent decision-making about early childhood education: Reducing barriers to participation

Linda Mitchell

This article is about the barriers and supports experienced by “priority” (defined by the Ministry of Education as Māori, Pasifika and low socio-economic status) families in making decisions and enrolling their children in early childhood education (ECE). It draws predominantly on data from interviews with parents to examine some of the key ways in which parents can be supported in their decisions and in their children’s transition to ECE. The findings highlight the importance of ECE services finding ways to reduce or eliminate costs and to welcome and respond to families in order to generate a sense of belonging and feeling connected.

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