NZCER were commissioned by Ministry of Social Development to analyse data from the Growing Up in New Zealand cohort of over 5,000 mothers. We used data from when children were in their final months at an early learning service (ELS), and after their first year at school, to identify variables which were indicative of strong partnerships.
The report gives a national picture of maternal views of some aspects of parent-educator partnerships in Aotearoa New Zealand. Research in this area underlines the value of parents and educators working together in support of children’s learning and wellbeing.
- Current maternal views, reflecting experiences covering a large number of ELS and schools, were generally positive.
- Many mothers (79%) were very satisfied or satisfied with their child’s ELS effect on their child’s development of cultural awareness and/or belonging, and most (92%) were very satisfied or satisfied with the communication between them and their child’s ELS.
- Most mothers were also positive about their child’s school in terms of being welcomed and included, experiencing good communication, and feeling supported.
- Being secure in their own cultural identity, taking part in cultural activities, engagement with their child’s learning at home, encouragement and support for their child or having authoritarian parenting values, were evident for mothers who were more positive about their experiences with ELS and schools. Maternal self-efficacy and confidence around their child’s learning was also markedly associated with positive views of maternal-educator partnerships.
- Mothers of Māori children who were secure in their own cultural identity were less satisfied than others with their child’s ELS effect on their child’s development of cultural awareness and/or belonging. Mothers of Māori children were also less satisfied than mothers of non-Māori children with the ELS effect on their child’s development of cultural awareness and/or belonging.
- Mothers of Asian children, mothers who mainly spoke a language other than English at home, and those who found paid work interfering with their home life were less positive about their experiences of these aspects of maternal-educator partnerships.