Children learning about same-sex families: Perspectives of Chinese parents living in Australia

Xinyun Meg Liang*, Manjula Waniganayake, Fay Hadley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Every child should feel valued and have a sense of belonging in the early childhood (EC) setting they attend regardless of their family composition. A comprehensive literature review undertaken has revealed that a key source of EC practitioners’ reluctance to include same-sex families in their programmes has been their perceived opposition of parents. To better understand parents’ perspectives on the inclusion of same-sex families in EC settings, this study captured the views of parents of Chinese heritage living in Australia. It explored parents’ perceptions about their own children’s understanding of same-sex families. Analysis of the online survey (43 mothers and 11 fathers) and follow-up interviews (four mothers and one father) indicated parents’ reluctance towards engaging children in learning about same-sex families. Underpinning this reluctance were themes about: 1) the relevance of information that parents perceived their children have access to about same-sex families; and 2) challenges they identified about children’s conceptual capabilities and developmental outcomes. The findings suggest that parents require evidence-based information to alleviate potential concerns and practitioners require dedicated professional training to gain confidence in including same-sex families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-56
Number of pages13
JournalNew Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • early childhood education
  • same-sex families
  • diversity
  • inclusion
  • parents
  • training


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