Conclusion: a conversation about insights related to democratic relationships with families

Joanne Lehrer, Fay Hadley, Elizabeth Rouse, Katrien Van Laere, Silvia Blanch Gelabert, Ute Ward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript/introductionpeer-review


This book sought to explore broad questions about working with families in early childhood education and care (ECEC) using a democratic, non-instrumentalizing approach. We have been led to believe that parent parentships are required, that they are good for children. We wanted to delve into what it actually means, in theory and practice, to create meaningful relationships with families. The various chapters build on the ideas presented in the introduction, exploring theory and presenting examples of innovative research and practice from a wide variety of contexts. They explore issues of inclusion and exclusion, as well as implications for pedagogy, advocacy, policy, pre-service training, and professional learning. As stated in the introduction, the book project began through discussions at the European Early Childhood Educational Research Association’s (EECERA) special interest group (SIG) on Working with Families meetings. After reading the various chapters, the book editors and the conveners of the SIG met (virtually) to discuss themes that emerged across the book, as well as questions and challenges which remain. In particular, exploring the difference between establishing democratic partnerships and implementing a neoliberal instrumentalist vision of parent involvement. This chapter is a direct outcome of that conversation, structured around three central questions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRelationships with families in early childhood education and care
Subtitle of host publicationbeyond instrumentalization in international contexts of diversity and social inequality
EditorsJoanne Lehrer, Fay Hadley, Katrien Van Laere, Elizabeth Rouse
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780367816100
ISBN (Print)9780367417567, 9780367417581
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameEECERA Ethical Praxis book series


  • democratic engagement
  • parent partnerships
  • diversity
  • early childhood care and education


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