Cultural negotiation: Moving beyond a cycle of misunderstanding in early childhood settings

Katey De Gioia*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Developing partnerships with families is critical in childcare services. However, families and early childhood educators bring to settings different cultural backgrounds, experiences and expectations of their role and the role of the childcare service. These differences can impact the family-educator partnership. This article examines some issues that arise when there is a disparity in understanding of expectations, which can result when educators are attempting to provide continuity of care-giving practices and families are hesitant about sharing their home practices. This study explores communication processes and expectations of continuity of care between home and early childhood setting. A social constructivism approach using qualitative methods of data gathering explored family and educator perceptions of continuity between home and setting. A cycle of misunderstanding is explained that ascribes characteristics of possible family educators' responses as a result of a poor understanding between roles. The discussion draws together the need to ascertain processes for negotiating with families and exploring practices that support the building of partnerships between families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and educators in childcare settings.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-122
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Early Childhood Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • child care
    • cultural diversity
    • early childhood
    • partnerships


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