Parental Perspectives on Children’s School Readiness: An Ethnographic Study

Kim Jose, Susan Banks, Emily Hansen, Rachael Jones, Stephen R. Zubrick, Joel Stafford, Catherine L. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Web of Science)


School readiness is a construct used by educators and policy makers to describe a range of abilities that are beneficial for children transitioning to school. The association of socioeconomic disadvantage with developmental vulnerability when children start school is well established. Parents play a crucial role in supporting children’s transition to school and are acknowledged as their child’s first and foremost teacher. The aim of this study was to explore how parents experience and support their children’s transition to school. This study presents findings from an ethnographic study with 39 parents living in two Australian communities characterised by high area-level socioeconomic disadvantage. The study reports on how parents experience and support their child for transition to school, specifically through their understanding of the concept of ‘readiness’. The role of early childhood services in supporting parents is also explored. Parents conceptualised school readiness as the child’s capacity to function effectively and independently in the hitherto unfamiliar physical and social world of school. Parents considered early childhood services supportive of their children's transition to school, particularly the development of social skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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