Parental involvement and support for children’s school readiness
Many children in neighbourhoods within a mid Vancouver Island community are at risk for acquiring skills necessary for school readiness. In the neighbourhood that was examined by the current study, 47% of children were found to be vulnerable for low school readiness, as identified by the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP) (2010/2011) through Wave Four of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) (2010/2011). Knowing the degree of support which parents have provided to their children as a foundation for school readiness is critical for educators to be able to address student needs. A quantitative study was conducted by surveying 17 parents of a Kindergarten/Grade 1 classroom to ascertain, within that particular context, how parents supported early school readiness, and the degree of involvement they had in supporting and providing experiences to their children prior to school entry and continuing through their formal education. Lack of parent response prevented answering the research question in this study. The concept of children’s school readiness is a larger issue than schools are able to fully address without community support in a child’s early years. Past research has indicated factors such as home environment, low-income, and parent past educational experiences contribute to the degree to which parents involve themselves in their child’s early development. Further study and community involvement are needed to address the issue of children’s school readiness and how to educate parents of their critical role in supporting their children in acquiring school readiness skills and their continued support once in formal education.