Parental involvement in early childhood care and education : promoting children's sustainable access to early schooling through social-emotional and literacy development

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have predominantly rural populations living in low-resource settings, with their children frequently lacking sustainable access to early schooling. Sustainable access or the ability to access and progress through school without dropping out early, is a key factor in overcoming low socio-economic status and global Education for All goals underscore the importance of access to Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) by declaring that learning begins at birth. Learning outcomes - norms, values, knowledge, skills - of primary education are stronger when learning begins in the years preceding regular schooling, but for children from low-resource settings the transition from home to school is fraught with barriers, such as the absence of parental participation in children's early literacy development and limited contextually relevant learning materials. Utilizing a descriptive analytical methodology and using research experiences and case examples from Zimbabwe, Kenya and Uganda, this article calls for the creation of an ambient literacy-rich environment in the home as well as in preschool, and argues that parents require empowerment if they are to support their children's social-emotional development and self-regulation and thereby provide them with better chances of effective literacy development and sustainable access to schooling.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Southern African Review of Education