Whose Job Is It? Parents’ Perspectives on Volunteering to Help in New Zealand Kindergartens

Qilong Zhang,Louise Keown,Susan Farruggia
page. 51~70 / 2015 Vol.9 No.2


Volunteering to help is a traditional type of parental involvement in early childhood education. Therehave been concerns over the justification of teachers’ practice of leaving their work with parents,particularly for routine tasks such as washing and cleaning, however, little research has been conductedto scrutinize the practice and examine parents’ experiences with volunteering to help. Based on a sampleof 25 parents from New Zealand public kindergartens, this study investigates parents ‘experiences withthree types of volunteering to help at the kindergarten. Analysis of the semi-structured interview data hasrevealed enhancers (e.g., benefits for the child, justification of fundraising) and impediments (e.g.,limited time, school commitment) to parent volunteering to help as well as the tensions in practice(e.g.,relying on core parents, limited resource). The findings support the legitimacy of routine tasks andfundraising and highlight the importance of parent volunteering to help.

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