Parental perspectives of involvement in a Sure Start programme in Northern Ireland: impact on wellbeing

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from stage two of a wider Constructivist Grounded Theory study of parental perceptions of their involvement in Early Years (EY) settings in Northern Ireland (NI). Stage two involved semi-structured interviews with mothers attending a single targeted EY service in a rural community: Sure Start (SS). The impact of involvement on parental wellbeing features significantly in interviewee narratives with a perception of positive impact for mother, child and family resulting in maintained involvement. Other themes to emerge include ‘becoming involved’ motivated by maternal self-identified need for socialisation opportunities for both themselves and their children; and risk of non-involvement by mothers who perceive being regarded as ‘different’ by other parents. These findings contribute to the evidence of improved mental health outcomes for mothers due to SS involvement and question ongoing SS funding cuts considering emerging evidence of the negative impact of the global coronavirus pandemic on wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Early online date23 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Feb 2022

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