NAFOL profile: Helga Norheim

Helga Norheim. photoInclusive partnerships between parents and professionals in early childhood education and care

I am a trained early childhood education and care teacher, with a master`s degree in Early Childhood Education and Care from Oslo Metropolitan University. I have several years of experience from the sector, both as a pedagogical leader and center leader. Furthermore, my experience includes working as a research assistant on the national research project BePro. My research interests include the early years, quality, parent-professional partnerships and diversity in ECEC.

My PhD project investigates barriers and facilitators for inclusive partnerships between professionals and parents with immigrant backgrounds in ECEC. Previous research suggests that partnerships between parents and professionals in ECEC are important for child well-being and learning (Epstein, 2018). In Europe, persistent educational disadvantages are found for immigrant groups (Passaretta & Skopek, 2018) and studies have shown that parents with immigrant backgrounds may view interactions with ECEC-professionals as challenging (Cheatham & Santos, 2011). This project aims to contribute with knowledge about how professionals can work towards inclusive partnerships between professionals and parents with immigrant backgrounds in ECEC.

My PhD project is affiliated with the international research project ISOTIS. ISOTIS is funded by EU, and aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different system levels in order to effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities. My project builds on data from ISOTIS, from surveys and interviews with ECEC-professionals and parents with immigrant backgrounds.

Cheatham, G. A., & Santos, R. M. (2011). Collaborating with families from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. YC Young Children, 66(5), 76.

Epstein, J. L. (2018). School, family, and community partnerships: Preparing educators and improving schools. Routledge.

Passaretta, G., & Skopek, J. (Eds.) (2018). Roots and Development of Achievement Gaps. A Longitudinal Assessment in Selected European Countries. ISOTIS Report (D1.3), Trinity College Dublin.