CARE08059 2016 Family, Community and the Early Years Setting

General Details

Full Title
Family, Community and the Early Years Setting
Transcript Title
Working with Families
N/A %
Subject Area
CARE - Social Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Gwen Scarbrough, Karin White, Tamsin Cavaliero
Programme Membership
SG_HEARL_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Early Childhood Care and Educ SG_HEARL_H08 201800 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Early Childhood Care and Educ

This module explores the lives of children, families and communities in relation to Early Years practice. It is designed to equip students with the necessary knowledge base and skill set necessary for working with communities, carers, families and children in a range of settings across the Early Years sector. The module focus is on engaging and building collaborative relationships between carers/families, early years settings, schools and communities. A particular focus is placed on understandings of diverse contexts (the impact of poverty, educational disadvantage and cultural diversity) and the uniqueness of families and how to apply these understandings to best practice. In addition students will consider the ethics of relationship building when working with communities, children and their families/carers in the context of individual and collective work placed relations.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;

  • Demonstrate an understanding of diversity and uniqueness among families and communities (class, gender, culture, religion, ability etc) in relation to Early Years practice.
  • Apply knowledge of family, culture and community to Early Years practice in order to promote positive outcomes for children.
  • Understand how to support and engage families/carers in an Early Years setting through the establishment of respectful, reciprocal and collaborative relationships.
  • Experience and apply different and culturally sensitive approaches to communicating with families/carers and working with conflict. 

Teaching and Learning Strategies

3 hour contact time per week

Module Assessment Strategies

Continuous Assessment

Repeat Assessments

Students will repeat relevant projects

Indicative Syllabus

Understanding Families and Communities

Demography and changes in the Irish family

Children and families in Irish society

The changing role of mothers, fathers, grandparents and extended family

Foster/Adoptive parents & families

Children without families

"New" families in Ireland


Family Support

Definition of family support

TUSLA and the Meitheal Process

Children and Young People's Services Committees (CYPSC)

Family support initiatives in the statutory and voluntary sectors

Engaging families in initiatives to address welfare or child protection issues


Developing Culturally Safe Practices in Early Years Settings

Perspectives on diversity: intersectional approaches

Diversity in the ECCE setting

Equality and the early years: law, policy and practice

Collaborative and inclusive approaches to working with families and communities within early years settings 


Family, Community and Education

The role of family and community in child development and learning

Parental/carer and community perspectives on the planning and implementation of early years practices

Social and cultural capital in early years education settings

Involving families/carers in the education of young children and establishing family-friendly early years settings

Engaging with families and carers, and community members to colloborate on issues of leadership, advocacy and shared decision making in relation to early years services


Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Project Continuous Assessment Project 50 % Week 7 1,2
2 Project Continuous Assessment Project 50 % Week 13 3,4

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Not Specified Lecture 2 Weekly 2.00
Tutorial Flat Classroom Tutorial 1 Weekly 1.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Alvarado, C., Derman-Sparks, L. and Hoffman, E. (1999) In Our Own Way: How Anti-Bias Work Shapes Our Lives. Redleaf Press.

Baldock, P. (2010) Understanding Cultural Diversity in the Early Years. Sage Publications.

Ball, J. (2002) “The Challenge of Creating an Optimal Learning Environment in Childcare: Cross-cultural perspectives.” in Enhancing Caregiver Language Facilitation in Childcare Settings.

Ball, J. and Pence, A. (1999) “Beyond Developmentally Appropriate Practice: Developing Community and Cultural Appropriate Practice.” in Young Children International.

Bragg, S. and Kehily, MJ (2013) Children and Young People's Cultural Worlds. OU/Wiley

Buckingham, D. (2007) Beyond technology: Children's learning in the age of digital culture. Polity Press

Buckingham, D. and Sefton-Green, J. (2003) Gotta catch 'em all: structure, agency and pedagogy in children's media culture. Media, Culture and Society 25:160

Buckingham, D. (2007) Childhood in the Age of Global Media

Buckingham, D. and Tingstad (2010) Childhood and Consumer Culture

Byram, M., Nichols, A., and Stevens D. (2001) Developing Intercultural Competence in Practice: Language and Intercultural Communication for Education. Multilingual Matters Publications.

Clark, A. (2013) Childhoods in Context. OU/ Wiley Press

Connolly, L. (2014) The 'Irish' family. Abingdon: Taylor and Francis.

Corsaro, W. (2005) The Sociology of Childhood

CSO [Central Statistics Office] (2013) Survey on income and living conditions (SILC) 2011 and 2010 revised results.[]

Davis. A (2012) Modern motherhood: Women and family in England 1945-2000. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

DCYA (2014) Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: the national policy framework for children and Young People 2014-2020. Dublin. Stationary Office.

Devarakonda, C. (2013) Diversity and inclusion in early childhood: An introduction. London: Sage.


Devine, D. and Kelly, M. (2006) 'I just don't want to get picked on by anybody' Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in a newly multi-ethnic Irish primary school. Children and Society 20

Fahey, T. & C. Field (2008) Families in Ireland: An analysis of patterns and trends. Dublin: Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Fearon K. and E. Mearns (2012) 'The Media initiative for children: using early years programmes to tackle sectarianism and racism'. International Journal of Diversity 11(5) [ article.pdf]


Foley, P. and Leverett, S. (2011) Children and Young People's Spaces

Hilliard, B. (2007) 'Family'. In S. O'Sullivan (ed) Contemporary Ireland: A sociological map. Dublin: UCD Press.

Hughes, P. and MacNaughton, G. (2001) Fractured or Manufactured: Gendered Identities and Culture in the Early Years. In Grieshaber, S. and Cannella, G. Embracing identities in early Childhood Education. Teacher's College Press

Jandt, F.E. (2016) An Introduction to Intercultural Communication: Identities in a Global Community. Sage Publications.

Konstantoni, K., Kustatscher, M. and Emejulu, A. (2014) Children's Rights, Social Justice and Social Identities in Scotland: Intersections in Research, Policy and Practice. Knowledge Exchange Seminar Series Report. Scottish Universities Insight Institute.

Kurylo, A. (Ed.) (2013) Inter/Cultural Communication. Sage Publications.

Lindon, J. (2012) Equality and inclusion in early childhood. Oxford: Bookpoint.
Lutz, H. (2011) The new maids: Transnational women and the care economy. London: Zed.

Marsh, J. and Bishop, J. (2014) Changing Play: Play, media and commercial culture from the 1950s to the present day. OU Press


Mindell, A. (1995) Sitting in the Fire: Large Group Transformation Using Conflict and Diversity. Lao Tse Press. U.K.

Murray, C. (2012) A Minority within a Minority? Social Justice for Traveller and Roma Children within ECCE. European Journal of Education. Vol. 47 (4)pp. 569-583

Nagata, A.L. (2004) “Promoting Self-Reflexivity in Intercultural Communication” in Journal of Intercultural Communication (8)139-167.

Office of the Minister for Children (2006) Diversity and equality guidelines for childcare providers. Dublin: OMC. []

O'Nions, H. (2010) Divide and teach: educational inequality and the Roma. International Journal of Human Rights. Vol. 14(3) pp.464-489

Phillips, G. (2012) 'What is family support anyway?' In A. Jackson & C. O'Doherty (eds) Community development in Ireland: Theory, policy and practice. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.


Share, P., M. Corcoran & B. Conway (2012) 'Gender, sexuality and the family. In Sociology of Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.

Stoeklin, D. and Bonvin, J.M. (2014) Children's Rights and the Capability Approach: Challenges and Prospects. Heidelberg, Springer

TUSLA Child and Family Agency (2015) Meitheal: a national practice model for all people working with children, young people and their families



Lawrence Lightfoot, S. (2003) The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn From Each Other.  Ballantine Books

Mac Greil, M. (2011) Pluralism and Diversity in Ireland: Prejudice and Related Issues in Ewarly 21st Century Ireland. Columba Press.

Waldren, F. and Ruane, B. (2011) Human Rights Education: Reflections on Theory and Practice. Liffey Press.



URL Resources
  • Marte Meo - Working with children []
  • Irish Qualitative Data Archive (2012) New Perspectives on Family Change in Ireland [presentations from conference] []