Childhood Series: The Extension of Play-based Learning into the Home Learning Environment – Early Years Educators and Parents Working in Partnership.
Two major longitudinal studies in the early 2000s found that the home learning environment (HLE) in the early years of the child is a key indicator of educational attainment throughout primary school. Both sets of researchers, in the UK and USA, highlighted the role early years educators could play in supporting parents to develop the HLE. Despite the significance of their findings, the HLE is not a topic which is widely publicised in Ireland.
A true partnership relationship between parents and early years educators should include support and feedback, sharing of information and resources, and an extension of early years learning into the child’s home. The proven elements of effective home learning environments are inexpensive and do not rely on the level of education or socio-economic status of parents. Not only does it benefit children, partnership in the development of the HLE also benefits parents and early years educators, as both parties increase understanding of each other’s roles, strengths and challenges.
About the Presenter:
Jennifer Hynes graduated with an MA in Childhood & Adolescent Studies from ICHAS in 2016. She also holds a Higher Diploma in Education and a Diploma in Montessori Education.
Jennifer started in the field of Early Years Education and Care in 2003, running her own early years service in Galway from 2007 to 2020. In 2015, she opened a school-aged childcare service. Particularly drawn to the Vygotskyan approach of both children and adults supporting learning in young children, Jennifer has a keen interest in play-based learning and the emergent curriculum. She strongly believes that true partnership with parents should be at the heart of early years practice.
Jennifer taught FETAC Levels 5 and 6 Childcare Certificate courses in the 2010s and joined ICHAS as a lecturer on the MA Early Childhood programme, in 2022.