‘The book gives excellent insight of current Early Years topics by covering international educational approaches and discussing the need to professionalise the sector. It is suitable for students on Early Childhood Studies programme, EYPS, and Early Years Foundation Degrees.’ - Eva Mikuska, Senior Lecturer at University of Chichester, MA, EYPS, and Programme Leader for the Foundation Degree in Early Childhood

The role of the parent in the 21st century

The role of the parent in the 21st century

Key Ideas Explored in this Chapter

  • the role of parenting styles linked to changing values and attitudes within the 21st century
  • some key external influences on family life
  • the role of the ECEC professional team in working in partnership with parents.


Childhood is a relatively modern phenomenon. During the medieval period, less than a quarter of children reached their first birthday and there was little concept of childhood (Cunningham, 2006). It was the writings of Rousseau during the Enlightenment period of the 18th century that advocated consideration of the child's interests, and it is just over 150 years since Joseph Chamberlain, Mayor of Birmingham, set up the National Education League ...

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