Correlation between parenting and school readiness of Roma children. The importance of involving parents
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This study examined the relation between parenting and the school readiness of Roma children in FYROM in cooperation with UNICEF Skopje. Differences between gender and location were taken into account. Method: A mixed design was used. A total of 62 persons were involved, 14 children, 14 mothers, and 3 educators of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre SUMNAL in Skopje, and 14 children, 14 mothers, and 3 educator of the ECD centre Life Start in Bitola. Parenting was investigated with a composite questionnaire for mothers and children, and semi-structured interviews with the educators. School readiness was measured with the Early Learning and Development Standards (ELDS). Results: While no significant relations between parenting and school readiness were found in Skopje, strong significant relations between parenting and school readiness were found in Bitola. Comparison of children who attended an ECD centre for more than two years, showed strong correlations between parenting domains and school readiness domains as well. Furthermore, a difference in school readiness was found between boys and girls. Not all domains of parenting were related with domains of school readiness and vice versa. Conclusion: Parenting seems to be associated with children’s level of school readiness. Children who receive a more authoritative parenting style - more nurturance, less harsh discipline, more stimulating language and teaching techniques, more books at home, and more variation in toys - have a higher level of school readiness. Further research is needed to generalise these findings.