Understanding the implementation of early childhood policies around cultural competencies: teachers’ and Indian parents’ partnership in engaging young children

Vijaya Tatineni, Nish Belford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In Australia, early childhood education is framed by federal and state policies which advocate cultural, racial and social differences through different approaches to pedagogy. Cultural competencies of early childhood teachers, their critical dispositions, and understanding of policies and practices in partnership with parents indicate multiple barriers. This paper uses a multiple case study: first to understand how twelve teachers across six kindergartens in Melbourne understand and implement in particular cultural policies and secondly how they work in partnership with Indian parents to engage young children. Findings show a disparity in cultural understanding amongst teachers in ways they engage and collaborate with culturally and linguistically diverse Indian parents. Teachers often face communication problems that affect collaboration in creating more inclusive learning communities with Indian immigrant parents and their children. Similarly, parents expressed difficulties and anxiety in approaching teachers in regards to the transition and integration of their children into the kindergarten community. The discussion highlights a lack of communication and a greater need for an understanding of cultural policies and partnerships at the practice level. The paper calls for more flexibility in identifying strategies for better engagement of Indian immigrant children and their parents within early childhood settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalThe International Journal of Early Childhood Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Years Curriculum Policy
  • Indian Immigrant Parents and Children

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