Ignoring parents

July 8, 2006


June 13, 2006

THREE out of four childcare centre workers use child-rearing practices that go against what some parents demand.

A new report reveals that although carers ask parents how they want their children cared for, they are often unable to put the requests into practice, resulting in many clashes over cultural expectations.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies said there were often wide differences between parents and childcare workers over discipline, toilet training and the value of “messy play”.

Childcare workers are more likely to encourage children to develop independence in dressing and feeding themselves, going against the wishes of some parents.

The need to conform with childcare accreditation standards and ensure children were not left out of group activities made it difficult for workers to meet the desires of many parents.


The study looked at the child-rearing practices of different cultural groups and found Vietnamese parents wanted their children to begin toilet training as soon as possible.

Somali and Vietnamese parents did not want their children involved in messy play involving things such as sand and water because they considered it dirty.

Somali families wanted childcare workers to feed their children and Vietnamese families wanted their children instructed in counting and writing, not play.

Childcare workers told study authors Kelly Hand and Sarah Wise that it was difficult to ban some children from messy play because they could not understand why others in the group were allowed to have the experience.

Meanwhile, parents are getting conflicting advice on how to claim the 30 per cent childcare rebate.

An Australian Taxation Office pamphlet issued to parents last week tells parents they must keep receipts to claim the rebate.

But the ATO’s website tells parents they can use information from the Family Assistance Office.

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