BECERA 2020: Home Learning Cultures Conference Pack


As has become tradition, we are delighted to offer you this new Home Learning Cultures Conference Resource Pack for BECERA 2020.



Featuring exclusive OPEN ACCESS to selected journal articles (courtesy of EECERJ, CREC and Taylor & Francis), as well as videos, infographics, blogs, resources and reports on home learning cultures from various experts and advocates in the field of early childhood education.


We hope you enjoy them and please feel free to share these fantastic resources with your colleagues!




Virtual Special Issue: Home Learning Cultures


 Enjoy FREE ACCESS to selected journal articles in our Virtual Special Issue (VSI) on Home Learning Cultures, exclusively for BECERA 2020




Young children's mathematical learning opportunities in family shopping experiences - Amy MacDonald et al. (Vol.26, Iss.4, 2018)


(De)constructing parental involvement in early childhood curricular frameworks - Jeroen Janssen & Michel Vandenbroeck (Vol.26, Iss.6, 2018)


The wonder project: an early years arts education project with Traveller mothers and their children - Carmel O’Sullivan et al. (Vol.26, Iss.5, 2018)


Parents’ play beliefs and engagement in young children’s play at home - Xunyi Lin & Hui Li (Vol.26, Iss.2, 2018)


Parent-teacher cooperation in early childhood education  – directors’ views to changes in the USA, Russia, and Finland   - Janniina Vlasov & Eeva Hujala (Vol.25, Iss.5, 2017)


OPEN ACCESS Practitioner Research: Enjoy FREE ACCESS to selected practitioner research from CREC students



CREC has identified a selection of practitioner research which it feels have a particular value (normally commended by the academic markers) and, with the agreement of the authors, have made them openly available for other early years practitioners and researchers to access, and hopefully use, to inform their own practice and academic study.




Practitioners and parents; living in a 'third space'? A study of perceptions of 'British Asian' parental involvement in their children's nursery education - Nicola Smith (PhD Thesis, 2011)


Practitioner approaches to verbal communication with parents and children in Early Years Music Groups - Zoe Greenhalgh (MA - Early Childhood Music, 2013)


Academically Successful Children raised in an economically stressful environment at aged 3 and 4: An affirmative exploration of narratives and perceptions - Laura Edwards (MA - Dissertation, 2015)



[RESEARCH] High Achieving White Working Class (HAWWC) Boys Project: Home Learning Environment Information Sheet



A key outcome of the CREC HAWWC Boys project was to develop a strategy to document and disseminate the knowledge gained, in a variety of formats and forums, to achieve maximum impact for underachieving white young boys.


This information sheet summarises the main facts, findings and action points from the HAWWC Boys project for ‘Home Learning Environment’.


There is also a YouTube playlist of Home Learning Environment videos, featuring parents talking about the various aspects of home life and learning with their young sons.



[ORGANISATION / INITIATIVE] Pacey: #SmallThings - Home Learning Environment


A rich home learning environment isn't just something that professional childminders can offer. There's lots you can do to help encourage and empower parents to create an active home learning environment as well, helping to create vibrant learning spaces for children.



Small things make a big difference to a child's learning. These short videos created by Pacey are designed for early years practitioners to share with parents to give them ideas and hints to help them explore ways of learning at home. Show them to parents and encourage them to give the tips a go. 



[JOURNAL ARTICLE] The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds: Kenneth R. Ginsburg, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (Volume 119, Issue 1, 2007)

Despite the benefits derived from play for both children and parents, time for free play has been markedly reduced for some children. This report addresses a variety of factors that have reduced play, including a hurried lifestyle, changes in family structure, and increased attention to academics and enrichment activities at the expense of recess or free child-centred play.



[ORGANISATION / INITIATIVE] National Literacy Trust: The Home Learning Environment


A child’s language development begins long before they start school and is shaped by the people and places in their lives – their home learning environment. 



Using a behaviour change approach, the National Literacy Trust are working with the Department for Education (DfE) on a multi-faceted initiative, which will support parents to provide language-rich home learning environments for 0 to 5-year-olds.


The project forms part of the Secretary of State's ambition to halve the number of children starting school without the early communication and language skills they need by 2028.



[ONLINE RESOURCE] National Literacy Trust: Small Talk


Small Talk is a new resource from the National Literacy Trust to help parents chat, play and read with their child every day, wherever they are. Find more free resources and activities at




[CAMPAIGN] HM Government: Hungry Little Minds


Improving early communication, language and literacy development is a key priority for the government and a cornerstone of building a country that works for everyone.



In July 2018, the Department for Education (DfE) announced the government’s ambition to halve in ten years the proportion of children who finish reception year without the communication, language and literacy skills they need to thrive.


As part of this endeavour, DfE has launched Hungry Little Minds – a new three-year campaign to encourage parents and carers to engage in activities that support their child’s early learning and help set them up for school and beyond.



[INITIATIVE] Small Steps Big Changes (SSBC): Big Little Moments


The SSBC Big Little Moments initiative aims to help build young brains with the Big Little Moments.



Babies and toddlers are growing and learning every day and the little moments you share can make a big difference. From morning time to bedtime, waiting for the bus to playing together, every moment is a chance to help build a child’s brain.



[INITIATIVE] NSPCC: Look, Say, Sing, Play



The NSPCC teamed up with Vroom™ to give you some fun and easy tips to help you bring even more Look, Say, Sing and Play into your daily routine with your baby. We’ll send you a new tip, tailored to your child's age, each week.


[PROGRAMME] National Children's Bureau (NCB): Making it Real

Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) is an award-winning programme that works with practitioners to support children’s early literacy and development. The programme draws evidence from the original REAL project delivered by Professors Cathy Nutbrown and Peter Hannon at the University of Sheffield.

Engaging parents in their children's early literacy development has been shown to improve children's outcomes and help to narrow the gap between disadvantaged and other children.

The Making it REAL programme helps practitioners to build parents’ knowledge and confidence so that they can help their children with reading and writing and create a positive early home learning environment.



[GUIDANCE] National Children's Bureau (NCB): HOME MATTERS: making the most of the home learning environment


A consortium of charities – the National Literacy Trust, National Children’s Bureau (NCB), Peeple and the Foundation Years Trust – have been funded by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a range  of projects that support the home learning environment. All the charities have championed the home learning environment (HLE) for many years and the projects and this guidance, draw on that  knowledge and experience.




This publication shares the approaches taken in areas of relative disadvantage in Bradford, Leicester, Hastings and Rother, the Wirral Peninsula, Oxfordshire, Bognor Regis and Knowsley. Different chapters have been written by each charity. They describe well-established, evidence-based and effective ways of working, in which parents, teachers and practitioners are recognised as mutually supportive  partners in children’s learning and development.


Support for the home learning environment in the early years is critical and needs to become embedded as part of all early childhood education and care, early health and family-support services. The report has been written to encourage leaders and frontline staff across the early years, education and public health to do more to engage parents and help develop the home learning environment.



[RESOURCES] Playful Childhoods: Playful Parenting Resources


Playful Childhoods is a campaign that aims to help parents, carers and grandparents give children time, space, and support to play at home and in their local community.





[KNOWLEDGE HUB] BBC: Tiny Happy People


Tiny Happy People aims to help parents and carers to develop their child’s language and communication skills, so they get the best start in life.



"We'll show you why and how you can bond with your child before they’re born and throughout their early lives – it’s never too early to start.
"Our ideas and activities are easy to build into your daily routine. They’re quick and inspiring, but they’re also based on expert advice and evidence, and are proven to help your child’s development."



[VIDEO] Alike: Animated short film by Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez


In a busy life, Copi is a father who tries to teach the right way to his son, Paste. But… what is the correct path?




[BLOG POST] Famly: How to Encourage a Stronger Home Learning Environment - And why it matters



How important are home learning environments at your nursery? The answer should be very important. The time children spend at your nursery is just a part of their developmental story and, if you want to get the full picture, you need to consider what’s happening at home too.


A home learning environment is essentially all of the time that a child spends with their family, both in the home and outside of it.  But what does a good one look like? And how can you help to influence it?



[BOOK] Young Children Playing and Learning in a Digital Age: Chapter 8 - Children, Families and Technologies



In this chapter from one of the books in the EECERA series 'Towards an Ethical Praxis in Early Childhood', Christine Stephen and Susan Edwards explore the everyday experiences of children and their families in the digital age.

Considering the research findings about the ways in which children’s experiences are shaped by family values and attitudes and their family’s cultural practices; the authors explore the social and cultural context in which young children are growing up and encountering digital technologies and new media, including the ways in which their relationships with siblings and peers make a difference to their experiences.



[FREE TRAINING] University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences: I-LABS Training Modules


The University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) Outreach and Education team has designed an online library of free training modules that are intended to present the latest science of child development to early learning professionals.


The modules are accompanied by a variety of supplementary resources, like discussion guides and parent handouts, and include sections on early interactions, learning through imitation and attachment.



[PODCAST] Early Childhood Perspective Podcast: #17 - Working in Partnership with Families


In this podcast episode, host William Cook tackles three different ways early childhood practitioners can work in partnership with parents and families.




According to child psychologist Dr Kimberley O'Brien, having time outside is "absolutely essential" to the development of a child. Dr O’Brien gives the example of having worked in youth male detention centres in both Australia and Scotland as proof that time outdoors is crucial to the health of any human.
Of her time in Scotland, Dr O’Brien notes the fact that boys within the centre did not spend much time outside, which meant “there was so much more aggression, so many more cases of staff being attacked and boys trying to escape”.


“In Australia, when the boys had outdoor time for five to six hours a day playing sport, they just transformed from these neglected, underweight kids to super sporty, healthy-looking boys. There is so much value to outdoor time.”


[THINK PIECE] Action for Children: What role does the home learning environment play in supporting good child development in the early years and positive outcomes in later life?



The ‘home learning environment’ (HLE) is a reflection of the home environment and interactions in and around the home with family members.


Learning experiences are vital for young children’s development and are shaped by the nature of everyday life and activities for a small child. Children learn to investigate the world through the family context and as such it provides the blueprint for learning, behaviour, and attitudes.


Positive early learning experiences within the home can lead to substantial social and educational benefits that can have lasting and life-changing impacts; however, neglect or abuse inhibit learning and can also have lasting consequences.



[JOURNAL ARTICLE] Early Family Risk Factors and Home Learning Environment as Predictors of Children's Early Numeracy Skills Through Preschool:  Katharina Kluczniok, SAGE Open (April-June 2017: 1-13)

This study examines the impact of family risk factors (e.g. migration background, poverty) in early childhood on children’s numeracy skills during preschool in Germany, and if these relations are mediated through the quality of the home learning environment.


[FACTSHEET] Institute of Wellbeing: WELLBEING FACTSHEETS: 04 - What has wellbeing got to do with creating a positive home learning environment?



Wealth is associated with richer home learning environments for young children, according to the latest UNICEF data.



A young child’s home environment plays a key role in determining their chances for survival and development. Optimal conditions include a safe and well-organised physical environment, opportunities for children to play, explore and discover, and the presence of developmentally appropriate objects, toys and books.


[ARTICLE] The Conversation: Parents play a key role in fostering children's love of reading



Learning to read is one of the most important developmental achievements of childhood, and it sets the stage for later school and life success. But learning to read is not straightforward. As child development researchers, parents often ask us how they can help their children to become good readers.


[PROGRAMME] Family Lives: ParentChild+


The ParentChild+ (previously known as Parent Child Home Programme) is a well-evidenced, US-based programme, focussed on working one to one with parents over a sustained period in their home environment.


The model — which has been running in the US for over 50 years — is based on twice-weekly home visits, for up to two years, by trained home visitors (both staff and volunteer). Every family receives at least 92 home visits over the course of the programme.



Delivery in the UK


ParentChild+ is an ideal programme to support those families who are not accessing the free two-year-old childcare entitlement, and who are at risk of entering school significantly behind their peers. It is currently estimated that nearly 30% of eligible families or more than 70,000 families across England aren't accessing the childcare entitlement.


Family Lives are delivering ParentChild+ directly in Nottingham, Newcastle and the London Borough of Ealing.


[RESEARCH / POLICY / RESOURCES] Peeple: The Home Learning Environment - How it Helps


Research highlights the importance of a stimulating Home Learning Environment (HLE) in supporting children’s early learning.


This resource hub created by Peeple explore various aspects of the Home Learning Environment, including the importance of play, song and rhymes, conversation, and sharing books and stories.





[FACTSHEET] Kids Matter - Australian EC Mental Health Initiative: Why culture matters for children’s development and wellbeing


Humans are cultural beings. We learn to communicate and understand our world through the context of our languages, traditions, behaviours, beliefs and values. Our cultural experiences and values shape the way we see ourselves and what we think is important. When individuals are part of a cultural group, we learn the ways of that culture (e.g. behaviour and beliefs), which enable us to feel like we belong to our community.


Cultural perspectives also influence how we parent, how we understand children, how we help them grow up and how we teach them new skills.


Why culture matters for children's development and wellbeing | Kids Matter


[ARTICLE] Open Access Government: The role of parents' in helping children to develop language


Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of I CAN, focuses on the crucial role of parents' in helping children to develop language.



[BLOG POST] Young & Learning: 5 steps to a positive home learning environment


Easy tips for parents to create a positive home learning environment.




[RESOURCE] ZERO to THREE: Books about Feelings for Babies and Toddlers

Books are powerful tools that can help children make sense of difficult feelings and provide learning for life. This reading list for infants and toddlers by ZERO to THREE includes books to help very young children navigate complex feelings and experiences, including anger, fear, grief and loss, and divorce.



[APP] EasyPeasy: The Home of Playful Parents


EasyPeasy delivers fun, timely, educational, and easy to play games, straight into your hands.


The EasyPeasy app is proven to help parents spend more quality time playing with their child at home, so children arrive at school better prepared and ready to learn. Independent, evidence-based research shows that EasyPeasy significantly improves parent engagement and children’s early developmental outcomes.



[APP] Best Beginnings: Baby Buddy App


Baby Buddy App is a free multi-award winning, interactive pregnancy and parenting guide. Baby Buddy is also designed as an intervention to support the communication and work of front line practitioners.



Baby Buddy uses a health-by-stealth educative and proportionate universalism approach. The app provides trusted, evidence-based information and self-care tools to help parents build their knowledge and confidence during the transition to parenthood and throughout the early stages of parenting. Fun and engaging interactive features mean "you learn without the burn".



[APP] Mum & You: Nappychat App


Mum & You consulted development experts like Dr Jessica Horst, Director of the Word Lab at Sussex University to help them create Nappychat.  The National Literacy Trust inspired the Nappychat app from the outset and have fed their insights straight into their Mum lab.




[APP] BBC: CBeebies Go Explore App


Each game in Go Explore draws on the Early Years curriculum, helping children as they grow, building up their skills and understanding ready to start school. 






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