Community Involvement: A Guide for Early Years Educators

Barnardos. (2017). Community Involvement: A Guide for Early Years Educators.
You will often hear the Igbo and Yoruba Proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ This phrase refers to the collective responsibility of the whole community in supporting children to grow and develop into active citizens. As more and more children are spending significant time in their early childhood being cared for by people other than their parents, and many of these children attend an early years service, the service is a key part of the ‘village’. As an early years educator, you have a role to play in supporting this ideal of a collective, community-based approach to caring for and educating young children. How this might look depends on many factors and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, the concept of promoting and supporting the development of a child’s identity and feelings of belonging should be at the core of any approaches taken to community involvement. In this booklet we outline the benefits of community involvement for young children in early years settings and address some of the practical approaches that you, as an educator, can implement within your service.