Father involvement stories from preschools and childcare centres
Below are five different scenarious from five very different preschools and early childhood centres. Each has a full story available as a PDF. Following the stories of preschools and childcare centres are five personal experiences, each of which was presented at the Father-Inclusive Practice Forum in October 2005 at the University of Newcastle.
Centre 1: A community preschool in a middle-income suburb
The staff set as a goal to encourage dads to stay and play. They displayed a poster in the foyer with the text "How to be involved as a dad at the Preschool: Spend 5 minutes or as long as you like"'. The poster was illustrated with photos of dads and children involved in activities and captions like, "Do some painting", "Build with the blocks" and "Do some digging in the sandpit". This poster was one of the strategies to encourage fathers to stay and play after they dropped off or before they picked up the children.
>> View the full story as a PDF here (30 KB pdf)
Centre 2: An Aboriginal preschool
The female staff, with assistance from two male Engaging Fathers Project staff (one Indigenous, one non-Indigenous) ran a lunchtime activity inviting fathers and father figures to attend a special father event at the preschool. The invitations were sent from the children to their fathers (father figures). The line of trucks outside included a huge transporter complete with bulldozer.
>> View the full story as a PDF here (26 KB Word doc)
Centre 3: A privately owned long daycare centre
The all-female staff identified Tuesdays as difficult days because on that day there were several boys booked in and a large percentage of the older boys had "behaviour problems". A few staff joked that "Now Craig's here, he can sort these boys out". It was suggested instead that having more fathers engaged in the centre could help provide positive male role models for these alleged "behaviour problems".
>> View the full story as a PDF here (27 KB Word doc)
Centre 4: A not-for-profit preschool in a very low-income area
In a discussion, staff were asked if any of the children talk about their fathers? "Only in negative ways, about how dad pushes mummy, or one boy talked about how dad got his gun out and went in the truck". Asked if the mothers or female partners talk about their husbands/boyfriends engaging with their children? "No, not at all."
>> View the full story as a PDF here (29 KB Word doc)
Centre 5: A community dads playgroup
A new dads' playgroup was being formed in the community house after research in the local community suggested there was a need for a local group to be set up. A partnership was formed between the community house worker and facilities, Good Beginnings Australia support workers (one male, one female) and the local library Children's Worker.
>> View the full story as a PDF here.
Five experiences from the Father-Inclusive Practice Forum, University of Newcastle, October 2005.
• Craig d'Arcy (274 KB pdf)
• Janelle Gallagher (406 KB pdf)
• Craig Hammond 1.4 MB pdf)
• Valentine (155 KB pdf)
• Watson (35 KB pdf)