Parents from a sample of early years settings involved in Sharing From The Start gave their feedback on the impact of the programme on their child, via interviews and focus groups. In summary, all reported that their children had benefitted greatly from participating in Shared Education.
The parents talked about how their children had made friends from the other pre-school and how they would talk about their new friends. They’ve become more sociable, it’s widened their horizons and it’s felt that they will be better equipped for attending primary school.
Without exception the parents talked about how excited their children are to take part in shared classes. Their children talk with great enthusiasm about the next session coming up and they are eager to tell their parents about what took place. A number of parents recounted how they witnessed their children pushing themselves beyond their comfort zone in terms of meeting new people and doing new things and the positive benefits that have come from that.
Parents also offered examples of how they thought the project is meeting its aim of developing more positive relations between our two main communities with a particular focus on encouraging inclusion and respect for diversity amongst the participating children. There was clearly a desire that their children would grow up in a more cohesive society then they the parents had experienced and they felt that Sharing From The Start can help achieve this.