The purpose of this study was to investigate the current status of participation in parent education by parents of young children and to seek measures for improving participation. In order to support parent education for parents of young children, the government is working on enacting relevant legislations and policies. Nonetheless, participation in parent education is still low. This study focused on parents of young children who took interests in parent education and willingly participated in it “in order to be good parents.” To understand parents’ motivation for participation and the status of parent education, the study surveyed 757 parents who participated in parent education offered by Child Care Support Centers(under Ministry of Health & Welfare), Healthy Family Support Centers(under Ministry of Gender Equality & Family) and Early Childhood Education & Promotion Centers(under Ministry of Education) which, unlike education offered by kindergartens and day care centers, parents are under no obligation to attend. The study also surveyed 114 staff members in charge of parent education working at aforementioned institutes as well as 528 kindergarten and day care center principals on the status of parent education and their opinions. Major findings of the study are mentioned below. First, major findings of the survey on parents are as follows. 1) The rate of participation was 49.4% for working mothers and 50.6% for nonworking mothers, which shows higher participation by working mothers than in other studies. In other words, working mothers showed a high level of participation in parent education as well. 2) The status of parents using the institutes indicated the average duration of attending institutes was 2.48 years, most of the parents visited institutes once a week(71.5%) and more parents visited institutes on weekdays than on weekend. 3) Parents first started to participate in parent education when their children were young and the most common reason for participation was in order “to be helpful to children(49.8%)”. Parental satisfaction of parent education was as high as 3.93 point(out of 4) while degree of helpfulness to children was as high as 3.90 point(out of 4). 4) With 76.7% of their children attending either kindergartens or day care centers, the most common reason for not participating in parent education offered by those institutes was because “they didn’t have time(63.0%)”. 5) Most commonly, parents answered “customized parent education(58.8%)” was needed for activating parent education.
Second, major findings of the survey on 114 staff members are as follows. 1) Higher participation of parents was most often because “the content of parent education is helpful(41.2%)” while lower participation was most often because “it was difficult to bring children with them(23.7%)” and “parents are not much interested in parent education(20.2%).” 2) Most common difficulty staff members face when running parent education programs was “low participation of parents(42.1%).” 3) Staff members answered that “PR(25.4%)” and “legal institutionalization of parent education(24.6%)” was needed for activating parent education.
Third, major findings of the survey on principals are as follows. 1) Instructors of parent education offered in kindergartens and day care centers were most commonly principals or teachers. 2) Participation rate was the highest for “parent education which includes content related to children” and the most common reasons for low participation in parent education were because “parents are not much interested in parent education(42.6%)” and “the time of education did not work for parents(31.3%).” 3) Most kindergartens and day care centers included parent education in their yearly plans. 4) Most common difficulty when running parent education programs in kindergartens and day care centers was also “low participation of parents(37.5%).”
Fourth, when groups of parents, staff members and principals were asked whether making parent education mandatory for parents of young children is necessary, an overwhelming majority(65~70%) of all three groups answered “it is necessary.”
Policy recommendations based on the findings above are as follows. 1) Though the majority was in favor of making parent education mandatory for parents of young children, the issue is to be carefully dealt with and publicly discussed first as it is unprecedented not only in Korea but also in any other countries. 2) If parent education is to be mandatory for parents of young children, objectives of education should be to seek the right of children to pursue happiness, duration of education should be minimized, period of education should be before the birth of children and associating mandatory education with an incentive(childcare allowance) should be avoided. 3) In order to improve the quality of parent education, it is recommended that relevant laws and regulations be complemented, professional instructors for parent education be trained and placed, Child Care Support Centers, Early Childhood Education & Promotion Centers and Healthy Family Support Centers be expanded, systematic parent education for parents in each stage of life(pre-parenthood, parents of children from 1 month to 1 year old, parents of children from 2 to 5 years old) be offered and special holidays be given to parents so that they can participate in parent education at kindergartens and day care centers.
Table Of Contents
Ⅱ. 부모교육 정책 현황
Ⅲ. 정부지원기관의 부모교육 참여 실태: 가구조사
Ⅳ. 정부지원기관의 부모교육 운영 실태: 실무자조사
Ⅴ. 어린이집·유치원의 부모교육 운영 실태: 원장조사
Ⅵ. 요약 및 영유아기 부모교육 내실화를 위한 정책방안