Interventions to reduce inequalities in health and early child development in Europe from a qualitative perspective


Date of publication:  25 May 2017 Publisher:  International Journal for Equity in Health Publication type:  Report / Study / Data


A cornerstone to the development and structure to one's life is their early childhood. Inequalities present throughout childhood, may affect one's growth. Having this being said, early detection and immediate prevention is critical for curtailing inequalities throughout early childhood. Having this being said, in order for early childhood program initiatives to thrive and succeed, the perceptions and valuable point of views pertaining to parents who enroll their children into such programs, must be taken into consideration. Through the valuation of such perspectives of both parents and staff workers of such programs, this study sought to illustrate the perspectives of both these parties, regarding how early childhood programs throughout European states improve childhood growth and development.


This study featured five programs that were chosen out of ten selected suggested programs, and were chosen on the account of their fulfillment of credentials utilized in this study. Furthermore, the study featured 25 one-to-one interviews and six focus groups with participants from different European Union member countries. Findings were made possible through qualitative research techniques, where information was obtained through the partnerships of institutions featured in the project. 


Through the conducted interviews, participants had discussed programs which sought to achieve youth learning through organized play and which had further offered parents support. The parents who participated in the study were engaged in activities, while both parents and staff agreed that the establishment of prolonged mutual trusting relationships were critical, in order to boost parental confidence, while lowering their stress levels, which ultimately would better their child's development


Programs deemed as successful had delivered services in a fashion that was best customized to parents and their children. Acclimatizing and comprehending familial conditions along with the incorporation of the parents into this process, were perceived by staff as imperative. In addition to this, staff workers emphasized that programs benefit through the establishment of trusting relationships with parents, while parents develop their own capacities, ultimately allowing for their participation in their child's learning, which often benefits the latter.

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