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The scope of this study is located within the Early Childhood Care and Education sector. The study aims to investigate the role of pre-school breakfast clubs in relation to their effectiveness as a health promotion strategy, the ways in which attending such a club may support early childhood development and build solid parent-practitioner relationships also. Furthermore the study intends to discover the outlook of participants regarding the importance of good nutrition - breakfast specifically - for young children, and the possible barriers that may inhibit parents from providing children with their breakfast regularly.
Participants who took part in the study hailed from three different groups, all of whom were involved in a pre-school breakfast club to some degree. Data was collected using qualitative methodology from parents, practitioners and children who availed of the breakfast club. The research methodology included semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The methodology is complementary, meaning that the results of data collection allow the researcher to gain a more holistic view of emergent themes.
The results garnered from data collection paint a positive overview of the pre-school breakfast club and nutrition within the Early Childhood Care and Education sector in general. The breakfast club experience itself fosters plenty of opportunities for children to develop their social skills, language skills, learn about good nutrition and sample a range of new and different breakfasts. Additionally the results of the study illustrate the prevalence of strong parent-practitioner relationships. In general good nutrition is perceived by participants as being of paramount importance, especially for young children. Thus the breakfast club is an effective support strategy for childhood development and family support. However, the results of the study illustrate the resistance of a number of parents to participate in their child’s breakfast club. This should be reconsidered, as it is thought to be good practice to invite parents into the breakfast club to eat with their child.
Lothian, Eilis (2015) An Exploration of the Role of Pre-School Breakfast Clubs in Supporting Early Childhood Development and Building Parent-Practitioner Relationships. Dublin, Masters Dissertation, Technological University Dublin.