Original Research

The home environment and parental involvement of preschoolers in Philippi, a low-income area: Do they hinder or support early learning?

Amiena Bayat, Siphe Madyibi
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 12, No 1 | a1055 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.1055 | © 2022 Amiena Bayat, Siphe Madyibi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 July 2021 | Published: 20 June 2022

About the author(s)

Amiena Bayat, Institute for Social Development, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
Siphe Madyibi, Department of Economics, Faculty of Economic Management Sciences, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

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Background: Successful interventions targeting families can only occur through informed research findings. It is important that policymakers understand the unique household dynamics that low-income households face and the kinds of assistance they need to foster early learning and development at home.

Aim: To investigate the extent of parental involvement in the early learning of preschoolers in Philippi and the role of the home environment in promoting or hindering early learning and development.

Setting: This study was conducted in Philippi, one of the biggest poor urban settlements in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.

Methods: The researcher visited 20 early childhood development (ECD) facilities and 40 caregivers in Philippi. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the ECD principals, practitioners and caregivers.

Results: The analysis of the results of the study revealed that, for the most part, preschoolers in Philippi live in household environments that do not encourage or support early learning and development. Moreover, parental involvement in such preschoolers is limited by the parents’ unwillingness or inability to take up opportunities for involvement in the facility and to regularly engage in stimulation activities at home.

Conclusion: Given their low-income, low-educational status and general lack, parents need a clearer framework on how to become involved and how to provide a conducive household learning environment to preschoolers.


early childhood development; vulnerable children; poverty; home environment; parental involvement; early learning; Philippi


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