Conceptualising early years settings as ‘communities of care’ reflects the narrative arising from recent ethnographic research conducted in the West and Midlands areas of Ireland. Drawing on the ethic of care as an underpinning theoretical framework, this article outlines the potential of early years settings to represent reliable, responsive fixtures in the lives of young families, offering a sense of belonging and validation for a range of stakeholders. This article outlines a selection of empirical findings, including the role of trust, the responsive nature of relationships, and the importance of open, honest communication, with implications for practice, for training and for future research.
Garrity, S., & Canavan, J. (2017). Trust, responsiveness and communities of care: an ethnographic study of the significance and development of parent-caregiver relationships in Irish early years settings. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 25(5), 747–767. https://doi.org/10.1080/1350293X.2017.1356546