Motivations and Barriers in Promoting Preschool Education
A. Güler KüçükturanDepartment of Basic Education, Faculty of Education, Sakarya University, Hendek, Sakarya 54300 Turkey.
Sadegül Akbaba AltunFaculty of Education, Başkent University, Ankara 06790 Turkey
This study is designed to explore the reasons for sending and not sending preschool age children to preschools at an early age by exploring the motivations for and barriers towards promoting preschool education in Turkey. It aimed to determine various stakeholders’ perceptions, attitudes, and knowledge related to preschool education in order to promote high-quality and comprehensive preschool education. The research was conducted with 224 participants in five cities in Turkey. Qualitative data was collected through individual and focus group interviews and interpreted by content analysis and descriptive analysis. The findings indicated that families put forward the following reasons for sending their children to preschool: preschool education prepares children for school and helps form the habit of attending school, teachers’ efforts in convincing parents to send their children to preschool, providing the care for the children of working mothers with preschool teachers , and preschool helps children develop social behavior. The following factors were reasons families did not send their children to preschool: economic conditions, perceiving the child as too young, concerns over practices at school, perceptions about the mother’s role, and distrust of the transportation system. The results will help decision makers develop policies and strategies to heighten the general public’s awareness of the need for early education, as well as better provide early education opportunities.