Intercultural Experiences and How They Can Lead to Parent-Educator Partnership Challenges 

Arno has recently enrolled at an English-speaking kindergarten. It has quickly become apparent that integration is going to be difficult for him and his family. Arno’s family are refugees, having fled from a war zone where he and his mother both suffered traumatic experiences. The family language is Arabic, and they have very little understanding of English. This has made communication in the kindergarten almost impossible. After joining the group, Arno soon began exhibiting aggression towards both his educators as well as the other children. Sharing is often a problem for Arno and his solution to conflict has been to hit others. His educators have reached out to his parents in hopes to address his physical aggression. However, limited means of communication has impacted the parental partnership and bringing up this sensitive topic has now caused Arno’s parents to become defensive.

Age: 5 years and 8 months

Home language: Arabic

Additional language spoken: -

This section explores the family-oriented settling in process in a diverse environment and includes challenges, solutions and practical tips. Educators may want to use this section to prepare for a respectful and resource-oriented family welcoming. In a diverse environment, it is crucial to understand the context, cultural background and home habits of each child and their family to avoid misunderstandings and other undesired situations. 

Settling in refers to the process where a child and parent/guardian gradually begin their journey in kindergarten.

  • How could the communication with the family be helped?

  • What could the educators in the kindergarten do to help Arno settle down?

  • How could the group be given the help and resources needed?

  • Could the family be helped with the trauma experienced, or is this even the job of the kindergarten?

  • How can educators work with the family to help Arno and his family feel more integrated/included in the kindergarten? 

  • Could a translator be of help?  

  • Are there other families in the kindergarten with a similar background that could help?