Myter og realiteter om forældresamarbejdet i dagtilbud.

TMC & UdviklingsForum.
København: TMC & Udviklingsforum.


The scope of the study is descriptive and focuses on the collaboration between parents, child carers, nursery and childcare assistants and childminders, respectively. Many magazines and newspapers describe the collaboration as being more conflictual than previously. However, no factual knowledge has existed previously about whether this is actually the case. The study is based on the fact that conflicts, frustrations and problems exist in the cooperation between parents, child carers, nursery and childcare assistants and childminders. The study examines whether this is correct or whether it is a myth.


The quantitative part of the study is based on the results of a questionnaire that was largely only answered by the children’s mothers (0.2% of the responses were made by the fathers). The study concludes that collaboration between parents and staff is generally good and that conflicts are rare. Only 2% of the parents and 3% of the staff feel that they have an active conflict with the other group. Both staff and parents experience a connection between quality and resources, but where the parents require innovation from the staff, the staff find it difficult to find time; to prioritise individual needs such as changing diapers without risking having to leave the rest of the children unattended; and to keep track of what children are doing. The study also shows that rules and respecting the rules is very important to the staff, while parents consider rules as unproblematic or that they can be negotiated. The problem does not seem significant since 86% of the staff feel that the parents generally have an understanding of the rules. Another difference between staff and parents is that they have different perceptions of when children are sick. It turns out that the staff believe that parents have much less opportunity to take time off in connection with children's illness than the parents themselves believe. In addition, the study examined parents' participation in early childhood education and care, and here the staff find that many parents want to be in charge of their children 24 hours a day. Parents, however, regard having influence as a quality of early childhood education and care. There does not seem to be any actual conflict between staff and parents in this area. The conflicting interests between staff and parents are expressed as minor disagreements that mostly concern children’s naps; whether the children should be outdoors or indoors; and about what activities the children should be offered.
The study identifies a number of areas where the collaboration between parents and staff could be improved:  1) clarification of mutual expectations; 2) additional continuing training of staff; 3) further research in this area. The study suggests that the gender debate should be further examined and points out that modified forms of communication are necessary to involve a larger proportion of the fathers in the collaboration.


The study is designed as a nationwide representative cross-sectional study. The study’s informants are 2,000 parents and 2,000 daycare employees. The data were collected through questionnaires, focus group interviews and one-to-one interviews.


TMC & UdviklingsForum. (2008). Myter og realiteter om forældresamarbejdet i dagtilbud. København: TMC & Udviklingsforum.

Financed by

The study is funded by the trade union FOA in Denmark.