Aim: The aim was to investigate factors related to pre-school teacher’s temporary and lasting concern for children’s home situation and the extent to which these children are in need of special support in preschool and/or are reported to the CPA.
Method:Data were used from a Swedish prospective study (the SOFIA-study) on children’s health and development concerning 2,121 pre-school children’s, born during 3 years (2005-2007). Questionnaires were answered by pre-school teachers and parents in a baseline study in 2010 and a follow up in 2011. Four groups were compared: no concern for the children’s home situation (85 %), newly arising concern (6 %), past concern (5 %) and lasting concern (4 %).
Result:When pre-school teachers express concern for the children´s home situation they also more often express concern for the children´s health and development as well as a lower quality of the contact with the parents. Concern for the children´s home situation was also related to lower socio-demographic status of the families, i.e., the families had a lower SES, parents were more often born outside of Sweden, and they had lower education. According to all these factors, there were stepwise differences from no concern, over temporary concern (newly arising or past concern) to lasting concern for the children’s home situation. The same pattern was also seen for the frequency of need of special support in preschool with 7% in the no concern group, 20% in the temporary concern and 37% in the lasting concern group. Reports to the Child Protection Agency were made in a minority of the cases, and most frequent when there was a lasting concern for the children’s home situation (23 %).
Conclusion:Pre-school teachers’ temporary and lasting concern for children’s home situation can be understood from a broad perspective on the children’s health and development, as well as different aspects in the contact between pre-school teachers and parents and the socio-demographic status of the families. Need of special support in pre-school were common when concern for the children’s home situation, which highlight the possibility to also develop and integrate support to the parents within the pre-school activities.