Whose Home? Problematizing the Nature of “Homelike” in Early Childhood Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter


Mara Sapon-Shevin asks ‘whose home?’. Many early childhood educators speak to the goal of making EC centres ‘homelike’. Presumably, this invocation of home is intended to conjure warmth, safety, and familiarity. The conjectured hope is that children will feel as comfortable in the early childhood centre as they are at home. But several problematic assumptions are embedded in this metaphor of home. First, it posits a homogenized home, as though all children’s homes are the same, and therefore that the same kinds of structures and policies will make all children feel at home. Second, for some children, their home is not a place of love or safety; perhaps our goal might need to be making the EC centre very different from their home. The chapter problematizes descriptions of early childhood environments as homelike, bringing to bear understandings of the visibility/invisibility of differences and conceptions of safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Cultural Studies of Childhood
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameCritical Cultural Studies of Childhood
VolumePart F2198
ISSN (Print)2731-636X
ISSN (Electronic)2731-6378

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Cultural Studies
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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