The early years are a critical time for children’s development. Parents’ engagement in their children’s early development and learning has an impact on children’s later educational and life experiences and parents differ in their levels of engagement. In addition, some children have less exposure than others to early learning environments, such as kindergarten and child care, that promote development. These disparities highlight the need to understand influences on parents’ engagement with services, helping professionals and other supports, particularly when it comes to support for their parenting.
We explore parenting support in the early years from a number of perspectives. We examine parents’ reports on their experiences with early education and care, parenting groups, information sources, and professional help. In doing so we identify factors that are related to help-seeking and support experiences, such as parent demographic characteristics, wellbeing, and parenting confidence. We have also explored the implications of these results for policy and practice.