Relationships Between Immigration and Early Childhood's Education Beliefs, Goals and Practices Among Kindergarten Caregivers in Israel and Ghana

Roni Danciger, Emmanuel Nyarko-Tetteh -

Supervised by: Prof. Ruth Sharabany


An estimated number of 4,500 babies and toddlers are part of a unique and under-

represented population of illegal migrant workers and asylum seekers living in the


neighborhoods in the southern area of Tel Aviv-Yafo. Due to a lack of public

government day-cares in Israel, the foreign communities have formed pirate

kindergartens called “babysitters”. These illegal services are mostly managed by

illegal migrant workers from West Africa. The "babysitters" are characterized by poor

physical conditions, high caretaker-to-child ratios, dangerous safety conditions, and

untrained caretakers (Slone& Meir, 2015).

The present study examines the connections between immigration, socialization goals

and educational theories among caregivers from the foreign community in south Tel

Aviv-Yafo working in the "babysitters". In addition, we examined the moderating

effects of the eco-cultural factors, education level and the acculturation to the Israeli


The examination of these relationships was conducted by comparing two groups. The

first group is a unique group of migrant workers, who emigrated from Ghana and are

taking care of the Israeli foreign communities’ babies and toddlers within the

“babysitters” or supervised daycares run by the “Unitaf” model. The second group are

kindergarten teachers in Ghana who are working in governmental daycares. The variables were examined using questionnaires filled out by caregivers from both

groups. The results indicated that higher levels of contact and participation in Israeli culture and higher educational level of the caregivers influences the socialization goals that are set for the children, in favor of individualistic socialization goals.

In addition, significant differences were found regarding early childhood education theories and practices between the two research groups. The differences were found in

the following categories: encouraging the child's interaction and self-expression,

encouraging verbal and non-verbal communication between children and their

caregivers, positive attitudes towards the children, positive thinking about the children

and the use of repetitive memorization practices.


The novelty of this study is in the understanding of the effects of migration on

perception and practices of early childhood caregivers. The study seeks to expand the

understanding of the social and cultural context in which the relationship between the

significant adult, the caregiver, and the child takes place within the kindergarten. This

study is based on Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory and ecocultural theories,

focusing on the effects of migration.

We believe that these findings should have practical implications for the field of

pedagogical training with people from various cultures. Our suggestion is that

the recognizing of ethno-theories and the socialization goals brought by the teachers

will allow the making of a mutual understanding of both parties in a joint alliance.


סלואן, מ., ומאיר י. )2015 .)מיפוי מאפיינים רגשיים, חברתיים וקוגניטיביים של ילדי הקהילה.

מתוך כנס: ילדי הקהילה השקופה: תמונת מצב ומבט לעתיד, מרץ, 2015 ,תל אביב: המחלקה לפסיכולוגיה, אוניברסיטת תל אביב.