Salvatierra, L.; Cabello, V.M. Starting at Home: What Does the Literature Indicate about Parental
Involvement in Early Childhood STEM Education? Educ. Sci. 2022, 12, 218.
Developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) competencies is a global priority. In response to this educational need, initiatives have been implemented mainly at the school level. However, in preschool education, the STEAM programs are more recent. Research advances orient preschool teachers to reach these competencies in school-based programs, although parental involvement has been systematically forgotten as a critical factor. This article describes the current issues on research about parental participation in STEM education in early childhood to identify advances and gaps. We selected documents published between 1995 and 2021 in the leading educational databases, identifying 11 documents explicitly related to parental involvement in STEM education in preschoolers. The results show that STEM activities can promote parental engagement, improve the value parent attribute to STEM, and positively affect STEM learning in preschoolers. Moreover, parents shape children’s interests and self-efficacy about STEM and content application that can favor their children’s approach to STEM. This article discusses the scarcity of research published on the connection between STEM and parental influence, despite the fundamental role of parents in early STEM education. We present practical criteria to guide the development of early STEM education in the family context and questions to guide the planning of research and intervention programs.