The involvement of parents in early years education has increasingly been advocated as a strategy for meeting the needs of young emotionally disturbed children. We summarise the ideal of parental involvement in the early years as expressed within recent government initiatives. We also draw on a case study of a nurture group in a primary school situated in an inner-city area of severe deprivation. Against this background, we explore notions of the involvement of parents as a partnership. We suggest that, in providing education for young children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, the nurturing of parental involvement is inherently problematic.