What is a parent partnership?
A parent partnership between a nursery setting and a family, ensures that each parent is kept up to date with their child’s learning and development. It is based on a trusting relationship that is built up steadily over time. For the families of children with special needs, strong partnerships bring huge benefits to all parties. They promote meaningful conversations, consistency of approach and the opportunity to exchange advice, support and celebrate achievements. I pride myself on the collaborative approach we have between us.
How do you promote a parent partnership?
At The Treasure Box, informal discussions take place at drop offs and pick ups. This is by far the quickest, easiest and most reliable way to exchange information and updates, and build meaningful relationships.
Each child has a Learning Folder that goes to and from home every day. It is packed with photos and observations about what the child has enjoyed doing, what they have achieved and their routine. Contributions from families are both welcomed and expected. It will be yours and your child’s, to keep forever and it makes a lovely treasury of memories.
Tips, ideas and examples of how to enhance the child’s learning, go back and forth between home and nursery. This is a two way exchange, since parents are the experts on their child and then the curriculum can be tailor made for the child.
Each child has an educational Support Plan that is reviewed and updated at least half-termly. Parents will be invited to have a longer conversation about what is, and isn’t, working and we will then agree on the child’s next steps.
The children that have Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCP) in place, will have reviews of these every term. These will include updates from the other professionals involved with the child. This coordinated support brings the child the most benefit.
What are the benefits of working in partnership with parents?
Working in partnership with parents is central to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Consulting with parents about children’s early childhood experiences and lives, helps me to plan for effective learning at nursery. It also helps me to support parents in continuing their child’s learning at home. Ultimately, the child is the one who benefits from us all working together.
Here is a copy of my “Working in Partnership with Parents” Policy:
Starting childcare can be a scary time for both parents and children, but please be assured that I have done this many times and that I am here to support both you and your child.
It is very important for your child that we work in partnership with each other. This will give your child continuity of care and they will not become confused with different standards of behaviour and boundaries. There are lots of ways you can get involved in your child’s time here and work with me to support their learning and development. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS, which is legislation I must abide by) tells us that partnership working is the best way to make sure all children make good progress and reach their full potential.
As Parents you are the central adults in your child’s life and the ones making decisions on their behalf. I will endeavour to work closely with you in order to carry out your wishes for your child wherever I can. It is therefore important that we have an excellent communication system. I appreciate that as a working Parent you will be in a rush to go to work in the mornings and in the evenings you may well be tired and need to go as quickly as possible, so I like to use your child’s Learning Folder for communications. I will complete diary pages that will include naps, toileting, activities, milestones achieved etc. I would request that you use this system (or pen and note paper) to write down if your child has had a disturbed night, is not feeling well or any other piece of information that may help me to provide him/her with the best care that I can. I am always happy to discuss your child and their care with you at any time that is mutually convenient, whether in person or over the phone.
Your child’s Learning Folder is a great way of sharing your child’s day and their progress with you, however, it is not designed to have only my input. I would be delighted if you would make comments on the photos, add notes of your own, contribute Wow! moments your child has had at home, and use it to record the achievements I’ve missed out on. Don’t worry about “spoiling” any of our work, you won’t! Even rushed miss-spelt contributions are most welcome and greatly appreciated 🙂
I am a big believer in collaboration and co-production.
I would also appreciate it if you could inform me if there are any changes to contact numbers for yourselves, including work and mobile numbers and those of your emergency contacts.
As your child grows and develops, issues will crop up that are very important for us to discuss, in order that we can work together and your wishes be incorporated into the care routines for your child. These could include weaning, potting training, managing behaviour, starting (pre-)school etc.
If you wish me to incorporate a special activity into the day’s routines, perhaps a festival or religious holiday that you celebrate, please let me know.
If I have any concerns about your child’s behaviour, development, eating etc. I will share them with you and if necessary work with you to seek support from outside agencies.
If you have any concerns or issues regarding the care that I am providing for your child, please do let me know. Often a concern is a simple misunderstanding that can easily be resolved; un-aired it can fester and become a major issue.
I am very much looking forward to working in partnership with you to care for your child.
Ofsted have an important role in regulating education and childcare. More information for parents can be found here.