Understanding the barriers which can prevent partnership working with parents:
Following on from Aunty Lizzy’s post looking at principle and values of parental involvement in children’s learning lets look closely at barriers which we can come across not only for parents and carer but practitioners too.
Lets look at the perspective from a parent, carer and /or practitioner and the ways we over come them…
Lack of confidence- approaching a “professional” about their childs learning may feel daunting- but as skilled early years professionals we recognise the parent is the most influential and important “teacher” of their child. Our focus would be to build this relationship through the key person system to ensure the parent felt comfortable to discuss all their child’s needs.
For less confident practitioners, this is why team dynamics are a priority when we look at staff within rooms- every single person has a strength that is different to the next person so we buddy up and share our expertise- this can mean a quieter member spending time and working with an experienced staff member watching how they feed back to parents/carers.
English as an additional language- some parents/carers may feel they are missing out on hearing about their childs learning as it is difficult if English is not their first language- this is where a barriet COULD form but fear not- pictures speak a thousand words and learning key phrases to ensure everyone feels welcome is second nature at KATC.
Parents/carers should feel equally involved and we often invite all carers into the setting to share skills such as story telling, singing or baking.
Our environments are language rich and I often think to myself, how would I feel to come into a place I have never been before, for example China..to hear my home greeting of “hello”, I would feel elated, happy, welcomed and settled and this feeling should be felt by all.
Time- Childcare and working patterns can often clash! whether it is parents/carers being physically unable to drop or collect their child to feeling rushed after tea time traffic, this can cause a barrier as it limits the handover of information between a carer and key person so how can we make this easier? Through online journals with secure parental/carer log ins… feedback from families attending rate our app higher as it enables them to see snap shots of their child’s leaning first hand and gives them the opportunity to share home experiences too.
A child has an additional need, from a parent/carer view ” there are so many other people involved where do I start and how will nursery help Fred when he needs it most?” Although we would hope no parent/carer would feel that “another professional” is a barrier what we aim to do is share our expertise and be confident to support not only the child but the family too,
We will always tell our families to “ask away” with any questions they may have or like wise be patient with us as practitioners as we want to know all about your precious bundle.
Sometimes it may well be a parent with the additional need and it may help to have a familiar face when multi agency meetings happen, a secure familiar space to meet together and know that someone will be able to sign post in the right direction.
What ever as parents/carers or indeed practitioners you may feel is stopping you from communicating about a childs learning… don’t panic or worry feel free to speak to or even share a note on Learning book and we will work together to get the message clear