Understanding the principles and values that underpin parental involvement in their child’s early learning.
Parents are the first teachers of their children, each parent will have a parenting style and have their own views and opinions of what’s best for them. We live in a diverse culture where as practitioners we must be inclusive and try to understand each family’s beliefs and customs, and work with them to enable children to achieve the best outcomes in education and welfare.
It is recognised widely that a quality home – school relationship is associated with high outcomes achieved in education (DES, 1967), not only are these outcomes good for the children but also for the educational setting they attend, it has seen to have a positive effect on the setting and the way in which it operates.
Positive communicative relationships can help to build a more inclusive education system by providing an understanding into each individual, their culture and beliefs and their individual learning styles.
Theorist Bronfenbrenner (1977) put a lot of enthesis on the home/school environments and relationships, he believed that there is a strong rationale between outcomes of those with different backgrounds and those whose parents were fully engaged in their education (Beveridge, 2005)
Home Learning allows children to explore their learning in their own environment at their own pace, it can enable children to further embed their learning and in turn allows for stronger understanding of the subject in hand.
Research suggests that parents who set boundaries, stability, consistency and parental warmth help their children to develop in many different areas and skills and helps with becoming school ready (DfES, 2017 p.5) (KATC, 2017).
When parents work alongside practitioners it is clear that it has a positive effect on the child and the parents, feeling involved with education and understanding of their child’s development is important. Parents are then more open to discuss any issues they may have and are more likely to ask for advice.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Guidance (EYFS, 2017) clearly states that settings must involve parents/carers in their child’s education and care and practitioners must build a professional relationship and bond with children and their parents/carers.
At Kids Around the Clock, we work very closely with parents/carers, we send out regular questionnaires to make sure that parents/carers views are heard and acted upon to influence policies and procedures. We have a parent/carer representative that acts as our parent’s voice who is involved In making decisions and reflecting on the nurseries practice.
We send home regular home learning and activity ideas with our parents/carers and provide a lending library to enable children to read at home with their parents. It is clear that children need a home environment that is warm and rich with learning opportunities, taking time to help your child with home learning can also improve parent/child relationships, giving your child just 5 minutes of your undivided attention can feel like much more to children.
Beveridge, S (2005) ‘Children, Families and Schools: Developing Partnerships for inclusive education’ Psychology Press
Wilson, T (2016) ‘working with parents, carers and families in the Early Years’ Routledge: London
School Readiness [online] available from www.kidsaroundtheclock.co.uk/blog/school-readiness
Department for Education and Schools