Parents are a child’s first and most enduring educators. Supporting parents’ engagement in their children’s learning is an effective way to make a difference to children’s lives and outcomes. The aims of this policy are to support and enhance the development of the child and to respect, understand and value the contributions of the parent to the child’s learning.
It is important to remember that parents know their child best and to respect the parent’s wishes even though they might differ from that of the Staff. The staff should be willing to listen to the parent and show confidence in them to promote their parental skills.
Before and During the Child’s Entry into the setting
Before the child starts at the setting the parents will be invited to bring them in for a visit to be accustomed with the environment. During this session the parents can ask questions of the staff.
At the settling in visits staff members will talk to parents about their child especially to gain information regarding any special needs, health or other issues relating to the child. Staff should, where possible, work with the parents to build up a holistic picture of the child and their interests.
We require the parents to provide us with certain information about their child to enable us to provide the correct care for the child, such as:
- Medical care plan
- Food allergies
- All about me form-to find about the child’s like and dislikes, parents preferences
- Base line EYFS developmental areas (emerging, developing or secure)
- Consent (for example to take photographs as outlined in our contract)
We provide parents with the following, so they gain a better understanding of the setting and feel confident within the staffs abilities:
- Learning Journals-including observations, tracking, and links to the EYFS and characteristics of effective learning (Please see Learning Journal/Tapestry Policy)
- Information about what to expect from the EYFS
- Access to all my settings policies and procedure (which the parents have to sign to say that they have read and understood)
- Daily diaries- sharing information about what their child has eaten and drunk that day, nappy changes, naps and any relevant information. Parents can also comment in the daily diaries if they wish to.
- Accident and incident forms
- Key Worker information
- Ofsted information
We discuss with the parents and agree upon routines to meet the individual needs of the child to give continuity of care for the child to feel more emotionally secure and safe within the setting, for example where and when they would like their child to sleep.
We discuss with the parents our daily routines; what type of activities the children do in our setting and the outings we take the children on.
Information provided for parents
- how the EYFS is being delivered in the setting, and how parents and/or carers can access more information (see How the EYFS is delivered document and What to expect from the EYFS document)
- the range and type of activities and experiences provided for children, the daily routines of the setting, and how parents and carers can share learning at home (see activities and daily routines document)
- how the setting supports children with special educational needs and disabilities (as identified in my settings Equality, diversity and inclusion policy and Special Educational Needs Policy)
- food and drinks provided for children (parents are provided with Menu Planner outlining the meals and snacks that we provide including any allergens)
- details of the provider’s policies and procedures.
- staffing in the setting; the name of their child’s key person and their role; and a telephone number for parents and/or carers to contact in an emergency (see settings mission statement the Key Person document also sent to the parents)
Drop Off and Pick Up of Children
On a child’s arrival at the setting it is important to greet the parents and the child with a friendly smile. Exchange meaningful information that either the parents or the staff has about the child’s day. Staff should, where possible, involve the parents in any changes of routine that may have occurred regarding the child.
Outings and Activities
All Staff should value the home routines of the children as much as possible within the boundaries of the settings Health and Safety constraints and while guiding the child into the general routine of the setting.
Staff should keep the parents informed of any change in the child’s routine at every opportunity.
The parents should be encouraged by the Staff to become involved with setting & outside activities.
The parents are be able to gain access to information regarding activities and events through:
- discussion with the staff
- regular newsletters- that provides useful information such as the words of songs and rhymes that the children are learning, important dates, updates on policies, and snippets of theory followed by ideas for activities to do at home that are fun and don’t cost much.
- Planning/notice boards
- Website-to access all policies/procedures, activities etc.
It is important to make sure that the staff are available to discuss any issue or problem that may arise. Staff will provide opportunities for the parents to discuss the child’s progress. It is important for staff to remember to give positive information as well as any difficulties or problems the child may have had. Where appropriate staff should gently guide the parents using advice based on their own experiences and training. Also where appropriate the staff should give support and help to the parents and provide information on outside organisation, sources of information or put them in touch with other parents allowing them to support each other.
We provide the parents with information on:
- Where parents can get support/advice
- Tip/fact sheets
- Activities to try at home
We aim to involve parent’s views as much as possible within our settings and have an ‘open-door’ policy for parents. Bi-annual questionnaires also allow us to received feedback for those that cannot make meetings.
If additional support is required in the area of special needs then the parent should be introduced to the SENCO for further information and guidance as laid out in the Special Educational NeedsPolicy.