Linda Thornton, Pat Brunton
Phase: Early years
“Parents and the home life they create are the single most important factor in shaping their children’s well-being, achievements and prospects.”
Every Parent Matters Report, DfES, 2007a
The Parent Partnership Toolkit for Early Years is a resource designed to provide vital information to early-years practitioners and help them develop strong, positive relationships with the families who use their setting.
The Parent Partnership Toolkit for Early Years contains three sections designed to:
support you to develop effective and collaborative relationships with your pupils’ parent or guardian
develop the skills of early years practitioners in your setting
provide you with a wide range of practical resources to support and empower parental engagement
help you to establish parental involvement as an expectation.
Summary of contents
The Parent Partnership Toolkit for Early Years has been developed in three sections focusing on a strategic view of parent partnership, how to create a parent-friendly ethos and practical resources to support parental engagement:
Section 1: Context for developing parental involvement
This section takes a strategic view of parent partnership. It looks at the context in which the emphasis on partnership with parents is developing. It reviews the research evidence, summarises government policy in this area and looks at initiatives to develop the skills of early years practitioners in working with parents.
Section 2: Developing a parent-friendly ethos
Section two looks at how to create a ‘parent friendly ethos’. It provides a framework for planning the improvement of parent partnership in an early-years setting. It demonstrates how attitudes to working in partnership with parents affect all aspects of an early years setting and provides a range of tools and resources to support quality improvement in this area.
Section two covers the following areas:
establishing the vision and values
creating a welcoming environment
listening to parents
communicating with parents
key person working
supporting parent-child relationships
auditing your provision.
Section 3: Practical ideas for developing partnerships with parents
This section consists of a wide range of practical resources to support parental engagement. These range from ways to incorporate partnership with parents into the everyday planning and organisation of the setting, ‘one-off’ activities to engage with groups of parents and information leaflets for parents about different aspects of children’s playing and learning.
Section three looks at the following areas:
creating links with home
using collections of everyday things as a focus for supporting parents’ understanding of young children’s play
out and about: helping parents to make the most of the vast range of opportunities presented by outdoor play
family workshops – exploring together
family members as visitors to your setting – to share their life and work with the children
the value of play – build parents' understanding of early years curriculum and the value of play within it.
Print: A4 wiro bound, 180 pages.