Parents play a very important role in their child’s learning. Research shows that the home learning environment is the single biggest influence on a child’s development. Children who receive close interaction with their parents through activities such as singing, playing and looking at books together generally have higher levels of child development. Early Years settings play a vital role in working with parents to promote a positive home learning environment, and how they can make a difference.
At Giant Leap Childcare and Learning Centre our current vision is to build strong partnerships with our parents. We want to involve each parent in their child’s learning as much as possible. We want to share next steps in each child’s learning with activities, songs, rhymes and games that can be easily carried out at home. We aspire for parents to share regular home news which can be embedded into our daily planning and reflected throughout our setting. Most of all we want to support every parent to fulfil their critical role as their child’s first and most important educator.
It is fundamental for Early Years settings to engage parents from the start and this requires each individual member of their staff team to have the confidence and skills to provide a warm welcome and work with parents so that they are involved in their child’s learning in the long-term.
At Giant Leap we endeavour to greet each parent as they enter our setting; with a smile and a friendly ‘hello’. We offer parents help with their children to and from the car park. Additionally we offer take away tea and coffee facilities for those parents who are rushing to get to work. We aim to relieve the morning pressures from our parents and therefore ease the transition into nursery for their children, making their home a stress free and gratifying environment.
Early Years settings should offer a variety of ways for parents to get to know more about their child’s learning and development, the setting, the team and their child’s key person in a comfortable and non-pressured environment.
Giant Leap do this through formal events such as parents’ evenings and informal ways including many stay and play sessions. We celebrate particular events with parents such as Mothers’ Day through inviting our Mummy’s to have Mothers’ Day Breakfast and Fathers’ Day through inviting our Daddy’s to join a Forest School session. We take into consideration the varying needs and times parents can access these. Our motto is; ‘the more options we can offer, the more parents we will engage with’.
Effective relationships take time to develop but are significant both in terms of benefits to children and the ability to provide outstanding care and education for each and every child. At Giant Leap we intend to keep up the ambition to engage our parents and encourage those who are participating to share the benefits with others.