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Parents as partners

“Relationships become partnerships when there is two-way communication” (Understanding the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, 2012, H. Moylett and N. Stewart). Little Steps Day Nursery fully recognises the importance of forging good relationships between parents and carers. Successful relationships between all those concerned in the development and well-being of the children have long-lasting and beneficial effects which strengthen links between nursery and home.

Ofsted 2017 recognises that “Staff have exceptionally close working partnerships with parents. Their input in their child’s learning is highly valued.”

We aim to achieve this in a number of ways by encouraging parents to participate in nursery activities, especially when celebrating special events and festivals. We also allocate time for the parents and their Key Person to share and exchange information during consultations. Parents are encouraged to take home their child’s Learning Journal which charts their development and progress, and to make comments/give feedback. Boards are used to display information relating to the children and nursery, including the daily routine, photos, activities and the planning for the foundation stage curriculum. We also email a ‘Mid-termly Plan’ to parents, detailing the activities planned and how they relate to the EYFS and also ways in which they can support further learning at home.

We have developed a successful Parent Forum, which meets every term to discuss any issues parents may have with the nursery. This forum involves collaboration between parents and nursery for the benefit of the children. It is a means of engaging parents and sharing ideas, provides support to new parents and guidance to prospective parents and gives everyone the opportunity to share concerns and questions in a productive way.

We believe that an essential feature of parental involvement is ongoing dialogue, building on the partnership between home and nursery to ensure that progress and achievements are reported to parents throughout the EYFS. The link between nursery and home is so important when it comes to supporting practioners’ understanding of how they can best reinforce a child’s learning at nursery. We understand the need to share relevant information with other settings the child attends or will attend. Working together closely is vital if a child’s individual learning needs are to be identified and an area of particular difficulty responded to quickly.