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barleymgroup

Partnership with Parents

Parents are the most important people in young children's lives. What parents do at home with their babies and very young children (birth - 6 years of age) has a major impact on how well children do educationally, emotionally and socially throughout their lives. We know that parents have the single biggest impact and help their children's development if they create a strong early home learning environment. That is, they are warm and loving, listen to and talk with their babies and children, include them in everyday activities, play with their children, read and share books, sing rhymes, and give their children the chance to play with others.

When children are in early years settings, they make better progress in all areas of development if teachers and practitioners work closely with their parents -mums and dads - and carers. This working together is often called 'partnership with parents'.

What does the EYFS say about it?

The EYFS states that parents 'are children's first and enduring educators'. This means that parents are their child's first teacher, and go on being the main teacher throughout childhood (and beyond!).

Everything Parents/ carers say and do with a young baby and child helps them to learn - e.g. parents develop their child's language, they help their child to think, to feel and express emotion, to practise and gain physical skills. 

The EYFS says that all early years settings must work closely with parents - in partnership. Each child should have a named key person who gets to know the child and the child's family well. The key person should talk to parents/carers regularly about the child, listen to what parents say about their own child and work jointly with them and other significant carers to plan for effective care and learning. The key person should help parents/carers with ideas to help extend learning at home - and lend equipment (books and games).

Communication with parents by practitioners should be on the basis of a clear understanding of each child's individual progress and development.

What does it mean in practice?

Parents/ carers will know who their child’s key person is in the setting. They should have regular times in which they can talk to the key person about their child - and explain their child's individual needs. The key person will also listen to what mums and dads and carers do with children at home, what they think their child is interested in, and include this in planning experiences for the child. The key person will tell parents what their child does at the setting, and will talk to them about their child's progress. Parents/carers can look at - and contribute to - their child's individual records.