Having a strong and trusting relationship with a child’s parents is one of the key things that childcare practitioners can do to support the happy and healthy development of the child.

Sometimes, when you think of partnership with parents, you may only think of the conversations you have on a regular basis with them about their child’s learning and progress. Many settings fail to realise that they can capitalise on parents’ strengths and natural interests in order to benefit the wellbeing of all the children in their care.

Here are some questions to start you thinking about how parents can be more involved in the day-to-day running of your setting:

  • Do you enquire about a parent’s skills and hobbies?
  • Do you invite parents to talk to the children and young people about what they do?
  • Do you encourage parents to use their skills for the benefit of
    the setting?
  • Are you willing to learn new skills from the parents and children?
  • Do you offer volunteered helping opportunities?

If your answer to these questions is “no”, there’s definitely more you could be doing to involve parents. Viewing parents as a natural resource for your entire setting, rather than as just someone who you need to build a close relationship with, will help you realise their hidden potential. Many parents will be grateful for the opportunity to visit your nursery and share their interests, talents and hobbies with a willing audience.

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