Partnerships

Parental involvement

Policy statement

We believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents and settings work together in partnership.

 

Our aim is to support parents as their children’s first and most important educators by involving them in their children’s education and in the full life of the settling. We also aim to support parents in their own continuing education and personal development. Some parents are less well represented in early years setting; parents who live apart from their children but who still play a part in their lives as well as working parents. In carrying out the following procedures, we will ensure all parents are included.

 

When we refer to ‘parents’ we mean both mothers and fathers; these include both natural or birth parents as well as step-parents and parents who do not live with their children, but have contact with them and play a part in their lives. ‘Parents’ also includes same sex parents as well as foster parents.

 

‘Parental responsibility’ is all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.

 

Procedures

  • We have a means to ensure all parents are included – that may mean we have different strategies for involving fathers and mothers who work or live apart from their children.

  • We consult with all parents to find out what works best for them.

  • We ensure ongoing dialogue with parents to improve our knowledge of the needs of their children and to support their families.

  • We inform all parents about how the setting is run and its policies through access to written information and through regular informal communication.

  • We inform all parents on a regular basis about their children’s progress.

  • We involve parents in the shared record keeping about their children – either formally or informally – and ensure parents have access to their children’s written developmental records.

  • We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.

  • We welcome the contributions of parents, in whatever form these may take.

  • We inform all parents of the systems for registering queries, complaints or suggestions. All parents have access to our written complaints procedure.

  • We provide opportunities for parents to learn about the curriculum offered in the setting and about young children’s learning, in the setting and at home.

 

In compliance with the Welfare Requirements, the following documentation is in place:

  • Admissions policy

  • Complaints procedure

  • Record of complaints

  • Developmental records of children from learning and gaining the best from the setting.

 

Transitions

  • We recognise the importance of supporting a child during transition periods in promoting a child’s well-being and self-esteem. Transition periods in which we can help to support children at nursery include; the time that a child starts attending nursery, the time that a child moves rooms within our nursery, the time that a child moves to a different setting and the time that a child starts school.

 

Supporting a child’s transition to a new room

  • Staff from each room do their best to ensure a child is suitably supported when moving to another room within the setting.

  • Parents are informed of the process, including timescales and what to expect.

  • The child’s Key Person completes summary 1 transition forms to inform the new Key Person of individual needs, interests and developmental levels.

  • Each child is given trial sessions in the new room prior to starting.

  • The Key Person that is allocated to a child within the new room greets the child as they first come into the room, where possible. They give individual support to the child as appropriate throughout the sessions. They work towards building good relationships with the child from day one.

  • The child’s familiar Key Person supports them during trial sessions, attending with them if needed.

  • The number of trial sessions allocated to each child will vary depending on how the child adjusts in the new room.

 

Supporting a child’s transition to another setting

  • We recognise a child and their family needs support when leaving our setting and attending another setting.

  • The child’s Key Person talks to the parents about how they and their child are feeling about the change, supporting them if necessary.

  • The child’s ROA is given to their parents and it is explained by the child’s Key Person. It is explained to the parents that this needs to be passed on to the new setting.

  • The child’s Key Person completes a summary 1 to provide the new setting with information on the child’s development and interests.

  • Where appropriate the child’s Key Person will try to contact the new setting (with parental consent) and

  • provide information about the child that is appropriate for the new setting.

 

Supporting a child’s transition to school

We recognise that starting school is a big step for a child and appropriate support for the child and their family is needed to ensure each child gets the best possible start at school.

  • Parents are informed of the processes involved, including time scales and what to expect.

  • We encourage parents to take part fully in any induction process instigated by the school.

  • A child’s Key Person completes a transition record and sends it to the appropriate school towards the end of the term before they start. This gives the child’s new teacher information on the child’s needs, interests and development.

  • In addition to the transition records, the child’s key person will meet with all relevant reception class teachers to verbally discuss each child at length prior to the end of the summer term .

  • If a child has an additional need that may require extra support for his/her transition into school, the key person will support that transition up until at least the half-term (October) or longer in f necessary. When the school and the key person feel that the child no longer requires the support this will cease and termly visits/meetings will be offered to continue to monitor the child’s health and well-being.

  • Practitioners provide support to their key children where possible by:

  • Providing items to support them, such as school uniforms in the dressing up area.

  • Providing small group time experiences which help prepare the child for the transition

  • Looking at books with children about the subject. We have made some books with photographs of areas of local schools.

  • Discussing the transition with individual or small groups of children.

 

Partnership

Working in partnership with other agencies

We work in partnership with local and national agencies to promote the well-being of all children.

  • We work in partnership or in tandem with local and national agencies to promote the well-being of children.

  • Procedures are in place for sharing of information about children and families with other agencies. These are set out in the Information Sharing Protocol, Safeguarding Children procedures and the Additional Educational Needs Procedures.

 

Information shared by other agencies with us is regarded as third party information. This is also kept in confidence and not shared without consent from that agency.

 

When working in partnership with staff from other agencies, we make those individuals welcome in the setting and their professional roles are respected.

 

We follow the protocols for working with agencies, for example on child protection.

 

Staff from other agencies do not have unsupervised access to the child they are visiting in the setting and do not have unsupervised access to any other child(ren) during their visit.

 

Our staff do not casually share information or seek informal advice about any named child/family.