We all know parents love playing a part in their child’s early years – but what’s the best way to develop strong partnerships with all your parents?

An online learning journal is a great place to start. Your parents can see how their child is getting on, take an active role in their child’s development and upload evidence from the home setting.

Download our parents’ FAQs here.

At OneFile, we work closely with nursery schools and Early Years settings to help them bring learning to life with an online learning journal. But more than that, we also provide advice on how to enhance relationships throughout your setting – from infants to practitioners. We’ve collected our four top things to remember when mentoring your staff.

Parents win the silver medal

Looking after the little ones in your care will always be the most important part of your job, but parents are pretty close runners up. All children learn from birth, and it’s usually our parents who teach us how to explore the world around us. In fact, over 70% of a child’s life is spent with their family members, rather than in an Early Years setting, so it’s vital your staff understand how important home learning is. This collaboration is normally extremely positive and easy to nurture – after all, both parents and practitioners have the child’s best interests at heart.

Work as a team

Two minds are better than one – and that goes for childhood development too! Both parents and practitioners are key people in building a child’s personality, self-esteem and understanding of the world, and they bring different perspectives to the plate. Children feel more confident when the home and Early Years setting work together to achieve common goals – so work as a team! Integrating parents as partners is beneficial for everyone. Not only will a solid collaboration help each child, you’ll boost parent interaction too.

Communication is key

What’s the difference between polite relationships and parents as partners? Communication. Establishing strong two-way communication between the home and nursery setting is the best thing you can do to help the children in your care. There’s tons of information out there about this, but we think it’s easier to go straight to the source… just ask parents what they think! We’ve created a free questionnaire you can hand out to parents. There are many simple things your staff can do too – from saying ‘hi’ at home-time to arranging a one-on-one meeting. It’s common sense really – when your staff are friendly, welcoming and helpful parents will come to like and respect them in no time at all.

Read more about parent-practitioner communication here.

Set some homework

Everyone hates homework, right? Wrong. Parents love getting involved in their child’s learning, so set some tasks for them to do at home. Whether it’s singing a nursery rhyme, playing with plastercine or building a tower, there are many simple activities you can design to fulfil EYFS statements. If you have an Early Years Learning Journal, parents can even take pictures or videos and upload them to their child’s account as evidence of learning and development. This means more parent interaction, fully engaged children and less work for your staff! 

Now everyone LOVES homework!

Whether you already use an online learning journal or are thinking about making the move to technology, read our parents FAQs here. It’s a great way to find out more about our Learning Journal and see what questions parents may have.

Download our FAQs

Find out more about OneFile’s Early Years Learning Journal. 

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