Parents/caregivers, like their children, are unique, and everyone brings to the school or setting their own set of values, beliefs, attitudes, backgrounds, and circumstances. Awareness of and understanding these aspects gives hints about how to engage people. Taking the time to grasp their background and cultural norms also provides a wonderful beginning point for getting them interested. Having a clear understanding of the challenges that some parents face, as well as the tools to confidently engage with families from all walks of life, has resulted in the development of successful partnerships and improved outcomes in all of our Achieving Early settings, with 100% of practitioners reporting higher levels of confidence in working with parents and 100% of parents reporting that the early years structured conversations 'Taking Time for Talk' had been helpful in supporting their children. This partnership approach to working with parents has been shown to influence the home learning environment and enhance results for all children, particularly those vulnerable to disadvantage. Knowing the necessity of working in cooperation with parents and receiving training on how to do so effectively is the key to improved results for children. Investing in the necessary training and support to develop this is assisting Achieving Early settings in closing the gap and giving all children a better start.
The two solutions of trained staff and confident parents and caregivers are actually interdependent. When they work together successfully, great ideas and extra resources can be introduced into the family; only then will we be able to move towards a better home learning environment for all children.
"While many courses and training programs claim to help settings in engaging with parents of vulnerable children, this course genuinely does." Early Years Setting Manager - Coventry
"The Achieving Early program assisted me in supporting my child's learning. It's given me ideas for things to accomplish at home."