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Parents as Partners

Image by Liv Bruce

Nobody knows your child better than you.  It is therefore absolutely vital for your child’s happiness, welfare and development, that there is a free flow of information between the two of us.

You as a parent can help by sharing your observations on your child’s nature, characteristics, the things that make him/her smile or laugh, the things that upset them or make them feel insecure or frightened.  Pre-armed with information, I can help make each experience a positive one, eliminating worries with support, guidance and comforting.  If we work together to give your child a secure base, they will gain the self confidence to explore the world around them.  With encouragement to freely express their  ideas and feelings, such as joy, sadness, frustration and fear, they will learn to develop strategies to cope with new challenges and stressful situations.

Favourite toys, soft toys or even comfort aids may be a welcome companion in the early days.  But never the less, knowledge of their interests and favourite toys can help with planning their experiences in the setting to ease transition.  A child’s ability to learn is at its greatest when absorbed in play, doing something that has totally captured their imagination.  With this in mind, I always try to plan around a child’s individual interests.  Child initiated play can lead anywhere.  The only thing to be sure of, it has sparked enthusiasm, motivating them to extend their learning with the right resources and opportunities available to them.  As in nature, a small seed planted flourishes and grows into something really special with the right nurturing and support. 

If you have any particular concerns about your child’s development or learning, we can look for a commonly agreed plan and work together towards a positive outcome.

As a parent you will be able to identify all the regular routines and ways you do things, that I can repeat in the setting.  I will ask you to complete a child profile as your child joins which will help ease the transition and settling in period.  Please take the time to share as much information as you can, so that I can respect your family’s values and beliefs and learn about your child’s unique characteristics.  Tell me about favourite shared rhymes you sing while you are changing nappies; favourite games you play with your adventurous three year old at the park.  My son Jack and I used to turn a piece of climbing apparatus into a train and puff away on all kinds of adventures.  Who knows, your climbing frame may be a space rocket or even a pirate’s ship!

Work together is essential for the health of your child.  You will be asked to complete a form when your child joins the setting giving details of allergies/intolerance and short term/long term medical conditions.  Please make sure this information is kept up to date at all times. 

I will always make myself available at the beginning and end of each session to talk and listen to you.  This open dialogue is so important.  In the early days leaving your child in a new setting is very unsettling, perhaps even more upsetting for you than your child.  I will always be available to talk, so if you feel you need to text/ring to see just how he/she is getting on, then please do. Usually, with comforting and a little distraction  even the very youngest child is quite happy to start exploring their new setting quickly after Mummy or Daddy has left.  At the end of the day, I will let you know how our day has gone.  That will include giving an insight into our activities and outings; reciting your child’s achievements and triumphs that day and perhaps if I have picked up on something that has particularly interested and captured their imagination, we can talk about it, so that we can jointly build on these interests in the setting and at home.  Any accidents that day will have been recorded and I will ask you to sign the appropriate form.  If you have given written permission to administer medicine at the start of the session, I will ask you to sign to accept that I have followed your written instructions.  Please refer to my Medicines Policy.  Each day you will receive a notification in your child’s Care Diary through Tapestry and will be able to see details on their toileting, sleep, meals and feeds.  I always put any uneaten food back into their lunch box.  From this you can also see what they have eaten through the day.

I use Tapestry, an online journal, to record all the learning and fun of children’s early years education.  Each week day your child attends you will receive a record of their experiences and development using photos, videos and diary entries.  You will be able to add your own comments and share photos and videos, and together we will weave the story of how your child is growing and developing.  Tapestry allows all records to be stored on a secure platform.  I will use ‘Tapestry’ to keep you informed about forth coming topics, tips for supporting home learning and useful information to support your child in their early years.

I hope to learn the values that you as a family apply to parenting and support and value your wishes in the setting.  Although, as parents we all may have different ideas and yours may well be different to the ones I apply in my family; I want you to know, I will respect your values and wishes for your child’s development.

If your child has English as their second language, with your help, I will be able to mark commonly placed items with their name in your child’s first language.  Perhaps a few photographs of family celebrations could help us all share in the enjoyment of your child’s happy memories.  These may be cultural or religious festivals.  If we promote positive images and attitudes to diversity and difference within the children, we will help them to learn to value different aspects of their own and other people’s lives.  We should all be made to feel we are included, safe and valued; that we will be listened to and respected and not discriminated against.

I appreciate I will have to hold all kinds of sensitive information on your family, but I am fully aware of my responsibilities under the Data Protection Act 1998.  I am registered with ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) – registration number PZ3302605.  All information I hold is stored safely in a non portable safe cupboard and I follow all the ICO good code of practice standards.  Please see my Confidentiality Policy.

As parents, if you have any concerns on my practice, I would like you to feel you can approach me with them.  I will be happy to discuss them.  It is only with an open flow of dialogue we can learn from each other, for the better outcome of your child.  Please see my Parents as Partners Procedure and my Complaints Policy.

If all the people involved in caring for your child’s emotional, physical and social development work together with a common goal in mind, of offering a solid base from which to grow, your child will go on in life to achieve their own personal goals, and we will have done a good job!

Parents as Partners Procedure

My statement:

  • I aim to work in partnership with parents and carers to meet the needs of the children I care for.

  • I respect that parents are children’s first and most enduring educators. When parents and practitioners work together in early year’s settings, the results have a positive impact on children’s development and learning.

  • I treat all children and adults equally and create a welcoming, inclusive environment in my setting. 


Procedure (how I put the statement into practice)

I keep up to date about working in partnership with parents and carers and with relevant legislation by taking regular training and by reading relevant publications such as ‘Practical Pre-School’, and ‘The Childcare Professional’ by pacey and ‘Nursery World’.  I am a registered member of pacey.

I pay particular attention in making Fathers feel part of the setting.

All parents are made aware of where to access my policies and procedures and each time they are updated.  I share information about the types of activities provided; the daily routines and how parents can share learning at home.


Contracts and records

I draw up and sign a written contract with parents before the placement starts. The contract is signed by the parents/careers and myself and dated. I give copies to the parents/careers and any other party involved in the contractual arrangements.

I review the contract with parents/careers every 12 months or when circumstances change.

I issue a receipt for all payments received from parents.

I meet parents’ requests for the care of their children according to their values and practices, preferences and attitudes. Family customs and beliefs about dietary requirements, dress code, hair and skin care, help required with toileting and washing are respected as detailed in my Equal Opportunities Policy.

Records of the requirements agreed are kept attached to each child’s record forms.  These records are revisited and updated during regular reviews with parents (reviews are never left longer than a year, but always made as circumstances change).

I keep records of emergency contact numbers, dietary requirements/preferences, food allergies, health requirements, and information about who has legal contact with the child and who has parental responsibility for the child.  These records are revisited and updated during regular reviews with parents.

Communication with parents

I work together with parents to make sure that the care of their child is consistent.

I make time for discussion about a child’s needs by sharing information with parents about daily routines and activities in my setting and in the child’s home.  Ways of sharing this information can include email, telephone, face-to-face meetings, and informal day to day feedback. 

Early Years practitioners and Health Visiting Teams work together to ensure all two year olds have an integrated review at two.  When a child is two, their parents are sent an ASQ3 questionnaire to complete on their child’s development and they are invited to attend a health review, which is usually conducted by a child’s health visitor.  I will also invite parents to a discussion about their child’s development in relation to areas of learning.  I will use this information alongside my observations and assessments to complete an ‘EYFS progress check at two’.  I give parents a copy of the progress check to slip into their child's health care record (their red book).  The combined information from the two checks is important as it gives a holistic picture of your child's development.  If I have any concerns, I will discuss how best to support you and your child. 

I will ask parents to discuss any changes in their child’s home circumstances which may impact on their child’s development or my ability to care for their child. 

I welcome parents’ feedback on my service. Please refer to my Complaints Policy on my procedures for managing negative feedback.  All complaints will be investigated.

I display my Ofsted registration certificate and the Ofsted poster for parents, which introduce Ofsted's childcare responsibilities and gives Ofsted contact details.

Ofsted inspections

I will notify all parents in advance when I am to be inspected by Ofsted so that parents can contribute their views to the inspector.

I will supply parents with a copy of the Ofsted report within five working days of receiving the report.

All significant incidents are recorded in an incident book and will be shared and discussed with parents so that we can work together to resolve any issues.

Children will only be released from my care to the parent(s)/career(s), or to someone named and authorised by the parent/career.  A password will be used to confirm identity if the person collecting the child is not previously known to me.

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