Involvement with parents is key to ensure that learning is taking place at home as well as in the setting. There are huge differences between homes and families, and the ways in which parents feel empowered or are able to help and support their children.
Key Findings from the DFE research report as below, shows that there were a number of key findings which could influence practice:
- Getting more impact from existing staff through culture change to promote good practice and occasional in-house training
- There is significant scope to improve staff awareness of the importance of engaging with parents about early home learning. This could be achieved at little or no cost by ensuring that all staff are confident to provide early home learning information and advice.
- Confident staff are more likely to readily engage with parents on a day-to-day basis by welcoming them into settings and explaining face to face what parents can do at home.
- There should be a real enthusiasm for this because staff themselves feel they lack training. One-third of practitioners would like more help and information about engaging parents in early home learning.
- This work is being carried out by some practitioners at minimal cost because it mostly involves integrating small changes into everyday practitioner styles and behaviour.
The EYFS supports early home learning (EHL) The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) has an important and influential role in engaging parents in home learning. The EYFS structure was viewed as a ‘bridge’ to those parents who are seen as needing encouragement to be more involved in their child’s learning.
Doing more to spread best practice will also support EHL . Some nurseries and other providers working with parents, including ‘hard-to-reach’ groups such as parents newly arrived in the UK or fathers, also demonstrated best practice in supporting early home learning which could be shared more widely at relatively low cost apart from the associated indirect cost of ensuring effective leadership in early years settings'.
The Cambridgeshire Early Years Quality Framework includes a section under Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Effective Partnerships. This is the area to record and provide evidence to EHL, Early Home Learning. The criteria for Minimal, Established and Aiming Higher give good examples of working with parents.