4.4 Parental involvement
We believe that children benefit most from early years education and care when parents and pre-schools 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 pre-school.
Some parents are less well represented in early years settings; these include 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. (For a full explanation of who has parental responsibility, refer to the Pre-school Learning Alliance’s Child Protection Record publication.)
The Children’s Act (1989) defines parental responsibility as ‘all rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.’ For a full explanation of who has parental responsibility, refer to Safeguarding Children (Pre-School Leaning Alliance 2013).
- We consult with all parents to find out what works best for them.
- We have a means to ensure all parents are included – that may mean we have different strategies for involving fathers or parents who work or live apart from their children.
- We make every effort to accommodate parents who have a disability or impairment.
- 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 pre-school is run and its policies through access to written information including our Safeguarding Children and Child Protection policy and our responsibilities under the Prevent Duty, and through regular informal communication. We check to ensure parents understand the information that is given to them.
- Information about a child and his or her family is kept confidential within our setting. We provide parents with a Privacy Notice that details how and why we process your personal information. The exception to this is where there is cause to believe that a child may be suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, or where there are concerns regarding a child’s development that may need to be shared with another agency. We will seek parental permission unless there are reasons not to in order to protect the safety of the child. Reference is made to our Information Sharing Policy on seeking consent for disclosure.
- We seek specific parental consent to administer medication, take a child for emergency treatment, take a child on an outing and take photographs for the purposes of record keeping.
- The expectations that we make on parents are made clear at the point of registration.
- We seek parents’ views regarding changes in the delivery of our service.
- Parents are actively encouraged to participate in decision make processes according to the structure in place within our setting.
- We encourage parents to become involved in the social and cultural life of the setting and actively contribute to it.
- We provide sufficient opportunity for parents to share necessary information with staff and this is recorded and stored to protect confidentiality.
- Our key persons meet regularly with parents to discuss their child’s progress and to share concerns if they arise.
- We encourage and support parents to play an active part in the governance and management of the setting via our Management Committee or attend monthly meetings.
- We inform all parents on a regular basis about their children’s progress.
- Where applicable we work with parents to carry out an agreed plan to support special educational needs.
- 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 provide opportunities for parents to contribute their own skills, knowledge and interests to the activities of the pre-school.
- We consult with parents about the times of meetings to avoid excluding anyone.
- We provide information about opportunities to be involved in the setting in ways that are accessible to parents with basic skills needs, or those for whom English is an additional language.
- Where applicable we work with parents to carry out any agreed tasks where a Protection Plan is in place for the child
- We hold meetings in venues that are accessible and appropriate for all.
- We welcome, encourage and actively seek 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 pre-school and about young children’s learning, in the pre-school and at home. We do this through New Parents Evenings, our website blog, next steps and pre-school displays among other ways.
- We run a website and Facebook page encouraging two way interaction. We encourage parents to use our translation tool on our website for newsletters and policies.
- We invite parents to give us feedback and complete questionnaires.
- In compliance with the Welfare Requirements, the following documentation is in place:
- Admissions policy.
- Complaints procedure.
- Record of complaints.
- Developmental records of children.
- Other useful Pre-school Learning Alliance publications
- Complaint Investigation Record (PLA 2015)
- Engaging Mothers & Fathers (PLA 2010)
- Safeguarding Children (PLA 2013)
- The First and Foremost Series (PLA 2008)
- Playcards for the Home Environment (PLA 2016)
This policy now has a two yearly review period and, as such, will be reviewed and signed off at a management committee meeting of Cullompton Pre-School each year, as shown below.
|Adopted on:-||17th October 2012
|Previously reviewed on:-||13th October 2014
|Previously reviewed on:-
|27th February 2017
On behalf of the Chair
|Previously reviewed on:-
|25th February 2019||by
|Reviewed by Staff on:
|24th February 2020 (AJ)|
|Reviewed by Committee on:
|Date of next review:
|Signed on behalf of the Management
|Name of Signatory (printed):
|Role of Signatory (e.g. Chairperson)