PARENTS AS PARTNERS
28 April 2012
Trial and Error
• Family Learning
• Education Action Zones (5 Lambeth Nurseries in pilot ‘97)
• Parenting Early Intervention Programme
• Think Family
• Why bother working with parents?
• Barriers to working with parents
• What does partnership mean?
• Top tips for working with parents
The influence of the home is 'enduring,
pervasive and direct'
• What parents do at home has a significant positive effect on
children's achievement and adjustment even after all other
factors shaping attainment have been taken out of the
Children gain skills at home, but also absorb a positive attitude
to, and enthusiasm for, learning.
Parental involvement has a positive impact across all ethnic
groups and social classes.
In the primary age range, parental involvement has a greater
impact on achievement than the quality of the school.
What makes the difference?
It is possible to change the
home learning environment through:
• building a positive relationship between parents and
settings that increase access and willingness to engage
with support services
• engaging parents in activities that will develop their
understanding, skills and knowledge and
• have an impact on their own attitudes to learning and
• raise aspirations not just for their child but the family
Parents report improvements in
• mental health
• levels of isolation through making friends and being part
relationships with their child’s educators and professionals
self-confidence in their broader role as parent
knowledge and understanding of children’s development
knowledge of activities to help their child
What can change in the home?
• More active involvement with children
• More communicating with and listening to children
• Warmer, more positive relationships
• Broader understanding of parenting responsibilities
• More confidence in own parenting role and skills (a crucial
indicator of children reaching their potential)
• Improved behaviour in children
• Improved enthusiasm of child to attending learning setting
• Changes to daily practice – more joint family activities,
Tips for engaging parents
• Shift focus for invitations to helping their children learn,
rather than on generic parenting skills, can lessen the
feelings of inadequacy that may prevent parents seeking
• Recognising parents' expertise in their own children and
lives is crucial – dialogue should be 2 way. Parents are
not ‘empty vessels’ any more than children.
• Show an interest in parents as people not parents, and in
their lives (they have a name beyond ‘Aasha’s mum’).
Help? Toolbox offer:
• Website will hold detailed presentation for you to take to
Top tips sheets
Links to research
Contact for advice and guidance
5 PILOT NURSERIES NOW