Mums and dads are the first and most important influence on their child’s development and future outcomes. What interactions take place in the home environment has more influence on a child’s future achievement than innate ability, material circumstances or the quality of early years or school provision.
The role that mums and dads play in supporting their child’s development is key to making a difference in their children’s outcomes. They entrust their child to us to support them. We in turn need to ensure that we actively engage with mums and dads.
To support practitioners in developing parental engagement in children’s early learning, PEAL training materials and resources have been produced to support you to engage parents in their children’s learning. These materials cover topics such as relationships, communication and partnership.
You have an important role to play in ensuring that parents are ready for the next stages in their child’s development.
- In your local area, lead a parenting campaign to raise awareness of the importance of the relationship that mums and dads have with their children on future outcomes.
- ‘Parent Readiness’ will mean that mums and dads will know, from those to whom that they trust their child’s development, that they will be guided as to what to do to support their child.
Talk to Your Baby provides lots of interesting and useful ideas for you to share with parents to help them interact with their young children.
Working with dads
A fathers’ involvement in his child’s life is crucial – from attending ante-natal classes through to engaging in their development and education.
Evidence shows that positive involvement of fathers can lead to enhanced educational attainment, improved behaviour, better well-being and better child relationships. So you can see, their involvement is incredibly important.
All services need to listen to what parents need and make provision for these needs.
Children’s Centres are required through the core purpose to ensure that mums and dads and families have a real say in shaping local services.
You need to be especially active in engaging with mums and dads who are most vulnerable. This will require creative and innovative thinking. Action for Children have released an informative report Effective Relationships with Vulnerable Parents to support you in engaging vulnerable parents to improve outcomes for children.
Coram Family and Childcare is working actively to promote Parent Champions.
Working with Troubled Families: a guide to evidence and good practice outlines key ways in which family intervention is shown to reduce involvement in anti-social behaviour and crime – as well as truancy, exclusion and bad behaviour at school. It goes on to discuss the main features of effective family intervention.