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Hi everyone, I'm after some ideas for getting parents more involved in the preschool, we have a parents rota which is rarely used and I was wondering if anyone had any gems they would like to share.

Many thanks :o

Sal

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Hi everyone, I'm after some ideas for getting parents more involved in the preschool, we have a parents rota which is rarely used and I was wondering if anyone had any gems they would like to share.

Many thanks :o

Sal

 

 

It's a toughie isn't it?

 

I have started to offer mulled wine and cakes as an incentive. Some times is works and sometimes it doesn't. It's so hard as paremts are so busy these days.

I have found that the only sure fire way of getting them invloved with something is to approach them individually, either in conversation or by telephone. It feels a little bit like I'm harassing them but if I don't do it this way and I do it by letter/newsletter it tends to be overlooked or ignored.

I'd ebe really interested to hear other ideas about his though and hopefully find something that works really well.

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I think that we're quite lucky with our parents as most are keen to help out in a variety of ways. We don't have a duty rota anymore but a couple of the mums are checked so that they can be used as relief if need be. We are also committee run, so many of the parents are involved in this way. Obviously we always ask for help with fundraising and any outings or parties we might have. One of our mums comes in once a week to change the children's story packs. We have a cleaning rota for teatowels, aprons etc. too. We put up a list each term and invite parents in to Share a Session but tend not to have much of a take up! At various times parents have come in for a particular reason - face painting, one dad came down with his tractor, music, dance etc. :o

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We did a treasure hunt over the last half term. We supplied a small treasure hunt booklet with the pages numbered 1 - 10 for the children and parents to fill in with 1 leaf, 2 pebbles, 3 lolly sticks etc etc . The point being that the parents had to do this with the children. As a result of this we had a surge of parents wanting to go on rota to see what it was we actually do here.

Our rota is up on the wall in the foyer and we constantly remind parents to come along whenever they can. Yes it is hard as so many of them work but we do say grandparents, aunts, uncles and even their childminders are very welcome too.

Its a constant battle with no easy answers - just keep plugging it and welcome them whenever they do come.

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Some times it's a losing battle!!

 

one thing we have done though - and ofsted commented on it - We added an extra box on our weekly topic web titled 'Parental Involvement' which is actualy just suggestions for the interest table! But what it does do is give that vital 'paper evidence' that we try.

 

xx

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Hi there

 

I went on a PEAL (Parents, Early Years and Learning) training course on Tuesday www.peal.org.uk which was a good day out. To be quite honest it was good mainly because the food was so fantastic!!

 

I think that they realise that if parents don't help out then to be quite honest you aren't going to get them in unless you have incredible powers of persuasion!

 

What they mainly were suggesting were treasure boxes to be taken home. Parents were encouraged to write up about the experience in a book. Story bags again with props rather than about a specific book and then parents to write about as before. To encourage parents to take part in Stop, Look and Listen sessions to get them involved in observations.

 

As you can see it was mainly about getting parents to participate in their childrens learning from their home environment. They were also suggesting sessions when parents could join in too, such as drama, music etc. They said that once parents were into these sessions then it starts to break down the barriers and then they start to become more involved.

 

Its worth having a look at their website to get a few ideas though.

 

Quite interestingly I spoke to one manager who said at her setting they charge parents £10 if they don' t take part in the once a month parent rota!! Don't think that would work at our pre-school!!

 

Shelley

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Getting to know your parents well, ie: what are their specific skills/interests that they may be able to bring in and share at preschool.

 

I was very chuffed on friday when out of the blue a grandad who was picking up his grandson asked me, " Can I come in and play some christmas songs on my guitar to the children?" I obviously said I'd be delighted and also that I might even bring my guitar in and learn a few chords with him. ( which I haven't played for a very long time)

Then followed a conversation about how he used to be a foster carer, like I am now. :o

So, as he left I said I looked forward to our 'jamming' session next week. xD

 

Can't wait, something fr me to look forward to and I am sure the children will love it too.

 

I can only assume that it is our welcoming nature that made this grandparent feel able to ask in the first place, certainly no pressure on our part in trying to get parents in. So in answer to the question, I'd say also as well as encouraging / asking, don't let parents feel pressured to 'have' come in, and remember they may feel they get this pressure from schools and other organisations ( karate, dance, football etc) that their preschool children, and older children attend.

In response to Loubi Loo, another way to 'evidence' parental involvement attempts ( for Ofsted / QA ) is to put on parent questionairres a question relevant to "Do you feel welcome to contribute to the preschool your time/interests/skills etc?"

 

Peggy

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A thought just popped into my mind as I was reading through the posts. How about writing a personal 'thank you' letter to those who do help, however small it may be (providing tissues, taking home the laundry, washing up, etc). I'm on a roll now, it could be slipped into the christmas card that each family gets. This could actually be very powerful and potentially the parents could comment between themselves that 'ooh, I had a lovely thank you letter from xxx' which might spur others into doing something.........

 

As I say, just a thought!

 

I know it would add to the task but perhaps the children could draw some pictures which could be shrunk on a photocopier and cut & pasted around a piece of A4 to make a child-centred frame......

 

You know what, I'm going to do this. I'll let you all know what happens!!!

 

Stop me, I'm getting carried away now! Just because someone doesn't actually 'do' something why not give them a thank you for, say, coming in with a lovely cheery smile each morning and helping set the day off on a good footing? Positive behaviour management?!

Edited by Guest
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Love the idea of the pictures to make a frame, LJW!

 

We also publicly thank them - big signs on our noticeboard that say things like "the children went to the allotment to day and dug up weeds. Thank you so much for Johnny's mummy Julie for coming along to help - without her we couldn't have visited today".

 

Maz

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