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Parents As Partners In Preschool


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Hi. I have just started in a preschool where they need to make lots of changes before Ofsted's return in a few weeks! One of the ideas I like is to having closer links with parents. I want to welcome them to come in for sessions, or part of the session to help out and feel more involved.

 

What are the rules about CRB checks for the parents and do any of you have parents come in to help?

 

Any suggestions would be most welcome!

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I work in a preschool and we have a duty rota where all parents/carers take turns to help out and join in the activities of the group. I don't know if all of our parents are CRB checked but they are never allowed unsupervised access to the children. Will check with my supervisor after hols. Others may be better able to inform you on the legalities.

We have a very close partnership with our parents and most of them enjoy coming in to help and sometimes share their own interests and talents with the group. Great for self-esteem and confidence for children and parents. We've had lots of positive feedback.

 

Sally

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parents dont need to be crb checked as long as they are not left alone with the children :o

 

Thank you both - that is really helpful. xD

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Don't forget grandparents too Jo. We have about half dozen regulars who come in and the children think this is fantastic.

Our rota is left in the corridor so parents can put their names on for whichever day they wish to do and as with previous posts they are not left alone with any children (not even the ones they are related to). :o

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something we do too, is to have a book of photographs of each child, as part of their 'learning journeys'........we are prolific photographers and snap away at everything the children do.These then go into their individual books, which we keep in a big box by the front door, with an invitation to parents to look at them whenever they like.........but to ADD to them too, for instance, if their child has reached a particular milestone (maybe first try on the potty...........first dry night, family wedding/birthday/birth etc,whatever they feel is important to them and/or the child).We keep a supply of sticky labels, post it notes, a glue stick and pens to enable and encourage their particpation.We have huge amounts of interest and favourable comments from the parents (one dad even took time off work to come in and have a look when his wife told him how lovely their book was !).It IS time consuming, and quite expensive printing out all the photos, but I reckon it's invaluable (one mum told us she'd come over all weepy looking at her child's book, and another told us that in her opinion, it's what sets us apart from other groups, because it shows we care....nice !).Our lead teacher, senco and CDW have all said they're superb and a great way of involving parents and the children.We regularly find children looking through their own book (they know they must not look at other books unless they are invited to by the owner and are very good at this) and laughing at some of their photos.It's just lovely and a fantastic record of the child's time with us (and, for those children who tell their parents they did 'nothing' at preschool today....well, the evidence is there!).

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We're photo mad to - we have similar books which the parents love, as an extra I've just bought a digital photo frame £39.99 from tesco's and we always have it running as a 'slide shoe' as parents collects - hot of the press evidence that their child has been busy.

 

On our activity planning sheets we now have a 'parental involment' box (ofsted really like this) it simply means about how we can invole them - for example next week we're growing beans- so we asked parents to bring in old yogurt type pots........... in reality I will go and buy 100 paper caps for a £1 anyway.... but it gives parents the option to become more involved if they wish.

 

xxxx

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What a great idea to have a slide show at the end of the session. Parents can see what their children have been doing - we had one mum the other week turn to her child and ask why she hadnt made anything to take home. The child had been engrossed in role play for most of the session but didnt have a 'product' to take away with her. She did however have a wonderful time!!

Love the idea of books of photos too. Something else to suggest to my increasingly weary supervisor at next week's staff meeting.

 

Sally

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Guest Wolfie

That idea of a parental involvement box on the planning sheet is a really good one - I'm going to pinch that! :o

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When I was at playgroup we used to have the parent help rota but it wasnt always sucessful, parents work, have other commitments of some sort, so the rota could be difficult to fill. We used to ask for help with mending, washing, collecting etc so they could have some input and that included grandparents. One mom only wanted to help in the kitchen, making staff tea, washing paint pots, generally keeping the place ticking over. This allowed staff to be with the children rather than in the kitchen. A nan always took the paint aprons home when she deemed them to be in need of a scub, one of the dads would arrive with reams of computer printout paper andother family used to raise loads of money whenever we fundraised for something. If aparent was there it was understood they couldnt toilet any children, even teir own in case others followed, they were informed of confidentiality and the damage gossip can do and they were asked not to take photos, something a parent was seen doing on amobile phone once and sending to her husband at work.

Your parents will have a wealth of experience you can plug into. Our registration forms had a box for parents to include their own hobbies/interests, these were used by me to see who might have the necessary skill/expertise I might need for aforthcoming topic or event.

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We discuss with parents about their skills and interests. I have been very suprised on a regular basis at what the parents can and will do. We have recently had a cake maker/decorator, knitter, seamstress, carpenter, fireman, coach driver to name but a few!

 

Our parents rota seemed to fall flat too. Always seemed to be the same few faces. One became so attached we employed her!!

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You guys are so fantastic - I get so many ideas from here...and as I have just tonight been appointed acting manager of the preschool I will be implementing many new ideas.

 

Thank you so much!

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really obvious I know, but my rota has gone much better this yet now I get parents to come in in pairs they say they prefer this as they have a "point of reference" with the other parent and it feels less threatening. Good luck.

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