Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Parental Involvement


 Share

Recommended Posts

We are a sessional, committe run pre-school that is struggling to get parents involved!!! I know this subject has come up time and time again and although it includes the 'committee' part which has been discussed in another thread, for us, its the participation in fundraising etc!! We recently had a photography competitioner and out of 78 children, only 14 entered (making a total profit of £14.00). Last half term we didnt have one single parent sign up for the help rota and only a handful of parents volunteer to make the playdough!!!

 

I know many of our children will be leaving for school very soon and the parents often loose interest, but it really is a bit soul destroying at times, because we do have a good relationship with parents, they just dont seem interested at all in helping out in any way!!

 

For new children starting in September, the questionnaires are being returned, these include things like would you be prepared to..........help at a sessions? Join the committee? wash aprons? photocopy? etc etc, and you wouldnt believe how many have put no, no.no no to all of it!!!

 

Any suggestions to get parents to help out/be a bit more involved??? I dont want to keep raising the fees to cover costs etc but without parental help and support, we will have little choice!!

 

jx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sympathise with you Jeni as I maage a group siimilar to yours and I know a lot of committee emebers will be leaving in September and once again we will be back to trying to form a new committe without which we would have to close. it is the same problem year in year out. The only volunteers we have for parent rota are the committee members and the same couple. Another group in our area actually gives parents a specifed day to do but I ahve been rleuctant to do this in the past.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

 

smiles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is difficult isn't it. As I am now a parent and not working in preschool I am on the 'other side of the coin' so to speak. I realise now that parents have many daily commitments, and not just work, that schools / preschools may not be aware of.

 

When I ran my preschool I used to make time to get to know each parent individually, their interests, what they did during preschool hours, what they like to do with their children after preschool etc etc. It was mainly through this building of a relationship / professional friendship that I then had volunteers for various helpful things. ie: a new mum, chatting about her day, how her son (at preschool) loved his new brother etc, near the end of the chat she said "why don't I bring baby in, show the children how he is bathed and fed?" I endorsed this as a great idea and when she did come in we took photo's of each child helping to bathe & feed him, with proud older brother looking on, and every child had a little booklet memory of the experience.

 

Another parent was talking about the work she had done in her garden, I asked some gardening questions because I needed to clear some nettles etc from our outdoor area, so she volunteered her help, and donated some lovely plants as well.

 

Another parents told me about the new break maker they had at home, thus followed the parents idea to come in and show all the children how to make bread for the snack bar.

 

These are just a few examples I can remember of the top of my head.

others................................................ a dad who was a postman, showed the children how he emptied the local post box, we also walked with him for part of his round delivering letters and he came in one morning after his rounds and read the children a post related story.

In fact quite a few dads ( mums at work, dad at home or estranged dads with shared parental contact) would ask to come and play, after they saw one dad do it.

One mum was an avid bootfair visitor, she would ask if there were any particular resources I needed and would hunt them out for us.

One mum who used the library a lot would change our books for us.

 

I suppose what I am saying is rather than put forward 'expectations' of specific types of help wanted, I just used my knowledge / relationship with parents and they then came up with ideas to help. Because the idea came from the parent, it was,I believe much more successful.

 

As for fundraising, I would do child focused sponsors, have a donation box (voluntary) for photocopy costs when handing out newsletters (which always featured photo's of children that parents would appreciatte seeing / reading about)

Some parents ran 'party plans' like Avon or Body shop, so they became involved through doing parties at the preschool on a social evening.

 

Basically, the parents also need a sense of achievement when they help out, it needs to be worthwhile for them in terms of feelgood factor, rather than something they feel they have to, or are compelled to do. :o

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

how about asking parents for fundraising ideas, when we did this they came back with some good ideas and felt obliged to take part as they thought of them!!

as for

making playdough - we now have the children doing it!

washing aprons - left to us so think the children will soon be doing that too!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These days it is harder to get them involved in the setting with other outside pressures it can often be the only time they have to either do some chores uninterrupted or spend some time on them selves... also with work commitments are busy I know a lot of ours do work even for the short sessions

 

because of this we gave up the rota years ago... but if we put a notice out for a volunteer to do the washing we often have 4 or 5 parents willing to help. we ask for specific tasks on an occasional basis as well as for donations every week for the fruit etc at snack time.

 

Things like playdough the children do with us.

 

Many parents are more willing to pay for the place than give time, so this may be the way to go.

 

perhaps a letter asking parents for comments and ideas on what they want.. we did that and they have come up with a sponsored walk and a material collecting scheme which pays cash for weight of material don't know where or how it works as they did it all.

 

we also found that having something to help raise funds which can be done at home with the child can be well supported, we do a sponsored find when we are not doing a walk and it is always well supported, children get a certificate and small bag of sweets when completed, (They are given a sheet of 20 items to find and stick onto the sheet items like a daisy, something blue, cornflake etc. and a sponsor form usually over a week off or Easter works well )

 

No easy answer but we changed our practice so we do not rely on it but look at it as a bonus..

 

Inge

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking from experience, it is easy to underestimate how scary and intimidating it can be for parents to come and spend time in pre-school - even without the complications posed by lack of self esteem or post natal depression etc.

 

I agree with everything Peggy said - parents like to be asked to come and do something specific so that might be a good way to bring the child's family into the setting. Knowing your parents well is a really good start, and a good relationship with them is the best resource you can have - especially because once you have information you can use it to the best advantage to tempt them in. Once you've got them in with a sense of purpose and achievement, you've got them forever!

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

we have found that through fundraising events we have got to know the parents a little bit better and this in turn seems to have had a knock on effect in them being willing to help with things like cleaning of toys and coming into the session to help etc. our best fundraising this year was a family fun night where the whole family were able to come and enjoy an evening getting to know each other whithout having to find a baby sitter, we played traditional party games including musical chairs for parent and child and had dance competitions! we kept the price down by only charging for the adults and the ticket included entry into a prize draw! we didn't make a massive profit but the night was such a success in moral for parents and we have been asked by many since if we can do them more often!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi All - I am not in a committee run pre-school, though experienced on school pta's, and parents these days do have huge committments - can you encourage grandparents/aunts and uncles to join the pre-school. I also know that most towns have a voluntary service where retired people can offer their services - are you able to contact them ? It must be very hard having to attract parents each year to join the committee Good luck to all of you who are committee based for hopefully more help this year Dot :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have been at my preschool for nearly 9 years and no one has ever signed up on the parents rota!!! :o We sometimes have committee members stay, but only in an emergency!! I can understand this as parents are paying for children to be with us, but we always ahve a good response for fundraising, although it is always the same parents that do well!!!! xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For new children starting in September, the questionnaires are being returned, these include things like would you be prepared to..........help at a sessions? Join the committee? wash aprons? photocopy? etc etc, and you wouldnt believe how many have put no, no.no no to all of it!!!

 

Obviously too late for this year but perhaps you need to reword your questionnaires. Instead of asking if they would be prepared to do this that or the other I would perhaps put a paragraph at the top explaining that in order to keep costs down all parents are asked to help out in some way during the year and then ask them to indicate which of the following they feel able to help with. If the questionnaires come back with nothing ticked I would go back to them (smile sweetly :o ) and say that I presume they are happy to do all of them since they haven't indicated a preference. xD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your suggestions so far! Please dont get me wrong, I completely understand that parents are busy, need time to themselves, are shy etc etc etc. And of course we do have parents who are paramedics, firemen etc that we have asked to come in, and when asked directly they are happy to oblige. Its just the day to day stuff, which seems such hard work to get any involvement from parents.

 

We had a meeting last night and we are now looking into dropping the PLA bit and becoming staff run!??? The demands and expectation of the committee are huge and as lots of people on this site have highlighted, its really hard getting parents to come on the committee.

 

jx

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do parents/carers have to be CRB checked if they come in to nursery/playgroup to work with the children?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a rota at the moment but are in the process of scrapping it as so many people are unable to take a turn on duty. From September we will be offering flexible hours between 9 - 3 so having a rota wont be practical anyway. We do have a good committee who have done some great social events as fundraisers and they have been really popular but day to day it seems to be hard for parents and carers to find time.

 

Sally

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do parents/carers have to be CRB checked if they come in to nursery/playgroup to work with the children?

 

 

This, I think is one of those proverbial 'grey areas'.

Basically, I would 'risk assess' how much risk is there?

If a parent has regular contact with children, then yes, even though contact is always supervised.

 

If in doubt, contact Ofsted, give them details of the amount of contact any individual parent/s have and ask them if they require one, ask for it in writing / email.

 

I do know that my sons school have asked me to help out with a visit to the zoo this term, a one off activity, and they asked if I was CRB checked.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)