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Parent Rota Help


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If your setting requires regular help from parents/carers on a rota basis, hopefully you can answer my questions!


Is a requirement of each parent/carer to help? What if they work?

If they don't turn up on their allocated day is there a fine?

What sort of jobs do you get them to do?

What can't they do?





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We don't use a rota.


You can't link funded children's places to any payments, so you can't fine parents for not helping out.


Personally I don't think it's fair to say parents have to help, what if they work? Also, if they are not willing then it's best not to have them there. I help occasionally when I can but I certainly couldn't commit to it regularly because of my work.


Also, the child I think really benefits from being away from the parents and having that freedom.


I know it's an ideal to work in partnership with parents but I think it's often unworkable.

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we have a rota parent system in place, its not a requirement for a parent to do rota -but we try to encourage as many as we can to join in -not only is it helpful for us in the setting the parents also get to see what we do in playgroup, and the child also benefits as they feel that what they do is interesting etc to their parent.

the parents do a couple of sessions each term -depends on how many sessions their child attends.

we dont fine our parents if they cant do duty -if they tell us they wont be able to be on the rota then we dont put them on, or if they cant do their allocated day they sort it out with the other parents and swop days etc.

our duty parent plays with the children, reads stories if they want them, write names on artwork, play games etc.

we dont expect them to solve disagreements, or disputes between the children or to deal with any thing of that nature -they dont go into the childrens bathroom at all and are never left alone with children -they are always in our sight and within speaking distance.

we get them to wash paint pots etc, wipe down tables, sweep floors, clean up spills, wash up etc.

we are a small preschool and without a parent helper we find it really tricky as we cant afford to pay for an extra pair of hands.

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We used to have arota but with so many parents working these days it was decided to put anotice up saying that they are welcome to stay at any session to read, play and make the staff a cup of tea!

I agree with Rolymo, the children see their parent as avalued person and that their parent is interested in what they do. It can give them something to chat about together on teh way home and talk about within their family.

If you cant get parents have you thought about grandparents or other family members helping out? One of our nan's didnt like to play in the main room but was happy to make the tea, prepare the snack, wash up and even to take all the aprons home for a good scrubbing.

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We do a rota.


We allocate each parent 1 session per 1/2 term - if a parent can't make that day then they swap with someone for a more appropriate time. If a parent really doesn't or can't help then we just ask them to let us know and we don't put their name forward - we don't fine anyone.


We find almost all our parents like to help out, as this is when they sit with the child's keyperson and go through their learning journey folders. Parents evenings don't work for us but this way is a hit.


It is always made clear that they are there to play with the children, however if they wish they can ask us for a job and we would ask them to help on the craft table, book corner or make a cuppa.


They are always told they can not take any child including their own to the toilet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

one particular method of dealing with the rota remains with me years later.


it was decided that parents would be nominated a day to do rota, swopping it was down to the parents.


The way they managed this was that they would not open the door to playgroup until that person had arrived or until some body else had given in and offered to do it, if they did not show up. but it always seemed to be the same people who gave up their mornings at a moments notice. this system did not last long and they went back to the same old system of parents signing up.

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My setting kind of got out of the habit of having parent helpers and while we asked each term for volunteers, we never got a very big response.


So last term we sent out a sort of advertising notice (which I've attached) making it sound like a 'parent helper' was a 'role' you accepted - and this will be explained on a one to one basis when new children start.


Now we have a list of several parents who would like/are able to be parent helpers and they are just allocated sessions each term and advised when that will be.


Seems to have worked quite well and we had a lot more interest...


Hope that helps.





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one group in our area told parents they HAVE to attend on rota...a day that was chosen for them by the supervisor and which could not be changed.They are NOT allowed to bring younger children with them, and if they cannot do the session, the setting charges that parent a staff members wages for the session.Inclusion at its best heh???

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