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Parental Involvement


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I'm doing a level 3 course and my next Assignment is going to be on effective partnerships with parents. I am wondering if anyone would be interested in sharing how their settings encourage active involvement from parents. The setting I am in has parents on the committee, and we also always ask parents to help out on outings, collecting resources for topics etc., but not much else! I've heard some settings have a parents rota and wonder how these actually work, and what do you do to try and involve those parents who do not seem willing, or do not have the time, to help out? All ideas, experiences and contributions will be gratefully received. Thanks

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Hi and welcome to the forum. :)

 

Think of the individual roles the parents take on on the committee. What sort of jobs do they do? We have various office bearers with different job descriptions and the committee also produce newsletters, buy snacks and has a rota for washing. Donating raffle prizes, organising and helping out with fundraising (includes advertising, selling tickets, setting up and tidying away, helping out during event by preparing food or serving, manning the bar, selling raffle tickets etc). Perhaps some of your parents have special skills they can share, such as playing an instrument or an interesting job they can come in and talk about. Do any of the parents make resources (sewing or knitting etc)? What about helping to clean the toys or helping with simple repairs etc?

 

We don't have a duty rota at the moment as I now have my able assistant but my playgroup used to rely on parents helpers in the past to meet minimum adult/child operating ratios. We had a sheet detailing their duties and reminding them about procedures in the kitchen, toilet and in case of fire. The committee managed the rota and arranged for a stand in if someone couldn't manage for whatever reason.

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We are not committee-run, so it is quite hard to involve parents. What we do is to have a voluntary helping rota, and parents can sign up to help for all or part of a session if they wish. Some terms we have about one parent in a week, but lately we haven't had so many coming in.

 

We approach parents directly if we know they have a skill they can share with the children and usually find that they respond well to being asked. We have a lot of children with English as a second language, so we involve those parents in bringing in interesting food/clothes/other resources from their country/culture from time to time or telling a story or teaching songs in their language. We asked a Russian mum whose child did not speak any English to record a story on tape in Russian and English for us recently.

 

When my child was at preschool I was asked to be responsible for choosing the library books for the preschool each term.

 

We involved parents at our preschool in designing our logo and getting our sweatshirts printed (in fact two of them asked if they could do it for us!!!!)

 

Sorry - a bit rambling, but I hope it gives you some ideas.

Carolyn

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And from me, too!

 

We try to involve parents in day-to-day things like supplying fruit for snack time - we just put out a basket for donations. We've invited them in to read to individuals, small groups or the whole group for Book Week; we ask them for ideas about outings etc.

 

Our rota didn't really work so we just make sure parents know they're welcome to come in if ever they've got a day off work etc. It's better than nothing.

 

Parents came into setting when we had an 'Indian' event that involved dancing with sticks - thay joined in & seemd to enjoy it!

 

We also tell parents that we welcome their own suggestions for new ways they could be involved.

 

We're not committee run in the traditional sense, either.

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My pre-school is not committee run but I do encourage a high level of parental involvement. I have what is called a 'parents advisory committee' which meets once a term. Members of this committee are responsible for organising the parents help rota (but parents can also sign up for a one-off session as helpers at any time), the fruit rota , the computer book club and washing and mending dressing up and dolls clothes. I usually invite on to the committee parents who are on thier second child with us or those who volunteer a lot on the questionnaire they fill in when their child joins. Attached is the information on involvement we give parents. Hope this is helpful.

skills_audit_anon.doc

how_you_can_get_involved_anon.doc

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Hi! I've been very encouraged by Deb W's shared attachments. Its great to see how someone else tackles a challenge that others have struggled with. I certainly will be trying the skills audit. Thanks Deb. Do you have a copy of your annual questionnaire to parents you mentioned that you would also be willing to share???? (cheeky aren't I!)

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We try to encourage parents in similar ways to what has already been mentioned. I run a private group and many parents are working.

We are currently doing the kitemark ( kent quality assurance scheme), which has encouraged us to involve parents more in policy reviews ( annual rolling programme) and they have been receiving lots of questionairres lately to help us evaluate our practice.

 

Peggy

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We also have a suggestion box for parents.

Each child has a home-link news book and parents are encouraged to write their child's news and achievements in.

We display the daily plan and list the learning intentions so parents can continue and extend at home.

I feel it is so important to talk to each parents at the end of the session.

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Hello to everyone and thank you for the welcomes. Thanks to all of you for your replies. They have been very useful and very informative. As well as giving me ideas for my assignment, I will now be able to attend our next staff meeting with lots of ideas for involving the parents of our children much more than we do. This site is absolutely brilliant. I've spent ages just browsing around and there is a wealth of information here. I think it's great to be able to share ideas, and everyone seems so friendly and willing to help. Thanks once again. I will be back!

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