SS Educational Services

Celebrating the International Day of Families: Partnership with Parents

In honour of the International Day of Families, we want to take a moment to appreciate and celebrate the vital role that families play in our lives. Today, we’d like to focus on the importance of strong partnerships with parents in early years settings in the UK. The early years of a child’s life are incredibly formative, and having a strong connection between parents and early years workers can significantly impact a child’s overall well-being. Let’s delve into why these relationships are so essential and explore some ideas for fostering a healthy partnership between early years workers and parents.


The early years are an immensely crucial period in a child’s life, as it sets the foundation for their future development. In these years, children learn essential skills, develop emotional intelligence, and form their understanding of the world around them. It is during this time that the partnership between parents and early years workers becomes a cornerstone of support for children. By working together, parents and practitioners can ensure that children receive the care and education they need to thrive.


One of the key elements in building a strong partnership with parents is communication. Open, honest, and ongoing communication is critical to understanding a child’s needs, progress, and any concerns that may arise. By fostering a welcoming environment where parents feel comfortable discussing their child’s development, early years workers can create a strong foundation of trust and collaboration. This can be achieved through regular parent-teacher meetings, informal chats at drop-off and pick-up times, and sharing daily updates about a child’s activities and progress.


Another essential aspect of fostering a healthy partnership with parents is involving them in the decision-making process. This will start before the child even starts an Early Years setting; the parents will meet with the Early Years professionals and share information about their child, their likes, dislikes, allergies, favourite activities, etc. Working together ensures a better transition for the child. By inviting parents to contribute their thoughts and ideas about their child’s care and education, early years workers can demonstrate that they value parental input and acknowledge the crucial role that parents play in their child’s development. This can be achieved by asking for feedback on the curriculum, organising parent workshops, or setting up a parent advisory committee.


Empathy and understanding are also crucial when building a partnership with parents. Recognising that each family has unique circumstances, challenges, and strengths allows early years workers to tailor their support to meet individual needs. By showing empathy towards a parent’s concerns and offering support in a non-judgemental manner, practitioners can cultivate a sense of trust and cooperation.


One way to promote collaboration and partnership between parents and early years workers is to involve parents in activities and events within the setting. This can include inviting parents to join their child for special events, encouraging them to volunteer or share their skills, or simply inviting them to spend time in the setting to observe and interact with their child. These opportunities can strengthen the bond between families and early years settings, creating a sense of community and shared responsibility for children’s well-being.


Lastly, providing parents with resources and support can help to establish a strong partnership. Sharing information about child development, offering guidance on how to support learning at home, and directing parents to local services or support groups can all contribute to a positive and supportive relationship.


The International Day of Families is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of building strong partnerships with parents in early years settings. By focusing on open communication, empathy, and involving parents in decision-making and activities, we can create a nurturing and supportive environment that places the well-being of the child at the forefront. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and by working together, we can ensure that each child receives the care, love, and attention they need to flourish.