Partnership working between families, carers, practitioners and professionals in supporting young children’s learning and development
Parents, carers and the wider family are central to a young child’s wellbeing, and practitioners have a key role to play in supporting these important relationships by sharing and receiving information to support learning both in the setting and at home. An early years provider’s work with its families will be built on respect and sustaining an ongoing dialogue, developing the partnership begun by any previous practitioner (s).
Close working between practitioners (including those who act as key workers) and families is vital for the identification of a young child’s learning and development needs and to ensure a quick response to any area of difficulty. Regular information should be provided for parents about activities carried out by their children, for example through wall displays; photographs; examples of children’s work or opportunities to see learning and development activities in action.
Practitioners should value linguistic diversity and provide opportunities for young children to develop and use their home language in play and learning, as well as encouraging them to learn and use English. They should also make every effort to ensure that any parents who are not confident in communicating through spoken or written English are not disadvantaged.
Children benefit from quality integrated support with professionals working together to meet their varied needs. Multi-agency partnerships will involve working with people from other agencies, such as local and community health and social care professionals, including where children are looked after by the local authority.
When possible, parents and carers should also have access to information about any health, social care or education extended services offered by the setting or in the locality, which may provide opportunities to improve and extend their own skills. Sole providers may want to make themselves aware of local services or providers in order to be able to pass on useful information to families with whom they are involved.