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EYFS what do parents think?

(10 Posts)
nurseryvoice Mon 06-Jul-09 19:41:44

What do parents really think about the EYFS? do they know anything about it, do they want to know, are they intersted or are they just happy to have a caring environment for children?
The reasons I;m asking is we are trying to get parents more involved at the nursery but they dont seem to want to be and say we are very good. Only thing is Ofsted who regulate us need evidence and its hard pinning parents down.
Its annoying because this affects the grade we get from Ofsted.

Any ideas anyone??

Littlefish Mon 06-Jul-09 20:22:46

Have you asked them how they want to be involved?

Perhaps they want to just fill in questionnaires.

Perhaps they'd be happy to be interviewed by phone.

Perhaps they would like a quick poll conducted by sticking post-it notes on a poster near the nursery door.

There's lots of ways of getting opinions and having parents involved without them having to actually come into the nursery to help out.

Are you a full daycare nursery, or an LEA nursery? In my experience, it's much harder to get parents involved when it is full day care as parents are often dropping off before rushing off to work, and then picking up at the end of a long day.

Mummywannabe Mon 06-Jul-09 20:48:01

we send home 6 weekly learning aims and ask/give opportunity for parents to send them back with their own comments/links to home - we get about 30% back

We have a parents resource box (library to Ofsted!) with books to borrow, videos etc all on child development/parenting etc

We send a get to know our key worker sheet prior to parent/child starting to make the person more human to them -photo etc (gonna introduce this in Sept)

We have recently organised a parent 1st aid course

We send home copies of planning sheets

We invite parents/grandparent in to cook/garden with the children

Recent Ofsted - Good - I argued i thought outstanding for working with parents - she tells me we only do the necessary and nothing extra!

Scarfmaker Mon 06-Jul-09 21:40:34

In a way it's creating a lot more paperwork/work for parents who are already probably struggling with jobs, family life etc.

They probably do want to drop off their kids at the nursery/childminder and get as much feedback as possible but draw the line at having to do any paperwork I suppose.

nurseryvoice Tue 07-Jul-09 16:01:55

We are a private nursery. Mummywannabe yes we do all those things I think we are borderline good/outstanding.
Im introducing a service if parents want it to email newsletters etc.
I was just hoping for something extraordinary to help us get outstanding in that area.
Im a mum myself and to be quite honest understand that they are busy enough, I just want my baby cared for and to be happy.
If any mums out there are involved in their nursery and thought something was a good idea, please let me know.

Rosie55 Wed 08-Jul-09 09:50:09

I'm a parent and know a bit about EYFS, but, as you suggested nurseryvoice, I'm only really concerned that DD's carers are kind to her and that she's happy. Maybe that will change as she gets older (she's 17 m), but even then I'll want her to be busy and not bored, but won't be worried about the skills she's developing (plenty of time for that at school).

I'd be happy to do the things Littlefish suggests, eg. fill in a questionnaire. At DD's nursery they organise things like days out in the summer where parents can go along. It's a nice idea and I'm sure some people do take them up on it, but tbh if I've got a day off work I want to have DD at home with me.

What I really appreciate is when her carers take the time to tell me about little incidents when she seemed really happy, or to discuss signs that she might be unsettled. That shows that they care about her and notice how she's feeling, but the trouble is, it can't easily be measured for Ofsted.

Sorry not to be more help. I work in education so I know how frustrating it is that the really important things can't always be quantified or proved with documents.

PortAndLemon Wed 08-Jul-09 10:09:03

We have a PNA (Parent Nursery Association, I think -- really ought to know given that I'm on it...) -- one or two volunteer parents from each room meet every couple of months with nursery owner and nursery manager (and sometimes other staff, I think) and a couple of bottles of wine and talk through any general issues that have come up, new initiatives that are planned, how recent new initiatives have gone (so, for example, in the last meeting there was some discussion about possible tweaks to the format of parents' evenings and at this week's meeting we talked about how well the newly-tweaked format had worked out at the recent parents' evenings). The idea is that anyone with concerns/comments can approach one of their child's room reps (I'm not sure anyone actually ever does), but the minutes and so forth of the PNA meetings do provide a paper trail for OFSTED on parental involvement.

We also have a summer fete every year (PNA helps to plan and organise this and most stalls are run by parents), new parents' drinks evenings every six months or so for anyone whose child has joined the nursery in that period, occasional other parties/drinks evenings for parents (e.g. there was one a couple of months ago for the nursery's fifth birthday).

In addition to learning aims and planning going home we have a monthly newsletter with an overview of what happened in the nursery last month (with photos), key dates and themes for this month, any staff changes, suggestions for places to visit with your child.

PortAndLemon Wed 08-Jul-09 10:17:39

(you will notice that there's a certain underlying current of giving parents glasses of wine to entice them in...)

Littlefish Wed 08-Jul-09 10:37:10

We used to have "learning journey" books for every child which was displayed in the nursery entrance. Regular photographs, comments, observations etc. were added to the books. Parents were given the opportunity to take the books home to share with the other parent/carer or grandparents etc. We encouraged parents to stick in photographs or write comments of their own to help build up a picture of the child's interests, learning and development at home and nursery. One term, we gave a disposable camera to each family so they could take photographs which we then got developed.

These learning journey books were then used by the keyworkers to plan next steps for each child and to provide feedback to parents on a regular basis.

I used to love seeing parents and children in our entrance area, sitting together and sharing their learning journey books. smile

nurseryvoice Wed 08-Jul-09 19:54:54

Thanks for yr ideas.. The alcohol brought a smile, I always offer a bottle of wine to one lucky parent who returns questionnaires.

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