How important is parental engagement in Early Years?
Why do you need to have engaged parents in your nursery setting? Apart from the crucial role engaged parents play in your Ofsted inspection, the number one reason, of course, is that it’s good for the children!
Parental involvement in your nursery helps parents to become interested and understand what’s going on behind all of their child’s activities, empowering them to support their children and continue the good work you do every day.
And that’s not all; parental engagement is the surest way to gain good feedback on the running of your nursery, as honest and open communication is what drives you to keep improving.
Happy, up-to-date parents better understand the work you do and can see the essential role you play in the differences you make. As a business, it is happy parents who make or break your reputation, and they are the quickest route to more referrals, improved numbers as well as continued revenue.
Research Highlights the Benefits of Parental Involvement in Home Learning
Eighteen schools across Greater Manchester took part in PEN’s Engaging Parents Effectively Project, which prioritised disadvantaged three and four-year-olds and those eligible for the Early Years Pupil Premium.
Nursery staff were trained to work closely with parents to support them in helping their children to learn. They found that parental involvement had a significant effect on the children’s home learning environment and, in most cases, it also improved their academic progress.
Under the trial, staff in intervention schools were trained in the Home Learning Project and delivered the ‘intervention’ to families over the course of an academic year. Parents were invited to attend two to four workshops per term and were provided with take-home activities and Play Club bags related to maths, phonics and other aspects of the EYFS.
Parents and teachers measured children’s outcomes before and after the programme.
In terms of the impact on staff, the analysis revealed that 94% of staff reported they had gained more confidence and skills in working with parents through the training and implementing the project.
Most schools thought that the intervention had a positive effect on the children’s progress in the EYFS profile outcomes. According to the evaluation, at one particular school, Claremont Primary School, 70% of the children involved in the project made accelerated progress in teacher-assessed reading, as well as speaking compared with the year group as a whole.
Staff also reported that their relaxed, informal, hands-on workshops helped to build good relationships among parents, as well as between parents and staff, leading to some parents supporting each other to do the activities.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation, said, “We know that the attainment gap between the richest and the poorest pupils begins before they’ve even started school. Tackling this gap early on is critical to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and improving social mobility.”
Does your nursery have a mobile app for parents?
Engaging nursery parents in the real world through informal, fun workshops has been shown to really improve parental engagement and children’s academic progress. Engaging parents with a familiar and convenient platform, such as a mobile parent app, further strengthens relationships, ensuring powerful communications that add real value to your nursery setting.
Today’s tech-savvy parents are accustomed to accessing all of their information at the press of a button. In fact, many millennials are likely to consult apps and the web for parenting advice even before reaching out to friends or family members! For this reason, innovative, user-friendly technology such as ParentMail is a sure-fire way to deliver important information quickly and reliably, ensuring you reach all parents, all the time!