'It is inspiring to see a text which attempts to shift our worldview. This shift could give us the chance to achieve more open, inclusive, democratic early childhood practice that has the capacity to answer the deeper questions and which sees both parents and children as powerful and positive agents in their own futures'
- Chris Pascal and Tony Bertram, Directors of the Centre for Research in Early Childhood (CREC)
The role of parents in the early years is fundamental. In order to achieve the best outcomes for children, mutually beneficial relationships between parents and practitioners need to underpin children's care and learning.
There are many services for children and many different settings in which care and education can take place. Whether you work in children's centres, outreach and dual-focused services, preschools, kindergartens or schools this book will help you develop the skills and strategies to work alongside parents whatever your role.
The importance of involving parents
The nature of learning
How to engage and build relationships with parents
How to reflect on and develop shared learning environment in settings
Transitions and attachment
This book has examples taken from real settings and practical advice to help you put the ideas into practice. Reading and using it will help ensure the wellbeing and development of all children in your care.
Dianne Jackson is an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Western Sydney and the CEO of Connect Child and Family Services
Martin Needham is Academic Division Leader: Education, Professional and Community Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University
Dianne Jackson trained as an Early Childhood Teacher and taught in a broad range of community, early childhood and school settings. Dianne then became a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Western where she completed a First Class Honours degree in Social Science. Since 2004 Dianne has held the position of Chief Executive Officer at Connect Child and Family Services, an NGO in outer western Sydney that delivers a broad range of early childhood focused programs with families. Dianne holds an adjunct position at the University of Western Sydney where she completed her PhD in 2010 and her doctoral research won the 2010 European Early Childhood Research Association (EECERA) Best Practitioner Research Award. Dianne co-convenes an EECERA special interest research group with Pen Green in the UK and her organisation has recently opened an innovative parent and child meeting place, conceptually based on collaborative work she has done with her EECERA colleagues from the University of Ghent. Dianne is also the New South Wales state convenor for the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth. Martin Needham trained and worked as an Early Years teacher in Nottinghamshire, London and Pakistan. This was followed by four years as an Early Years Development Officer for a local authority working on a range of initiatives including Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships, and Children's Centres. During this time he worked regularly with one of the regional parent and child groups as part of the National Children's Bureau's Playing with Words project. He became a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies at the University of Wolverhampton in 2003 and a Principle Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2014. Martin completed his PhD examining pedagogy and learning with children under the age of 4 at the Institute of Education, London University in 2011. Martin has two children with whom he attended parent and toddler groups. Martin has published work on multi-agency working the `Team around the Child' (Siraj-Blatchford et al, 2007) and applying theory to practice (Waller et al, 2011). Martin was the external examiner for the Peers Early Education Partnership (PEEP) which delivers practitioner training for those working with parents and children together from 2006-2010. Martin has also conducted research into leadership in early years settings (Hadfield et al, 2012 and Needham, 2013).
Part 1 Parents, children and practitioners together Chapter 1 The nature of human development Chapter 2 Researching with families Chapter 3 The value of practitioners being with children and parents together Part 2 A place to be and a space to grow Chapter 4 Being together as parents Chapter 5 Creating a nurturing community Chapter 6 Nurturing parents, nurturing children Part 3 Learning to learn in supported playgroups Chapter 7 Children learning in collaboration with adults Chapter 8 Learning to play together Chapter 9 The influence of learning environments Chapter 10 Developing transitional capital