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CCLD 301

Outcome: 301.4
Handout - Parental involvement

In the Children Act 1989 it stresses that parents’ responsibility for their children should be
recognised and respected.

Involving parents and working in partnership with them will not work if staff members feel
that they know what is best for the child/children. Partnership building cannot flourish
under such conditions.

It can only develop where the staff respect and acknowledge parents/cares wishes.

Practitioners may have their own ideas of how children/young people should be brought
up; they may consider parents/carers with child rearing patterns different from theirs, as
inadequate parents. This type of negative attitude is very likely to prevent the development
of a partnership. Practitioners must have an understanding that there is not a correct way
of rearing children/young people. They must value and respect a range of child rearing
practices to avoid inaccurate assumptions and judgements being made. The staff should
create opportunities to enable parents/carers to talk about their child rearing practices and
their expectations. Parents/carers need to feel supported and valued, as without this they
will be unable to fully participate fully in partnership.

It is important that from the onset a child/young person starts a setting that the
parents/carers are informed about the ethos, aims, policy and procedures of the setting.
Parents/carers must be given time to ask questions to ensure that they have a clear
understanding and are in agreement with the overall running of the establishment.
(Settings should ensure that any of their displays and communication should promote and
portray the policy and procedures of the setting.)

Parents/carers should be encouraged from the beginning to discuss policies and


procedures with the staff and management and ask them for their comments. By doing
this, the setting is demonstrating its open-mindedness and willingness to accept opinions
and learn from their own experiences, ideas and skills.

When a parent/carer first arrives at the setting it allows you to have a glimpse into the
culture of the family, this will enable the setting to reflect and compliment it.

Parents /carers must be made to feel welcome and comfortable in order for them to build
up a relationship with the staff and the staff with them. It is important to create an
environment that is relaxed and welcoming, and accessible to all.

Posters and displays should reflect the variety of cultures in our community and in the
wider setting. There should be a varied use of print in a range of languages. This will help
staff initiate discussions with parents as well as being essential to the children/young
people.

Parents/cares are more likely to be active partners if they are able to influence the
curriculum and environment of the setting their child/children are attending. (It is vital that
everyone who involved in the care and education of children/young people is aware of
anti-discriminatory practice and appreciates what the process entails)

MACTAC © 2007
CCLD 301
Outcome: 301.4
Handout - Parental involvement

Celebrating festivals within the setting provides a link with parental involvement. These
events are fun, sociable and non-threatening. (It is very important that tokenism is not
allowed to creep in) It is also important that we recognise and celebrate festivals within the
settings culture; e.g. Irish, by inviting parents/carers to join in the activities they are more
likely to respect and join in festivals from a wide range of cultures.

Remember

Partnership is a two way learning process based on mutual respect, trust and a willingness
to consult and negotiate. By working in partnership parents/cares and workers can benefit
but also through which an environment can be created in which all children can blossom.

MACTAC © 2007