On Saturday 6th February Kati Osborne and I were fortunate to participate in Alice Sharp’s Adventures with Alice seminar, “Home Learning:  Strengthening Ties With Families”; one of the many virtual events at this years Nursery World Show.

Alice shares our belief in promoting strong partnerships and ties with all of our families, and now more than ever, it is extremely important that our experienced practitioners share their knowledge and skills to communicate with our families.

As a proactive team we work extremely closely with our parents, carers and families to ensure that the children in our care reach their full potential. Adventures with Alice reiterated that caring for a child in a quality setting for 15 hours a week for 36 months alongside a supportive and positive home learning experience gives children a more positive start in life.

Alice gave some excellent suggestions to encourage partnerships with parents to meet their different dynamics and diverse needs, which we will trial within the nurseries. Active participation from parents, including using them to share their skills and as educators to our Kidszrus community will allow us, our parents and children to build on their own skills within the setting and in their home life.

As practitioners we also need to share our knowledge with parents, carers and families to encourage more frequent and playful interactions at home as learning through play is essential in early education.  We are well aware that being a parent is one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs.

We look forward to using the information and inspiring ideas gained from this seminar, including “sharing sacks” containing  a toy and motivational comment or activity idea in one of the key areas and characteristics of effective learning, singing familiar rhymes such as ‘you are my sunshine” to revitalise partnerships and relationships, some fantastic activities indoors and outdoors including of all things a variety of potato mashers for fun learning and also working collaboratively within our settings.  We will be communicating even more with Dad’s and significant male family members who play an important role to enhance their experiences in children’s play and learning.  We already know, and it is proven that these playful interactions will make much more impact if it’s a shared approach!

We are also looking forward to attending more inspirational sessions with Adventures with Alice.

Darren Matthews, Quality Manager (Teaching, Learning and Staff Development) and Kati Osborne (Manager, Kidzrus Irlam)

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