Management in early years

7 July 2016

For the purpose of this work I will focus my attention on management and leadership skills, that any good early years practitioner should possess in order to organise/hold the event of parents evening. Working in partnership with parents Constructive working relationships between teachers and parents can enhance adults knowledge and understanding of children and children’s learning opportunities, and so contribute to children’s learning and wellbeing at home and in the setting.

Children who see their parents working closely together with their teachers “gain a sense of continuity and of being cared for” and experience a “trusting and secure environment in which they can learn and grow” (Whalley & the Pen Green Centre Team, 2001). Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological model of human development offers a theoretical rationale for teachers and parents working in close collaboration. Inclusion….. Purpose and outcome Early childhood practitioners are often reluctant to see themselves as leaders and managers.

Management in early years Essay Example

However, all those who work with young children and their families, whatever their level of experience and competence, have to undertake both of these roles on a daily basis. Parents evening is the perfect example of these two roles “played” by the same person. This is one of the best opportunities I have as practitioner in building relations with the parents. Why? Because if the parents are in agreement with my methods of practice/teaching, I’ve brought learning home.

Researching Effective Pedagogy in the Early Years (Siraj-Blatchford, Sylva, Muttock, Gilden, & Bell, 2002), found that children’s cognitive attainment benefited when parents were involved in children’s learning activities at home. Again the reformed EYFS(2012) has set out to raise the bar of just how influential parents’ role is in their child’s learning and development. Effective leaders will respond to this by reviewing their setting’s work with families to ensure strong engagement. The above ideas has been the foundation of organizing my first parents evening at my new setting.

Although the event took place in September( next one due in June), the time coincide with the new EYFS coming into place and myself starting my new job at University of Warwick Nursery about the same time. Although I am a confident person, the likes of starting a new job, new EYFS coming into place, key children/families( of whom 4 out of 5had English as a second language, with very little or no knowledge of what EYFS is or how the nurseries are operating in UK), made me a bit anxious. I had to find a strategy which allowed me to be efficient, sounded knowledgeable and be professional.

Having the liberty from the setting manger to conduct my parents evening, into whatever manner suits me and the families involved, the key for me at that particular time was called ORGANIZED. Before holding meeting with parents, any practitioner would consider what purpose it will serve and what will be the most effective method of achieving your goals. Good communication must have a clear purpose. •give information •consult •generate ideas •gather information •educate/help Parent and key worker meetings

Early years settings tend to organise parent and key worker meetings on a regular basis and in a more structured way. Again, the timing of these meetings will depend on the parents’ daily routines and commitments, and the staff team will have to be flexible when arranging them. I have tried to be responsive to the needs of all individuals when arranging the timing for meetings. Because of the issue of confidentiality and because for most of the families English is a second language, I decided to have meetings with each family, rather than a group meeting.

A little office was made available for the times booked and had a presentation running in the background ( appeals to all learning styles) for extra visual information; the main purpose was it introduce the EYFS, areas of learning, activities(see if any disagreement towards celebrations, messy play,etc) and how can be extended at home. See appendix Again, careful thought needs was given to •objectives (why) •audience (who) •content (what) •timing (when) environment (where).

From my experience, these meetings offer an opportunity for the practitioner and parents to gather information, share their observations and to consider the implications of these in terms of planning for the child’s learning. They are conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect and practitioners should act as genuine listeners, responding to what they hear from the parent and not allowing discussions to be driven by a pre-set agenda based on what has been observed in the nursery. I am trying to use a business technique called the praise – praise sandwich.

Start with something positive about the child, ask parents of any weak points/areas for improvement , we discuss around this and get an agreement of how together we can help the child move forward and generally improve. Finally I summarise our agreement, and finish with a reminder of their positive. Although we are gathering lots of written and recorded evidence for the child`s learning, is right to say that in Early Years , 50% of the information is mentally recorded by the key worker; and this extra information I found to be really appreciated by parents/families as a prove of knowing/understanding that particular child.

During individual meetings with parents, time is set aside for looking at the implications of observations from home and nursery. Planning together for children’s learning will result in a more holistic approach, an enhanced curriculum and continuity for the children. There are opportunities to look at the child’s learning journeys and to talk about appropriate provision and support for the child’s developmental stage.

Where a pattern of behaviour or personal learning interest has been identified, the key worker and parent are discussing experiences that could be offered at home and in the nursery in the hope that they would engage the child and further extend learning. We also share with the parents information about the Foundation Stage curriculum and about young children as learners. explain how the setting plans and assesses a child’s learning within the six areas of learning discuss the importance of the learning process emphasise the importance of child-initiated learning talk about schemas discus appropriate expectations and contexts for learning.

It is common sense that practitioners should have confidence in their presentation skills and their knowledge of child development and early learning. When English is a second language Parents evening is also an excellent time for the child’s key person to discuss the child’s level and understanding of English, the use of their home language at nursery and the use of English at home. During this time the key person may have some questions on how the child is progressing at home. These can be important as if the child is using little or no English at the setting it is harder to know their level of development.

I believe that good relationships with parents helps to aid our knowledge of the child and so provide them with the best possible care and education. To support inclusion and make each child feel valued, I initiated a little project. In the classroom we have got a board on which we have a data base of common words used in all the languages our children are speaking at home. We asked the parents for any words that they feel the child and key person may need while at nursery. This gives the key person some simple understanding and being more aware if the child is asking for something or trying to explain something.

This also helps the key person to build a relationship with the child. It has proven to be a success and now it has been extended to all the classrooms. In the United Kingdom, the Pen Green Centre for Under Fives and their Families is well known for its work in involving families in children’s learning, as well as for parents being supported themselves. Pen Green tries to follow a process: whereby all the important adults in a child’s life give each other feedback on what seems to be centrally important to the child, and how and what they are learning in the home and in the nursery (Whalley and the Pen Green Centre Team, 2001).

In this way, children are offered a challenging and stimulating environment in both settings that draws on each party’s understanding and scrutiny. Conclusion I believe that I have used my management skills to the best of my abilities and knowledge and it would only be honest to say that, ideas shared with my community of learners (our students group from college) have been put into practice; parents feedback is encouraging . All of them admitted to recognize their own child`s personality, routines, likes/dislikes from everything I have said about each individua. Maybe next time I should try to manage my time a

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