Good parental engagement is crucial for child development in the Early Years. And nursery software should be your best tool in your tool box when aiming to engage parents with their child’s learning. Families who work in tandem with the nursery, interact with their child’s interests and help them to explore new learning opportunities give their child the gift of curiosity, confidence, and a zest for learning. But how do you utilise your nursery software to engage all parents, not just a few? We share how.
In this article, you will find
Why is parental engagement so important in the Early Years?
Studies have shown that the positive effects on child progress have been found due to parental engagement with Early Years children. And that up to 5 months of progress can be achieved with effective family interaction. Building effective relationships between home and nursery is beneficial for all involved. Recently, we sat down with Clinical Psychologist and EYFS expert Dr Charlotte Dunster-Page to discuss the nitty-gritty of child development theories in nurseries. Dr Dunster-Page shared that over one-half of parents are struggling with the adjustment to parenthood, making nursery interactions vital for parent well-being.
Some parents may be unsure what stage of play their child might be at or how to correctly engage them in early mathematics or reading activities. Building parental confidence by sharing activities they can try at home via your nursery software can support those parents who are keen to engage but are looking for a route in.
Giving parents the opportunity to interact with snippets of learning via your nursery software sets a positive and involved tone for the child’s educational career, continuing when they progress to big school. Blossom’s new likes and comments feature does just that. It allows parents to feel further connected to their child’s learning by promoting two-way communication.
What is Blossom’s new likes and comments feature?
In a nutshell, Blossom is designed to be easy to use for parents and practitioners alike. It has a similar feel to social media, with the new feature introducing likes and comments from parents to practitioners. The feature can be turned on or off, and permissions personalised, of course, and allows parents (or anyone with family permission) to interact with the posts shared on their Child’s Online Diary.
How to build parental engagement and trust in the nursery
Nursery staff are often the first out-of-family people trusted to care for and nurture the child; trust is essential for parents’ anxiety levels and confidence to leave their child. Building trust is straightforward and relies on three things: communication, transparency, and opportunity.
Effective communication from nursery to home is the main builder of trust. Beginning from the initial phone call to book a walk-around, parents want to feel valued and in good hands. Sharing your nursery software and how it prioritises communication and home-contact throughout the nursery day works well to advertise your setting to prospective parents and also reassures the families they will be involved in their child’s development.
Transparency with your nursery’s ethos, curriculum and expectations from the very beginning can help to settle anxious parents and children, giving clear boundaries. Sharing images and videos via the child’s online diary solidifies the offer you share with the parents: their child receives the best care and education possible.
Opportunity for parents to engage with your nursery builds ownership and a feeling of belonging. Inviting parents to like and comment on the details of their child’s learning journey helps to strengthen the bond between nursery and home. You can book a free 15-minute demo to see the likes and comments feature in action, along with so many more.
How to encourage EYFS development at home
We know that effective parental engagement boosts toddlers’ developmental progress, but how can parents be encouraged to engage with their child more at home? You’ve guessed it: by utilising your nursery software.
Parents may be questioning: What can I do to help my child at home? You can prompt parents with exciting and fun learning ideas to try at home through your software. Sharing articles like messy play ideas to try or communication and language activities via your nursery’s newsletters can give parents the inspiration to try new activities.
With the option to record learning activities at home via the Home Observation feature on Blossom, your parents can share their weekend activities with their key workers, further strengthening the positive working relationship. Parents are more likely to repeat the process of adding home observations if their key worker has liked or commented on the entry, acknowledging they are actively trying to engage with their child at home.
How nursery software can help boost family communications
Children grow up so fast. Before you know it, they are wearing their first school uniform. Help your parents with busy work commitments to enjoy and share in their Child’s Golden Moments, like their first steps or first time experiencing sensory play. All family members who have access can enjoy the images and videos shared by their key worker online (whilst keeping a tight safeguarding procedure limiting any family members who have concerns raised).
The likes and comments feature allows members with permission to see the comments from other family members. Reassuring them that the whole family has enjoyed the key moment captured by nursery staff in the safe, social media-feel software.
Many children have separate households, spending time with multiple parents and close family members. Sharing home observations from any household can help to spark positive and purposeful conversation between parents and families, having the child’s development and exploration as the priority of discussions.