Week 1

Week 1

Communicating with families


Engagement with the Service

Families are supported from enrolment to be involved in the service and contribute to service decisions.

Case Study – Critical Reflection
After critically reflecting upon the element a Centre understood that the element has three different sections

  1. Families are supported from enrolment
  2. Families to be involved in the service
  3. Families to contribute to service decisions.

Breaking the element down makes it easier to work out what needs doing.

Action from critical reflection – Families are supported from enrolment
A centre visits children’s home before they start to ensure families are supported, and children get to meet and spend time with educators in their own home.

Children benefit from meeting educators in their home environment as it’s where they feel most safe and secure. They recognise that their parents have let these people into their home, so they can be trusted. When children start at the centre, they have a familiar person to reach out to, which helps with their transition, especially in those first few days and weeks.

The visit helps educators to feel more comfortable with parents, and gives educators things to talk about with each child, strengthening the link between home and the centre.

The visit also helps develop relationships between parents, educators and children before children even start. Educators chat and have a coffee with parents or guardians on home visits, learn about children’s interests and favourite toys etc, look at family photos and meet family pets. Parents have the time and opportunity to talk on a more involved level with educators. Parents realise that they’re important to us (as well as their child) as we’ve made the effort to visit them. This helps create a bond from the very first day, and the bond is reinforced as parents now have someone familiar to leave their child with on that day rather than a complete stranger.  This all paves the way for strong relationships to develop, which encourages parents to be involved in and contribute to service decisions, because they know how much we value them.

  1. Families to be involved in the service

Critical Reflection
After critically reflecting upon this section of the element educators thought the theorist – Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917 – 2005) could help. He said families play an important role in children’s development, and suggested parents’ occupations are a key factor.

Action after critically reflecting
Educators decided they  didn’t really know their parents’ occupations. They needed to find out what they are and how they can be used to involve families in the service. Educators went through the list of all the children and their parents/guardians, and then wrote how they could use the occupations so families could be involved.

Child: Jaydan

Mum works at a supermarket on the registers

Mum could tach the children about:

  • the different ways people pay for their groceries
  • the most common items families buy
  • how a laser works reading the bar codes
  • how weight can be used to work out the price of vegetables and fruit
  • rosters and how they are worked out so people know when to work.

Your activity: look at the occupations of each child’s parents and work out how you could involve the parents in the service.

Go further by visiting the families’ workplaces where possible.

We visited Jackson’s father’s work, Audio Direct, where we were shown the storage area and saw stage parts, disco balls, fold lifts, speakers and TVs.

  1. Families to contribute to service decisions

Critical Reflection
After critically reflecting upon this section of the element educators wondered what service decisions families could be involved in.

Action after critically reflecting

Educators started to create a list of service decisions and then worked out how families could be involved. The easiest way to start was looking at complaints and then getting families to help address them eg:

  • Too hot/cold/wet to play outside
  • Managing bullying/biting incidents
  • Dealing with soiled clothing from toileting accidents. (A parent wanted the underpants thrown out.)
  • Food included/excluded on menu
  • Implementing illness/exclusion/infection control practices (eg when is a fever infectious)