The good news is, there is plenty of simple, practical advice you can access. The Foundation Years website has an area devoted to Working with Parents, and similar information can be found on the Engaging Parents page of the Family & Parenting Institute (now merged with the Daycare Trust as the Family and Childcare Trust). If you prefer your information in booklet form, then Supporting Parents in Helping their Children Learn at Home (Daycare Trust, 2010) or Early Home Learning Matters: a Brief Guide for Practitioners (Family & Parenting Institute, 2009) are both worth a look.
Looking further afield into the research literature, there does seem to be a theme of 'what works' about the reports that are available. Some of these documents that have at least some relevance include:
- Do Parental Involvement Interventions Increase Attainment? (Nuffield Foundation, 2013)
- What do Rigorous Evaluations Tell Us about the Most Promising Parental Involvement Interventions? (Nuffield Foundation, 2013)
- The Delivery of Parent Skills Training Programmes (Family & Parenting Institute, 2010)
- Principles for Engaging with Families (National Children's Bureau, 2010)
- How can an Early Years Setting Encourage Parental Participation? (Learning Concepts, 2009)
And a few other items that may be of interest... If you have some time to spare and want to brush up on your knowledge, the OU has a freely available learning unit entitled Parents as Partners. You can find a good practice case study on the Ofsted website on the topic of Developing Effective Partnerships with Parents in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Or you may wish to look at a 2013 research report from the DfE entitled Parents' Views and Experiences of Childcare.
Next week's #EYTalking session also promises to be of great interest, as it is being co-hosted by the Department for Education, allowing people from the early years sector to address questions directly to the 'people in charge'. For more details, click here.