The Education Network for Waltham Forest
Supported by Waltham Forest

Working in partnership with parents

Early Years Foundation Stage

What to expect, when? A parent's guide to the EYFS

The 'What to expect, when? A parent's guide' written by 4Children provides guidance to parents on their children's learning and development in the EYFS.

By making this document available to parents in your setting, it will further reinforce and support parents in understanding how their child is learning and how they can help them to further develop.

Parents as partners in learning

Parents are 'children's first and most enduring educators' (Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage, QCA 2000).

Supporting parents and sharing with them how children learn will enable them to play an active role in their children's learning. This contribution can make a valuable and lasting difference to children's lives and in turn outcomes.

Children learn about the world and their place within it through their conversations, play activities, and routines with parents and families. By working together, both parents and practitioners can enhance children's learning and development.

In their early years, children learn more than in any later stage of their lives. They are curious. They explore the world with all their senses. Everyday life is full of opportunities to discover new things. The 40 short films on illustrate what happens on these explorative journeys.

The films can be used in workshops to support both practitioners and parents in gaining knowledge on how children learn and develop from everyday experiences.

Children's wellbeing, learning and development: parent/carer partnerships

Excellent partnerships with parents and carers help children to thrive and flourish. Parents are the central adults in their child's life and the ones who make decisions on their behalf. It is very important for the children that we work in partnership with each other. This gives children the continuity of care and ensures that they do not become confused with different standards of behaviour and boundaries.

Download an Ofsted good practice example showing how a child-minder develops partnerships to support wellbeing, learning and development.

Early Learning Partnership Parental Engagement Group (ELPPEG)

The ELPPEG was formed in 2009 by lead people from organisations who had come together through the Early Learning Partnership Programme (ELPP) strand 3, 2007–2008, funded by the DCSF. The overarching aim of this strand of the project was to help create and support an early year's workforce with the skills, knowledge and disposition to build respectful relationships with parents of children under three, and to help parents to support their children's innate readiness to learn. In addition, the project aimed to extend early years practitioners' continued professional development.

Logged-in users can download below the framework document from the ELPPEG, which outlines the principles for engaging with families.


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Last updated: 
Wednesday, 25 January, 2017
Last updated: 25 January 2017 by Barry Fong