Maria Kambouri-Danos  says this is a story for both parents and teachers of young children, who want to work together and support the child’s learning and development in the best possible way. This relationship is crucial for the child’s future and research from over the past 20 years recognises the critical role played by parents in terms of the development of children.

Our research though has shown that time is a crucial barrier to effective partnerships since busy modern lives, both for teachers and for parents, do not allow for meaningful partnerships to develop. Parents are the most important part of children’s early lives and they are the ones who form the basis for a child’s learning and development. When children join the nursery and later school, parents’ role does not become less important; effective and meaningful collaboration between the teacher and the parents is essential.

Beside time, our research also revealed effective partnership need to be based on trust and mutual respect. This means that nurseries or settings and parents need to both invest time and effort into developing relationships of trust and need to recognise that respecting each other’s values will strengthen this relationship. Effective partnerships require mutual respect and recognition of the contribution each one of them makes towards children’s development.

In a recent White Paper, Early Excellence Everywhere it was stated that “…we must do more to ensure all parents have a more significant voice in schools”. Providing meaningful opportunities for parents to be engaged in their children’s learning is key, as parents need to feel that their time and efforts are appreciate in order to invest. Considering organising activities outside working hours is something that can further support this, as parents are more likely to engage when they do not have to take time off work. It is important to think about what can be done in order to provide the enabling environment that will encourage relationships of trust and respect to develop.

To find out more about our research please click here: