Parents Matter: Supporting the Birth to Three Matters Framework

Parents Matter: Supporting the Birth to Three Matters Framework

Parents Matter: Supporting the Birth to Three Matters Framework

Parents Matter: Supporting the Birth to Three Matters Framework

Synopsis

This book explores the important role of parents and the extended family in the lives of babies and young children. It complements and extends the DfES Birth to Three Matters framework, which supports practitioners in working with children aged birth to three, and builds on the information provided in the companion book Birth to Three Matters: Supporting the Framework of Effective Practice (Open University Press, 2004). Written by academics, practitioners and policy makers interested or involved in the development of the Birth to Three Matters framework, this book argues that parent engagement is essential for developing partnerships within communities in order to give children the best start in life, and shows how this can be achieved. The book: Discusses ways in which services may be developed to involve parents more fully in the care and education of babies and young children Looks at the powerful role of parents and grandparents in the lives of children Considers how skilled practitioners can manage relationships to provide support for both parents and children at difficult times Explores the ways in which parents can be helped to fulfil their own needs at the same time as meeting their children's needs Includes discussion of families whose children have special needs or disabilities Parents Matter is essential reading for early years professionals and students on courses in Early Education, as well as policy makers, professional development trainers, local authority trainers, social workers and health visitors who work with very young children.

Excerpt

Anybody who works young children usually also works with their parents – and people who work with the youngest children tend to work even more closely with parents, because they are the most important people in young children's lives. The idea for this book arose from many discussions with practitioners who, having enthusiastically embraced the principles in the Birth to Three Matters framework, and having read with equal enthusiasm our book, Birth to Three Matters: Supporting the Framework of Effective Practice, identified that partnership with parents was an important facet of their work, and an area where learning often took place in the workplace. This book, which emerged from these discussions is offered in support of practitioners in settings as disparate as crèches and children's centres. It is intended to provoke their thinking, inform their practice and challenge their assumptions. In the first chapter, Why Parents Matter by Ann Langston, we consider the issues parents and practitioners face in the context of constantly expanding childcare provision, the pressure on parents of working and caring for their children and how, if children are to have the best of both their worlds – that is, their home life and their lives in daycare, parents and practitioners must work together. In Chapter 2, Becoming a Family, Clare Crowther describes the journey taken as her family increased when her daughter was born and the joys, adjustments and choices that were made following this event. Chapter 3 by Tricia David takes up some of the issues that were important in Clare's journey and points to the powerful role of grandparents in the lives of their children and their children's children – the legacies of 'narratives of their own attachments' that are passed on through generations, predicting warmth and responsiveness of new parents to their newborn infants. Still looking at the roles of adults in children's lives and building on from the idea of a 'secure base', Margaret Henry, in Chapter 4, explores the ways in which, through activities with their children, parents can be helped to fulfil their own needs at the same time as meeting their children's needs. Moving from the home to a broader context in Chapter 5 Helen Moylett and Kim Holyman consider how, even when there is potential conflict between the needs and interests of children and their parents, skilled practitioners can manage relationships that rely on honest, open communication and which maintain support for both parents and children at difficult times. The same theme is revisited by John Powell in Chapter 6, Parents and Child Protection Matter, when we are reminded that child protection may need to be extended to parents. In Chapter . . .

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