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Parents’ perspectives on supporting their children’s learning

Friday 18th October marked the launch of Save the Children’s new report, “How are you meant to help?” Parents’ perspectives on supporting their children’s learning. The launch took place in ‘London’s living room’ in City Hall, with early years practitioners, schools, children’s centre staff, and parents present.

The report rationale

Save the Children’s work in the UK aims to give every child the early support they need to fulfill their potential. Research shows that children living in deprived areas of London are not achieving the early learning outcomes expected for their age as a result of their postcode. Save the Children’s report was launched off the back of this. It recognises parents’ experiences, perspectives and recommendations of what works and what is needed as paramount in supporting the early development of London’s young learners.

About the launch

The report launch was part of a series of events held during London Challenge Poverty Week, which coincided with the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17th October. Save the Children was joined by hosts 4in10, along with panellists: Claire Harding from Coram Family and Childcare, and staff and a parent from a local school.

The findings and what this means for supporting children’s early development in London

The report set out to hear directly from parents living in London about what they do at home to help their children learn, and how they work with schools and children’s centres. The key themes that emerged included parental confidence, knowledge and skills, parental mental health, a positive relationship with the child’s school, and peer-to-peer support.

Specifically, Save the Children also asked parents to recommend how early years services could better support them to be more involved in their child’s early learning:

  1. Use a variety of communication
  2. Offer a range of support
  3. Make learning resources available
  4. Boost signposting between local services
  5. Facilitate peer-to-peer support
  6. Understand the barriers
  7. Invest in parent-school partnerships

Placing the experiences of families at the heart of this report ensured that recommendations for supporting children’s learning came directly from parents, recognising them as the experts.

The hope is that this will lead to a meaningful partnership between key early years services and families, incorporating parent recommendations and practitioner action. The ambition is that these recommendations will enable those working with families to implement practical approaches to strengthen parental engagement in children’s early learning. Ultimately, helping all children to achieve their full potential.

Read the report here.

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