4.2 Partnership in your setting
In this activity, you will take a closer look at how you foster partnership with parents in your setting.
Look again at the five dimensions of powerful involvement, and consider how your relationships and initiatives with parents relate to the types that are identified:
How would you characterise the nature of parent partnership in your setting?
Could your practice be further developed in some ways, particularly in terms of linking with parents who tend not to engage with your invitations? You can write down your ideas, if you wish.
In many early years settings it would not be considered appropriate to establish a form of partnership whereby parents are equal partners or for parents to assume control. In defining the kinds of partnership that should be associated with any one particular early years setting, it is important for practitioners to have a good sense of parents' capacity to enter into such partnerships. Practitioners also need to be realistic about the time and resources available to them. Parents will be disappointed if professionals make promises that they are unable to fulfil.
Practitioners have strong feelings about the kinds of partnership that are most supportive of their work in a particular school. As you saw earlier, there is considerable variation as to how educational settings interpret the notion of partnership. Making decisions about the type of partnership that would work in a setting involves a sense of what is feasible, given the nature of a parent body, but also a sense of what is appropriate in terms of children's needs. After all, the focus of any partnership must be the children.