How can I become more involved in my child's development?

Little girl with parents

Children learn a huge amount while in quality childcare; however parents are the first and most important educators in their child’s life.

Most of the time children are at home where learning happens naturally in their daily lives

Together, practitioners and parents can have a significant positive influence on a child’s learning and development.

We believe your childcare provider should work alongside you and your family to support the pace and quality of your child’s developmental progress.

How can I develop my skills and better understand my child’s learning and development?

We believe family learning gives parents the skills to continue learning in the home even when your child has finished their session at childcare.

Family members doesn't just have to mean parents — it can include siblings, grandparents, friends or anyone else that cares for your child.

How it works:

  • Ask your childcare provider what your child is currently learning or focusing on and ask them for relevant activities you can do with them at home to continue their learning.
  • Or your provider may run short, informal sessions at the nursery or pre-school. The sessions will explain what topics your child is covering and give you skills in how to encourage your child's learning in the home.
  • Family learning can also provide opportunities to improve your own skills in areas such as mathematics and English and feel more confident when supporting their child with their learning.

Why it works

Evidence shows that learning in the home helps:

  • Improve educational outcomes for children living there in the long term
  • Encourages more parents back into learning themselves and promotes more family interest in learning through play activities which directly benefit their child’s learning
  • Provides a strong base to help parents and practitioners to better support a child’s journey towards formal schooling
  • Improves relationships between parents and children

It also shows that parents who become more interested in their children’s learning generally makes the work undertaken by the childcare provider more effective.

Fun activities to do at home:

  • Healthy eating quiz or fun with baking
  • Making puppets to improve communication
  • Home-made musical instruments
  • Number games and activities
  • Songs and rhymes
  • Exploring shapes (indoors or outdoors)
  • Visiting the library
  • Float or Sink (fun with water-based games)

Why become a volunteer at my child’s setting?

You can choose how much (or little) you wish to become involved in your child's learning.

Should you want to take theirs and your learning a little further, you may want to consider volunteering in a setting.

You do not need any experience, although previous experience working with children or in childcare is invaluable.

You may be interested in formal roles like a nursery assistant where you will receive lots of support including an induction or special training.

Other roles may be more informal with flexible arrangements such as joining outings to the park, helping with a fundraising activity or running a toy library. Your child’s setting is always open to ideas.

Volunteering at your child's setting can help you:

  • Increase your enjoyment and understanding of the way your child learns
  • Learn new skills, gain confidence and practical experience
  • Make new friends and meet other parents
  • Develop and become part of a parent forum
  • Take up free training opportunities to help you progress into paid work
  • Get to know your child’s friends better
  • Explore new career opportunities in childcare
  • Give something back to your local community.

More information

The best source of information on how to become more involved will be your child’s key person or the manager.

Read more about volunteering at a setting.

Read fun, informative, expert-approved articles on child development on our Family Corner website.