How can your early years setting boost your parental engagement?

LearningBook can help empower staff to build partnerships with parents and improve early years parental engagement

One of LearningBook’s aims is to transform how parents engage and interact with their child’s early years education. We understand the importance of early years parental engagement and boosting parent partnerships within your setting. To do this to benefit children’s well-being and development, not only to appease Ofsted. Parent involvement in early years education can introduce new experiences. A child can have lots of influences varying from the classroom to home. A parent who recognises what their child does at school, pre-school or nursery has a better understanding of their child’s ability and which areas they need to work on to improve their development.

Some ideas to get parents engaged is to invite them to ‘stay and plays’ so they participate in activities and get an idea of activities to do at home. Parents bceome more engaged and motivated with LearningBook. Using different features to keep them updated on what’s going on at their child’s early years setting when they’re at work or out-and-about. We’ve spent considerable time on features that help early years settings target parents in a number of different ways.

1) Dedicated Parent Portal

MyLearningBook is a dedicated Parent Portal accessed through any web browser using a secure log in, parents can access their children’s learning journeys at any time. For example, when they’re at work or on the moce – they will never miss a moment. Parents can upload photos from home to be included in the learning journey, comment on individual observations and view and contribute to termly assessments.

2) iOS Parent App

A beautifully designed iOS app available on iPhones. Parents can download and log in for free whilst they’re out and about. Parents can do everything the Parent Portal does but it is designed to be more user-friendly for iPhones and easier to logon and keep informed. They will receive notifications when a setting shows an observation or assessment.

3) Keepsakes

LearningBook allows parents to cherish their child’s memories forever by printing their learning journey in beautiful hardback books and compact memory sticks. A permanent keepsake to show children, parents and families just how far they’ve come and what they can achieve.

4) Complete Control

LearningBook gives settings full control over their parent management. Staff can setup and manage parent details and logons, enable and disable accounts and share information at their discretion. Above all, staff are in complete control of what information they choose to share and when.

LearningBook gives parents the visibility they need to support their child’s education beyond the classroom. We have introduced multiple features to encourage the growth of early years parental engagement.  If parents can how their child learns and what they do day-to-day, as a result partnerships with parents will be made stronger.

Customer Success Stories

At LearningBook we often hear of customer success stories; how LearningBook has helped support early years settings’ practice, boosted parental engagement, improved learning journeys and children’s learning and development.

One of our LearningBook success stories is from one of our oldest customer, Footprints Day Nurseries; a two nursery group, based in Cheshire, North West England. Established in 2002 it has proved itself as a high quality group, with Ofsted Outstanding ratings at both nurseries. They also boast numerous awards for excellent childcare and commitment to early years from daynurseries.co.uk and NMT Nursery Awards. With upcoming plans for an expansion, Footprints use LearningBook as a unique selling point alongside their passionate staff and beautiful locations just outside the Peak District.

We sat down with Rachel, Nursery Manager at Footprints’ Bollington site to discuss her LearningBook success story. We got to to know her and discuss the impact LearningBook has had on her nursery.

How long have you been working in early years?

I’ve been an early years professional for around 20 years. I started with Footprints not long after receiving my Level 2 diploma. I was one of the first nursery nurses to be employed by the company. I’ve come through the company as a nursery nurse, to room leader to nursery manager.

When was LearningBook first introduced to you?

LearningBook came in to Footprints during its early stages of development. The nursery has seen how LearningBook was during its very beginnings, after that, it has grown from strength to strength with its rich number of features.

What problem(s) were you trying to solve when you started using LearningBook?

We needed something to save the staff time and to cut down on paper, ink etc. At Footprints we found that staff were spending more and more time completing observations and learning journeys rather than engaging with our children and planning their activities to aid development. LearningBook helped boost staff morale, give them more time to focus on the children and we were able to save money. The design of the system also meant we weren’t losing out on the engagement from parents which was a big part of why parents chose us over other nurseries in the local area – we have that family feel.

What have you been able to achieve since using LearningBook?

We were able to focus more on those children who needed the extra support and provision. LearningBook helped us identify where children needed one-to-one support or where staff needed extra training as well.

What is your favourite feature of LearningBook?

The parent portal and app! Having a child of my own in nursery means I can view his achievement and his well-being. As a manager this is ideal to keep parents engaged and to motivate them to contribute photos from home,. We also use the parent portal and app to encourage parents to make comments on assessments which we have discussed at Parents’ evenings.

What’s the main reason why you recommend LearningBook?

That’s a hard one! The quality of each aspect of LearningBook is great. When I used the system as a nursery nurse it was ideal for taking observations and planning – above all the safeguarding aspect is key. Similarly, now that I am a manager, I can track cohorts, children and groups in lots of different ways. This not only helps improve our practice it also ensures we give children the best outcomes. For the staff that use LearningBook everyday it feels like each part of the system has been thought out.

Read more of LearningBook Customer Success Stories, here.

Forest School

What is Forest School?

Forest School, is an outdoor education delivery model in which individuals spend time in natural spaces to learn different skills. It has been defined in Liz O’Brien and Richard Murray’s research as “an inspirational process that offers children, young people and adults regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence through hands-on learning in a woodland environment”.

Following success in the US, Sweden and Denmark, it has become extremely popular in the UK since the 90s. Many schools and other settings have established long term programmes with accredited training courses. Others have been solely setup as dedicated forest schools. The philosophy of Forest School embraces children’s natural curiosity, inspired imagination and promoted learning.

Formed in 2012 as “the professional body and UK wide voice for Forest School”, the Forest School Association (FSA) promote best practice, cohesion and “quality Forest School for all”. As a result, hey have helped over 10,000 educationalists undertake training to provide Forest School within their establishments. This includes nurseries, preschools and primary schools. This community is key as the demand for provision is rising and the quality of outdoor learning is growing.

Impact in the Early Years

Forest School promotes all aspects of children’s early years development. Forest School may have added benefits that learning indoors doesn’t provide. It endorses children’s physical well being by getting them more active and enjoying the fresh air. Similarly it gives children a greater wealth of experiences the outdoors can offer, thus instilling a healthier lifestyle.

Dr Janine Coates of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and Dr Helena Pimlott-Wilson of the Department of Geography at Loughborough conducted preliminary research in 2017 within primary schools, including one early years foundation class (4-5 years). Their findings show that there is a clear impact of Forest School. Encouraging children to work with others in more challenging outdoor activities improves their social relationships. Secondly, this way of learning within early years appears to provide children with hands-on skills and an appreciation for the outdoors. Certainly a stark contrast to the ever-growing digital age where children are thought to spend less time in their outdoor environment.

Getting children outdoors is a great way of taking children and learning out of the classroom. In addition, it adds something a little different to the day-to-day schedule. Likewise, it gives children greater understanding and experience whilst helping all areas of their development in a different, stimulating way.

How can LearningBook help?

LearningBook allows customers to create and complete observations of children’s activities even if the safeguarding-aware tablets are offline and not connected to WiFi. For instance, it means settings who have poor internet connection and attend take part in outdoor sessions will still be able to record children’s development. Find out more features that can support your outdoor learning, here.

National Numeracy Day

Today, 15th May 2019, is National Numeracy Day. You may have noticed the topic trending on twitter and other social media platforms, as well as the campaign being supported and promoted by the likes of the DfE, Virgin, BBC, Rachel Riley, Martin Lewis and countless other big names and individuals. National Numeracy Day is run by the UK charity, National Numeracy. So what’s it all about and how can you improve your EYFS Numeracy activities in your early years settings?

So what’s it for?

Attitudes towards numbers is widely regarded as being negative for a very long time. National Numeracy wants to help make people feel confident and recognise the value and presence of numbers in everyday life.

Why is LearningBook in support of National Numeracy Day?

As a provider to the educations sector we think numbers are important, they help our staff and peers in the day-to-day functioning of LearningBook and within schools, preschools and nurseries. We use numbers and the skills gained through mathematics to help us solve problems and support our customers every day. As well as encouraging adults to improve their number skills we think it’s only right we should also start encouraging a love for numbers and mathematics at the very start of life – in the early years.

EYFS Numeracy

As you know Mathematics one of the specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), and acts as a key foundation for when children move from EYFS on to KS1. By establishing a positive relationship with numeracy early we feel that his may go some way to helping this National Numeracy’s cause.

Here’s a few simple, fun and exciting activities for you try in your early years setting (some are focused and some can be worked in throughout the day during other activities) in order for you to progress your children through their EYFS numeracy skills:

1) Number Rhymes

Resources: Your voices!

Activity: Sing lots of songs that include numbers and amounts during play time and pack away time, or maybe even when you’re waiting for breakfast, lunch or tea to be served. For example, “Ten Green Bottles”. You could use props and act out the different songs, remember to ask children “How many bottles are left?” or “Can everyone count the bottles on the wall?”

2) Dice Rolling

Resources: Big dice

Activity: You can use dice for just about anything and to encourage child’s behaviours. For example, children can roll a dice and the number that appear can be how many toys they can take out of the box. Or it can be the number of children on table 1, etc. Ask the children “What number do you see on the dice?”, or ask “How many toys can you take out of the box?”

3) Books

Resources: Books with counting element, e.g. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.

Activity: During story time ask children to count certain aspect of the book. For The Very Hungry caterpillar ask the children to count the number of pears, or “How many pears has the caterpillar eaten?”. You could even ask the children, “ Which caterpillars are big and which are small?”

4) Straw Sucking

Resources: One straw per child, a ong piece of colourful card, paper/card pieces with numbers 1-10.

Activity: Scatter the pieces of paper/card that have the numbers on them on the floor or table. Use the colourful piece of card as the number line. Ask the child to use their straw to suck up the numbers tin order or say certain numbers you want them to move. This will help them recognise names of numbers, as well as being able to order them consequtively.

5) Role Play

Resources: Children’s imagination!

Activity: This activity can include any role play area of your room, e.g., a farm shop, or it can be when children are role playing in general.  Children can act as shoppers and shop keepers and count out the number of carrots and other fruit and veg on their stall. They can also add the amount of money to buy the different food. Encourage the children to ask each other “How many carrots would you like?” or “How many apples do you have?”.

Why not try looking on sites like Pinterest, Twinkl and Early Years Resources for more EYFS Numeracy and Mathematics activities?

Getting early years active

Try our top 3 Early Years exercise activities in your setting

1. Playing catch

Children of all ages love to catch, roll and throw a ball. Make sure you have a variety of balls available in your setting; these can be soft, small or larger balls, like a football. From rolling a ball for babies to throwing a ball though a hoop for pre-schoolers, this is a perfect way to exercise and a really social activity too.

2. Building with blocks

Babies and ‘pre-walkers’ can use various sized blocks to help with grasping and improve their fine motor skills. As they get a little older they can start making smaller towers, build a den or a bridge with soft blocks that can be used during roleplay.

3. Counting games

Counting is a great activity to promote exercise and incorporate into children’s daily routines. For example, counting their steps to different destinations or counting the number of carrots on their plate at lunch time. Children can also throw a number of bean bags at a cone or in a hoop; a fun activity to use at sports day and play with parents!

Discover more way to promote Early Years exercise activities in your setting and at home for all ages with our free eGuide, here.

Why not incorporate exercise and healthy eating in your day? Our healthy eating blog is a perfect way to not only encourage early years children to exercise and build those little muscles, but to also learn about the food their eating.

Check out further information about early years exercising and physical activities:

 

Get children interested in food and healthy eating

Introducing EYFS Healthy Eating and Food Activities

In early years it’s important to encourage children to learn more about food as well as expand their tastes. Embracing healthy living and eating in your early years setting can be lots of fun as well as important for growth and development in the vital early years. Involve everyone – all staff or assistants as well as parents and children. This will give you a pot of new ideas as well as a feeling of teamwork.

Here are a few EYFS healthy eating activties to help encourage children to talk about, try and understand the food they eat.

1.Make bread

Help children of all ages weigh, mix and knead their ingredients. Allow them to see how the dough has risen and doubled in size!

Bonus: This not only helps to grow children’s interest in their food, kneading helps develop their small muscles (PD). In additio, it gived them an opportunity to talk about what the think healthy food means (PSED).

2.Plant seeds

By planting seeds in window boxes or outside you can help children understand where their foods come from and how they grow in different ways. Why not try tomatoes, cress or herbs?

Bonus: Take children to a farm to pick fruit, like strawberries. This will help children see a wider variety and will keep them engaged.

3.Try foods from around the world

Have an around the world or festival theme with lots of pick ‘n’ mix bowls. For example, try mangos (from India) or hummus (from Egypt) etc. This will help children try different foods and expand their tastes.

Bonus: Invite families to join in and bring food from different countries, this will help children see all of their role models together promoting and encouraging healthy eating and new foods.

Discover more way to create EYFS healthy eating activities in your setting, and boose parental paticipation at home with our free eGuide, here.

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night is a great time to celebrate a tradition in the UK and enjoy a firework and bonfire display in your local area. It is something that is celebrated by all ages and by lots of families at the beginning of November. Bonfire Night, or Guy Fawkes Night as it’s also known, is a perfect opportunity to create exciting activities in your early years setting and get children expressing themselves through bright colours and fun activities. It’s also a great time to teach children how to keep themselves safe if they attend an event.

There are lots of activities on the internet but to give you a helping hand we’ve created this blog of our top Bonfire Night EYFS activities to get your children in the mood for Guy Fawkes Night, as well as some helpful tips from firework and bonfire safety websites.

Bonfire Night – EYFS Activities

1. Simple Mark Making

Mark making activities can be adapted for all age groups from babies to preschool.

You can ask children to use different material to make bright fireworks and bonfires. Younger children could use cotton buds or their little finger on chalk boards and copy firework style shapes and patterns. Or children can use their imaginations to make their own shapes and swirls with pencils, felt-tips, glitter pens or paint!

[Physical Development – Moving & Handling; Mathematics – Shape, space and measure; Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials & Being imaginative]

2. Fireworks in a Jar

This activity combines bonfire night, fireworks and science. Fill jars with water and set them out on an activity table. Mix together each food colouring colour with oil and use pipettes or pour the mixtures into the jar and watch the fireworks come to life!

Make sure you don’t miss the step where you mix oil to food colouring as this will make sure most of the colouring floats.

[Understanding the World- The World; Expressive Arts & Design – Exploring and using media & materials, Being imaginative]

3. Painting with Straws

Another great way to create fireworks in your setting is painting with straws!

Gather together some straws, at least one per child, as well as black card or paper and some bright coloured paint. Add some water to the paint so they become a little runnier and drop enough paint on the paper to create a small puddle. Then get your children to take their straw and blow through it to spread the puddle you made.

This may take a little practice, so you could always let the children have a few practice goes on scrap paper or newspaper.

Don’t forget to use lots of different colours to brighten up your night sky! This activity is perfect for toddlers and older children too.

[Physical Development – Moving & Handling; Expressive Arts & Design – Exploring and using media & materials, Being imaginative]

4. Bonfire Night Sky

A great way to get all children involved and celebrate their beautiful artwork is to create a bonfire night sky display board with a fun and messy twist.

Tape together lots of black card or paper, or use individual pieces, and pour the paints into trays and give the children paint brushes. Dip the brush into the paint and flick the paint onto the black paper. This is the messy bit so make sure you put some newspaper or covering down! Flick a range of colours onto the paper to create a bright picture.

You can add painting and other activities you’ve done to the board too!

[Physical Development – Moving & Handling; Expressive Arts & Design – Exploring and using media & materials, Being imaginative]

Safety

Of course Bonfire Night EYFS Activities are a great way for ealry years children to get involved in the festivities. However, wn important part of any firework celebrations, such as bonfire night, is the prevention of accidents. Fireworks and bonfires can be great fun but it is important to remember and pass on safety tips to parents, families and begin teaching children how to stay safe from an early age.

Here are a number of important tips to remember:

  • Make sure you plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable;
  • Read and follow the instructions on each firework packaging prior to the evening or use a torch if necessary;
  • Light the fireworks at arm’s length and have others stand well back;
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit even if it fails to go off;
  • Direct fireworks away from spectators;
  • It is recommended that sparklers are not given to children under-5 years of age;
  • Make sure everyone handling sparklers wears gloves;
  • Never hold a baby in your arms while you are holding a sparkler;
  • When using sparklers avoid wearing loose clothing and tie back long hair.

Check out these websites for more information:

Royal Society of the Prevention of Accidents 

Fire Service

BBC Newsround 

Halloween EYFS Activites

Halloween is a great opportunity to celebrate the arrival of Autumn and gives you the opportunity to involve lots of Halloween EYFS activities in your setting throughout the week building up to children trick or treating.

There are lots of activities out there on the internet but to give you a helping hand our team at LearningBook have compiled our favourite Halloween EYFS activities to get your children in the mood for Halloween, whilst also incorporating meaningful areas of the curriculum of course.

1. Halloween Sensory Bin

Instead of the usual Halloween craft, why not try a sensory bin?

This is great sensory activity and keeps children engaged. Simply fill a tub or tray with your favourite materials, this can be water beads (to give that slightly slimey addition) or even black dried beans or dyed rice. Then on top of this include some creepy crawlies and other Halloween themed smaller pieces. To add additional elements to the activity, ask the children to describe what they’re feeling to encourage them to explore their senses.

You can also ask the children to name the different pieced they find from the bin and even group them based on colour or size.

[Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials; Mathematics – Shape, space and measure and Numbers]

2. Monster/Pumpkin Slime

This activity is perfect for encouraging young children and babies to experience new senses; an added bonus is that it’s edible!

Using melted marshmallows, cornflower, water and food colouring (we recommend green, orange, purple and black) to make the slime, ask children to pull and push the slime to work those little muscles.

[Physical Development – Moving and Handling; Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials]

3. Ice Cube Play

This one takes some pre-prep! Fill ice cube trays with water and pop in a spider, bugs or other Halloween themed pieced. Be aware that this activity is suitable for children over two years as the bugs can be very small!

Once the ice cubes are frozen place them on tray or onto the table for the children to play with. As the cubes melt the children can play with the bugs hidden inside.

Encourage the children to talk about what appears once the ice has melted or, if the children are capable, ask them to sort the small pieces in to different types, colours or count them.

[Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials; Mathematics – Shape, space and measure and Numbers; Communication and Language – Speaking]

4. Spooky Stories

A simple but effective activity is reading. There’s plenty of Halloween themed books that you can read to your children or ask them to try and read.

A classic, and no doubt somewhere on your book shelf, is “Room on a Broom” by Julia Donaldson. The story of a witch, a group of animals who help her, good manners, friendship and cooperation is fun to read aloud because of its rhythm and rhyme.

[Literacy – Reading; Communication and Language – Listening, Speaking]

5. Spider Hand Prints

Spider hand prints are great start to begin decorating your room ready for Halloween. It’s quite simple, requires few resources and can be done with children of any age.

Firstly, help paint the children’s hands with the black paint and press onto the paper. Once the handprints have dried cut them out and have the children glue on two googly eyes in the centre. You can use these on display boards or attach them to some string and hang from the ceiling.

[Expressive Arts and Design – Exploring and using media and materials & Begin imaginative]

6. Visit to a Pumpkin Patch

At Halloween nothing can beat visiting a pumpkin patch or going out to buy your pumpkins ready to decorate the setting.

Gather the children together and visit your local farm who you know grow pumpkins and pick some out. This visit will allow the children to experience a day out of the nursery or preschool and gives them some independence in choosing their favourite pumpkin to take away.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a pumpkin patch near by just pop down to your local supermarket to pick out a pumpkin or two!

[Understanding the World – The world & People and communities]

Don’t forget to search for more Halloween EYFS activities on the internet and on social media, including:

Getting to Grips with the GDPR

GDPR in Early Years

You may not think that the GDPR will impact early years setting but it does. It’s important to get to grips with what it all means and what steps your establishment should take to be compliant.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a directive by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the European Union (EU). The GDPR will replace the current Data Protection Act.

The GDPR aims primarily to give control back to individuals over their personal data and covers all companies that deal with the data of EU citizens. The EU definition of “personal data” is “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person”. Above all, the GDPR is intended to create a uniformity of rules to enforce across the continent.

On 25th May 2018 the GDPR will be enforced across Europe.

Think that the GDPR will not be enforced after Brexit? Wrong. To clarify, it has been confirmed GDPR will form part of UK law following the country’s withdrawal from the EU. Therefore, companies including nurseries and other childcare establishments are advised to begin making appropriate steps to make their setting GDPR compliant.

How will it impact the Early Years Sector, including your setting?

For your nursery, preschool, school etc. personal data will likely be information on children, parents and your staff. For instance, names, dates of birth, addresses, allergies, medical information, photos, bank details, national insurance numbers and qualifications. All of which are personally identifiable and therefore concerned under the GDPR in early years settings.

Under the GDPR there are certain key areas to consider:

Awareness

Key people within your school or nursery aware of the changes in law to the GDPR. These people may include managers, owner, directors, or governing body. Importantly, they should also understand the impact this will have.

Information

You should hold a record of what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. Something to bear in mind is who in your setting has access to what. By limiting how many individuals can access information and what information will, consequently, reduce risk.

Consent and Privacy Information

Firstly, you should review how you seek, record and manage consent. Secondly, find out whether you need to make any changes to your current procedures. Review and renew existing consent forms now if they don’t meet the GDPR standard. For children, who are not able to give consent of their own data until they are 16, you should think about your current system for obtaining consent from parents or guardians. Furthermore, this consent should also cover privacy policies or notices to give individuals your identity. It also means they know how you plan to use their information.

Individual Rights

This includes the right to be informed, to access, to rectification, to erasure, to restrict processing, to object, and to not be subject automated decision-making and profiling.

A nursery or school should check the policies and procedures in place to ensure they cover the rights individuals have under the GDPR. This can include how you would delete individuals’ personal data or provide them with their data if requested. LearningBook allows you to download and export data in formats suchs as PDF, CSV etc, so this is something to consider when it comes to GDPR in your early years setting.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

If you don’t comply with GDPR then the Information Commission’s Office (ICO) has the right to fine your company an amount up to £20million or a 4% global turnover. The level of the fine depends on which is greater. The ICO will likely only audit you if there has been a breach.

Find out more:

Impressing prospective nursery parents

As you know the first aim for a nursery is to encourage parents to entrust you with their children. It’s important to consider the impression you give parents online, in the community, during a visit and beyond. For most parents looking for childcare, this is the first time they will have to leave their child. They may be feeling guilty and nervous, and maybe experiencing separation anxiety.

As a childcare provider it is important to not only give a good impression in regards to looking after their child but also that you have the capbailities and the willingness to offer support to families as a whole. This will further assure parents they are making the right decision.

No doubt parents will consider more than one nursery visit so it’s important that you make a strong first impression.

Here’s out top 5 tips on how to impress your prospective nursery parents:

1. Online Presence

In today’s society a first impression is normally made online; this can be through your website, social media, or recommendation sites. Parents are likely to search for nurseries in their local area through a search engine or other childcare directories and forums. Therefore, it’s important to get this bit right. You can get inspiration from other nurseries in your area or even nurseries who have won awards for their online presence (Try looking at NMT Awards or Nursery World Awards). This may be how they’ve built their website, what they post on Facebook or Twitter or even what imagery they share online. When creating content in these places makes sure the values you have in your early years setting are reflected widely.

It’s also important to make the route they take through your website as simple as possible. Make sure they are directed to online forms, email addresses and telephone numbers encouraging them to call, book a visit or simply to find out more information about your childcare setting. When parents do call or email in, make sure they are responded to in a timely and polite manner, and their questions are answered.

2. Timing is everything

As you know certain times in the nursery are better at showing of the different activities and resources that are available to children to help them grow and develop.

Try to encourage parents to visit during times where planned activities or free flow play is occurring. Avoid nap times or drop-off and pick-up times where either nothing is happening or it’s a little chaotic. At these time, staff have other priorities and can’t engage with the visitors.

3. Staff should be engaged with the prospective parents and children 

Well before the visit it’s important to hire staff that share the nurseries values and are passionate about childcare. Parents will feel more relaxed and will feel more positive about leaving their child at your nursery when they can trust those who are taking care of their children.

Encourage your staff to have smart and correct uniform, smile, say hello and ask questions. Staff should speak with the parents about their child’s health and wellbeing, as well as their likes and dislikes. They can ask things about the child and family’s routine and how they can help your child settle into their new environment. This may take some practice but the more staff do this the more comfortable they will become with talking to visitors.

It’s important to remember that staff should also show engagement with the child or children not just with the parents.

4. Show off your strengths

Show off the things you’re proud of! Have you been graded Good or Outstanding by Ofsted? If so, mention this any chance you get. Parents will also want to know what makes you different, so make sure you play to your strengths during your visit. These strengths may be your staff, the outdoor area, the resources, the additional activities such as Spanish, French, yoga and so on.

5. There’s always room for improvement

Even after the visit is over it is important to ensure that you have a process in place to gather feedback from parents and families who have visited your setting. Both those who have taken a place and those who haven’t.

Sometimes this can be a phone call from the manager or administrative staff, or even an email with a survey to help you gather information.

Its one thing collecting feedback but it’s another using it to make improvements and learn from mistakes or suggested improvements. Ensure that the feedback and/or survey results are collated and feedback to the necessary people.