P8. 1 In a setting it is very often that practitioners will receive enquiries from parents and carers. It is therefore important to respond in the appropriate way. It is very important to follow up any enquiries from parents as this will show them that you care about their concerns or questions. Every practitioner should show and reassure the parents that their opinions and circumstances matter and will always be addressed to. As a student practitioner with children, it is most likely necessary to refer parents to supervisors who they may be more acquainted with and who may be able to help them more in order to ensure best practice.
As a practitioner, it is my role to know the policies and procedures of the setting as to what to do if parents ask for my advice or need help with a matter. This is important because it offers a professional approach and will show consistency in practice with all the other staff members. If I would not read the policies and procedures, it could show a lack of communication between practitioners and parents may lose respect or trust for the setting.
Knowing the policies and procedures will also safeguard practitioners from any abuse or strange practice as they would have followed the correct procedures for the situation. It is important for practitioners to be aware that all parents have individual needs and circumstances thus needing an individual response. Whilst doing so, it is important to remember to carry out inclusive practice and not to judge or show any prejudice attitude, but instead to show genuine care and interest in helping them.
A way in which practitioners can respond to parents is to make sure they know to make appointments for a set date to discuss matters unless it is an emergency. Practitioners must also maintain that they keep to this format and do not let parents change the procedures, as this would not be beneficial to anyone. In my setting A class teacher became very stressed when having to deal with a parent’s enquiry because the parent would not listen to the advice given to them.
This then resulted in the other children of the class being unattended because the teacher was being harassed. There needs to be mutual respect and it is the practitioner’s role to instigate this in their speech and conduct. It is important for practitioners to know and understand their role in order to create the best environment for children and their families. It is important to know the policies and procedures, whilst also knowing their role so that they can be confident in their practice and will deal with matters rationally and professionally.
Making a mistake in what their role involves can result in the harm to the children or legal action being taken. P8. 2When dealing with enquiries and information about children and their families, it is very important to maintain confidentiality and this can be executed by many ways. Any information should be stored correctly and safely and only shown to certain necessary adults on a need to know basis. If other adults who know the child want to know any information, it is important that I do not share it with them but tell them to ask the parents who are involved.
That way, it is the parents’ right to tell anyone else or not, and I would be respecting that decision and it reflects a professional approach towards others in your practice. It is important to make sure there is no confidential information stored on display boards that strangers and other people could see. To make sure that there is no confusion as to what is confidential, there should be indication on letters, emails and in conversation about the need of confidentiality, therefore creating a safe environment for children and their families.
Practitioners can also explain the importance of confidentiality to parents so that they can carry out the same practice in the setting and at home proving a high level of consistency and safety. A lot of the time it is difficult to maintain confidentiality whilst speaking on the phone as neither end of the conversation knows who could be listening. Therefore an effective way to ensure confidentiality is by making appointments to see practitioners or parents face to face in a private area so only the necessary adults are involved and there is less danger brought for the child.
In order to maintain confidentiality in the setting, practitioners should provide a use passwords on computers and files so that important and personal information will not be shared with people who are not involved with the family, or who could become a danger to a child and their family. To ensure and maintain confidentiality it is important to not speak about the children in a public place where there are other parents that may know the child or who may be offended by teachers ‘gossiping’.
It is also important for practitioners to make sure they don’t speak about children or their families with other practitioners for example students, or practitioners from other agencies and organisations. Whilst in my setting I showed ways to maintain confidentiality while carrying out observations on children; By not stating the child’s name for protection purposes or the settings details so that no traces can be brought back to the child because if it got into the wrong hands there could be serious problematic outcomes.
Information that gets out could include medical issues and I would not want to cause any embarrassment to either the parents or the practitioners. Having this confidentiality helps to maintain the trust between the practitioners and the parents and this is very important because you want the parents to feel happy to leave their child in your care. I also made sure that one I finished my observation I put it straight into my back where no one else had access to it. If I allowed the situation for anyone else to get hold of the written observation, it could cause issues that other people would be part of.
If any other parents pick it up for example, they now have specific information about another child and they could expose it to other people, causing tension between families and practitioners Lastly, I showed that I maintained confidentiality by only showing my observation to my supervisor in order for her to mark it for me which was a requirement as part of my unit 2 assignments. After it was signed it went straight into my bag in a secure place so I knew where it was at all times. P8. 3 There are many suitable ways to greet and welcome parents to provide inclusive practice and create a positive environment.
Practitioners can provide welcome messages in a variety of languages which could include boards of different languages and teaching children phrases to say in other languages. Practitioners can provide a use of interpreters for parents and carers to be able to communicate with practitioners and to make them feel welcome and valued. To greet and welcome parents, practitioner can make it a positive experience by using positive body language, smiling and using kind words when greeting children and their families.
It is important to have a positive start to the day and also a positive finish to the day as this will ive parents confidence that their children are being cared for and are in a stimulating and happy environment. As there will most likely be parents from other countries who have different customs, it is important for practitioners to find out how parents want to be addressed. This could mean using a certain title of their choice, or using a greeting from their home land. By finding out this information, practitioners can show they have genuine personal interest in the lives of the parents and this can have a very positive effect on parents who will be happy to leave their children in the care of the practitioners.
Having approachable staff is of great importance as this can create a professional but relaxed atmosphere in the setting which will contribute to having positive feedback to the way parents are greeted. Ways that practitioners can show their positive attitude is by having good eye contact with parents and carers, which means listening to their concerns and opinions and responding in a way that will put them at ease.
Part of the role of the practitioner includes being aware of cultural differences in gestures and greetings. This is vital because there could be a risk of offending parents and carers by the attitude or gestures that are portrayed in the setting when communicating. When working in an early years setting, there should be an unhurried approach towards the children and the queries of parents, showing them how much you value their opinion. This would mean even if your plans are to go home at that time.
Courtney from Study Moose
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