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Parents are the most important people in a child’s live. They are the first educators; they know their child better than anyone else. ‘Parental involvement in early learning as part of daily family life at home has a greater impact on children’s wellbeing and achievement than any other factor’ (Roberts, K 2009, p.1). While early years practitioners provide vital support in academic learning, parents have a greater impact on attitude and propensity for learning in the earliest stages of a child’s life (Siraj-Blatchford, 2002). Helping parents to provide a positive home learning environment is important for improving outcomes for children. There is a continuing attainment gap between children from families with low socio-economic status and their wealthier peers. However, there is evidence that what parents do is more important than their level of education or social class (Melhuish, Morris ; Gardiner, 2017). Parental involvement in a child’s education from an early age has a positive effect on education achievement. Research shows that learning at home can have a significant impact on children’s cognitive development that continues through into school. This is not just limited to primary school, but has an impact into adolescence and adulthood. Researchers have acknowledged that there are seven main areas, known as the Early Home Learning Environment Index (EHLEI) as being the most important elements of home learning that improve educational outcomes, Reading to your child, visiting the library, creative activities like painting and drawing, singing rhymes and songs, numbers and counting, playing with letters and learning the alphabet (Hunt et al 2011, p.7). The Early Years Foundation Stage supports parents’ involvement in their child’s development, bridging the link between setting and home learning. EYFS framework states that ‘Good parenting and high quality early learning together provide the foundation children need to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up’ (HM Government 2017).
Once practitioners have established a positive and trusting relationship with parents they can begin to use their expertise to explain the importance of home learning, with practitioners playing a crucial role in supporting parents to improve the quality of home learning. Engaging parents to improve the home learning environment can be challenging but, research over many years suggests that parents are keen to support their children, especially when led by sensitive practitioners who work hard to build relationships, welcome parents in a warm and consistent way and offer different opportunities to engage in their child’s learning (Whalley, M. 2009).
This leads to the concept that both the practitioner and the parent have an equal interest in the child’s wellbeing and development

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