Families are always encouraged to make their voices heard at Pen Green. Local families have consistent input into all of our services and are regularly consulted for their views on our ways of working. Following any consultation, we publish the outcomes around the centre to let families know about any changes and improvements.
Families can share their thoughts in a number of ways:
Completing a 'Parent Voice'
Families are asked to complete an evaluation or 'Parent Voice' during regular Evaluation Weeks and/or when they child transitions from any one of our provisions (for example nursery, early years or crèche).
Annual satisfaction survey
This usually happens in December. Parents from across the centre are asked to share their views on the services they access.
Attending a parent forum
We hold regular forums for all parents to meet, share and discuss their suggestions. Dates are shared around the centre and on social media.
Contacting a parent governor or our Parent Participation Worker
Parent governors represent the views of families on the governing body. Families can also contact the Parent Participation Worker if they wish to discuss any concerns or make any suggestions regarding the service.
Families are always encourage to participate in activities at the centre. Carers can join their child in nursery or attend the Groupwork Programme. Those wishing to volunteer at a group or in nursery can contact the Homestart office on 01536 409612. For more information on volunteering at Pen Green, please click here.
The evidence is unequivocal that working in partnership with families to build on home learning is the best way to have effective impact on the development of children. Since 1983 we have adopted a systemic approach to engaging with children and their families. We acknowledge the critical importance of developing relations with all the important adults in the child’s life, working in partnership with families to develop sustained engagement with families over time.
Pen Green has pioneered a shift away from a conventional model of teaching and learning to a new model where parents and staff work together as co-educators. Our approach holds that:
parents have a strong commitment to their children
that shared power counters oppression
that our services must be accessible to all carers and parents and must respond to the challenges accessibility poses
families need to choose the services that are useful to them
we get nowhere by blaming the parents who all want the best for their children
families with various cultures and languages derive no benefit from being stereotyped
we do not have to struggle alone, our networks are our strength
our duty is to respond flexibly rather than expect families to adapt to our ways
of all our teachers, parents are often the smartest
We believe that successful and sustained engagement with families:
is maintained when practitioners work alongside families in valued working relationships, and respect what families already know and do
requires practitioners and parents listening to and learning from each other
needs practitioners to find ways to actively engage those who do not traditionally access services
happens when parents are decision-makers in organisations and services and when families’ views, opinions and expectations of services are raised and their confidence increases as service users
happens by supporting the whole family through universal services, but with opportunities for more intensive support where most needed
requires effective support and supervision for staff, encouraging evaluation and self-reflection
requires an understanding and honest sharing of issues around safeguarding