Early Years

Learning at Home

Why supporting parents with learning at home matters

Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children’s learning, and levels ofparental engagement are consistently associated with better academic outcomes.

Education Endowment Foundation

Working with parents and carers to influence the home learning environment is a key aspect of Early Years practice. The home learning environment is very important in influencing a child’s development and achievement.  Some children get much less support than others with their learning at home. By getting to know your families, settings can adapt the support provided and offer extra help to those who need it most.

Awareness - Ensure that all your staff and parents know how vitally important parents are in influencing their children’s learning and development. Research suggests that children’s achievement is influenced 80% by family and community and 20% by schools.

Inform  - your parents that sharing books, chatting and singing songs and rhymes are the key ways that they can support their child’s learning.

Ideas - provide parents with simple, ongoing suggestions, often related to what you have been doing in the setting/school, e.g. build a tower out of boxes from the kitchen cupboards, create a den in the garden or lounge, allow your child to style your hair.

Inclusive - When inviting parents into an event, make clear that it is non-threatening and fun. Some settings and schools do activities such as digging, making bird feeders, and decorating boxes rather than a formal workshop. Provide good quality refreshments - Homemade cakes or pizza and a refreshing drink are always well received!

Flexible –Have a mixture of strategies for engaging your parents in their child’s learning. Different strategies appeal to different parents, e.g. a loan system of bedtime story books, regular suggestions sent by text/website/newsletter, Stay and Play sessions, inviting parents into the last 10 minutes of the day when there is story and singing, free gifts of chalk and black sugar paper put in the entrance hall.

Persistent - One size won’t fit all! Keep on trying until every parent and carer participates with some of your approaches. Who isn’t and how will you work with them? Encourage your Parents to Behave Powerfully.

Find Out More:

Education endowment foundation.org.uk- Parental-engagement  

Education endowment foundation.org.uk - working with parents to support children's learning

Below are a selection of 'Learning at Home' Together cards produced by the Early Years Service. Please have a look through these and share with your parents in your chosen way. They can be downloaded to print off or sent electronically. Each half term, a new selection will be published and just the previous selection will remain on the website. There is a half termly loose theme and then the General Activities relate to an area of the EYFS.

Activities from Communication and Language Week 2022

Marvellous Monday

Tremendous Tuesday

Wonderful Wednesday

Thrilling Thursday

Fascinating Friday


Early Education Resources

Early Education have produced these resources to support your families further.

Parents & carers – Early Education (early-education.org.uk).


The BBC's Tiny Happy People website has a page for early years practitioners to make it easier to share resources with parents

‘Chat, Play, Read’

What-to-expect-in-the-EYFS-complete-FINAL-16.09-compressed.pdf (foundationyears.org.uk)

Buckinghamshire Family Learning Toolkit September 2021

The government have set a clear ambition to halve the proportion of children who do not achieve at least expected levels across all goals in ‘communication and language’ and ‘literacy’ areas of learning at the end of reception year by 2028.

In 2019 The Department for Education launched a three year campaign to encourage Parents to get involved with activities that support their child’s early learning.

Resources to support your parents with this can be found:

Hungry Little Minds         

Small Talk                       

Words for Life                  

BBC Tiny Happy People       

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