The Good Start, Great Start programme aims to sensitively strengthen the adult in their parenting role, helping them to understand how to best support their child at this important stage of their development. The activities are designed to encourage focussed interaction and help the parent to take an active part in their child’s teaming. .At every stage during the programme parents are encouraged to engage with their child in games and activities which rehearse additional skills for learning readiness in line with the UNICEF framework. A crucial element of this is the development of children’s language and communication: critical markers of future achievement and there is no stage more important for this work than within the early years.
The Good Start, Great Start programme aligns to the Ofsted guidance on parental engagement by encouraging and supporting parents to engage with a range of speaking and listening activities which they can continue to build on at home. By developing social links within the attending group, the parents are helped to form a network of support over the six sessions which can be sustained beyond the programme.
The facilitating team need to be sensitive to parents who may have inhibitions regarding their own educational experiences. The programme provides opportunities to work through some of these barriers and allows parents to develop and build trust in the system which will provide a framework for their child’s academic future. Team relationships with parents needs to be consultative and supportive, recognising the real challenges they deal with in their parenting role and helping the group to acknowledge that we are all in this together.