Monday, 23 April 2012

From Practitioner to parent

                   Seeing things from a parents perspective gave me pause for thought!!
Today I took my daughter to look at a Preschool, with the intent that one day she may join. Before I had even walked into the setting, I had been intrigued by one of their open door policy!
It is something I had not come across in the settings I had previously worked in, and found it very refreshing that I could walk in off of the street, and visit the local pre school!

It gives parents an insight into a setting without the pomp and circumstance of a pristine room and children sat acting on their best behaviour. I got to see the setting at a busy time on a wet morning, with children full of energy! It was exactly as it should have been!!

Personally, I think this open door policy is a fantastic idea, and should be used in more settings. I felt welcomed, not in any way an inconvenience to the staff popping in on their busy session. Of course, I had noticed that the setting was well over ratio, allowing the supervisor to be able to speak to me. This would be the defining problem for many settings I am sure, as it surely cannot be possible to have someone on hand at all times for off the street visits, but this must be thought through when offering such a service to begin with.

I do not even have to book visits before my daughter would start the pre school either. It is just a case of coming along as much as we like before she starts with them. I love that I don't have to worry about making an appointment and if I am walking past and fancy popping in to ask anything, I would be welcomed with open arms.

This policy seems like a perfect way to start the parent and setting relationship, allowing parents to feel welcomed and valued from the beginning. Doing some research on this, I have found that this policy actually can make the grade for an "ideal setting" and it is actually surprising how many settings actually do this.

I would love to hear from any setting that runs such a policy and how it works or doesn't work for them. I could even run a piece on your setting as a thank you for your input. Please email me at I would love to hear from you!!

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