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Working Together: Policy and Practice in Early Childhood Centres. Grace Paton University of Paisley [email protected] The Context of the Research. International acknowledgement of the importance of investment in early education and care
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University of Paisley
“We work very closely with parents, and as role models, if you like, and again trying to break down barriers and seeing them as equal, allowing us to support their need, whatever that may be (Centre H)
“We are meeting the needs of the current group, but not the needs of the area and we are missing out on some extremely vulnerable people who are slipping through the net…people who have problems with substance and alcohol abuse.” (Centre F)
“We do have referrals through the health visitor and we run classes to combat this…where no one turns up!” (Centre C)
“We also meet with what is called the X Partnership, which includes all the practitioners from services in the local area…after school carers, health visitors, other pre-5 colleagues, primary (school) colleagues, voluntary sector colleagues….that happens every month.”
“I’ve recently had experience of working with a family where seventeen professionals were involved with a mother and her five children….. So we need to ask ourselves if this is really necessary…and remove some of the pressure from the family.” (Centre D)”
“Key workers have contact with the referrer and they try to build up a working relationship….generally on an ongoing basis. They contact by phone calls and e-mails or informal meetings if the professional happens to be in the nursery for any reason.” (Centre G)
“We have meetings down at Social Work and all our girls attend, and yes, it leaves us short staffed, but we do it, because it is important.
“We have seven or eight psychologists within the nursery with different children (at different times)…If you could just build up a relationship with the person, it would be much better.” (Centre B)
( leads to generalised trust beyond networks)
“Say P was making her dumplings (and her dumplings are world famous), people would come to the class and while they were doing it, P would be talking about all kinds of things. “
“She said “I have never felt so good about myself in my life” (after a pampering and beauty session)………
She’s now with X as a crèche worker because she’s built-up her self-esteem…..but we built up the trust in that person initially and got her involved.”
“So we need to be in a position to explain to each other and accept that these differences exist and importantly, confident that we can trust each other .. Developng a climate of trust.” (Centre D)
“We cannot meet all their needs initially but that’s what integrated working is about. You know the resources in the local area and you can use them to meet the family’s needs” (Centre H)
“Another load of money came in and it had to be spent by the end of March and it was specifically for physical equipment…You can’t store it and I don’t have a computer that works. We have parents donating prams. “(Centre A)
“ Now we have a Corporate Director of Education and Social Care, so we are all working for one manager , with one ethos and his beliefs are very strongly coming through now. “ (Centre D)
Julie Boyle Lynda Darroch
Mary Evans Lauren Gibson
Mari McLean Morven Mc Lean
Diane Jackson Caroline Morrison