Regular updates from her son’s nursery helps Lily Kandalaft remain informed of his progress Image Credit: Supplied

The perfect nursery can have varied definitions, but the meaning is now being modified to include an active role for parents. Parental involvement in children’s education and well-being at schools is on the rise and many nurseries have adopted strategies to promote it. 

“Sharing of information about the child by parents or guardians with the nursery so that teachers can be better informed about students’ strengths, needs, behaviour and learning styles prove to be very useful in the child’s nursery period,” says Anjum Ali, Head of KG at Global Indian International School (GIIS). 

Unique initiatives 

Pre-KG at GIIS enrols children at the age of three, and has undertaken many measures to maximise parental involvement. “On an average we have one programme per month as a part of parental participation,” says Ali.

“We organise parent support groups to support all endeavours, we hold a workshop to educate parents about phonic drills, the play way method, etc., and also hold other parent-children activities such as a Mother’s Day celebration and reading programmes. To better guide the parents, we also conduct regular meetings and phone calls.”  

Lily Kandalaft, Dubai-based Jordanian-Canadian mum to two children, says the extent of parental involvement in her two-and-a-half-year-old son Zayden Najjar’s nursery, Children’s Oasis, has helped her son make the successful transition to nursery.

“They update me daily with pictures, videos and messages with his feeding and sleeping routine so that I am constantly updated on how he is doing during the day,” she says, adding, “These initiatives make me feel more connected to my son when I’m away from him.” 

However, too much parental involvement in nursery affairs may not be beneficial for the overall well-being of the child either. Bernadette King-Turner, founding partner of Yellow Brick Road Nursery, says the nursery’s open door policies help promote transperancy, while expressing her concerns about excessive involvement.

“Parents sometimes resist letting go of their control due to their own emotional needs. As a result, they sometimes fail to appreciate the abilities of their own children,” she says. “Helicopter parenting can hinder a child’s independent freedom to make age-appropriate choices.”

The value of effective communication and partnership between families and nurseries for students’ success cannot be denied. 

“We believe that both parents and the nursery have a joint ownership of responsibility towards the development of the child,” says Roshi Tandon, Managing Director, Chubby Cheeks Nursery. “We constantly endeavour to have an ongoing dialogue with parents on the progress and development of their children.” 

“Parents are our partners in children’s education and hence encourage open lines of communication. Parents receive the My Daily Diary as a daily communication, weekly emails from teachers and the D6 Communicator App. We host parent orientations, parent-teacher meetings and special events involving parents’ participation such as Mothers’ Day and International Day,” she adds.  

“Most of the behavioural concerns or minor learning delays in children can be overcome by involving parents actively and positively from the initial stages,” says Sarika Singh, Manager/Principal of Toddler Town Nursery, highlighting the positives of parental involvement in nurseries.

A child disconnects from a very sheltered life when starting to attend a nursery.Initial participation by a parent can help overcome their anxieties, but parents have to learn to draw the line between enabling and babying.  

— The writer was an intern at Gulf News Commercial Publishing