It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.

It is stressful being an early years provider, but spark will give you the control back, so all adults involved can strive for outstanding EYFS practice in order to get everything right, ultimately for every child at this time of rapid brain development.
0203 390 2412

In all our nurseries, we encouraged parents to visit, not just to look around the nursery, but to come in and spend time with us.

Perhaps they were on the waiting list… perhaps they were waiting for a place.

Perhaps they were going to start in the future.

Maybe they had no intentions of using our nurseries at all and maybe they already used a couple of sessions a week.

We had a particular a particular session every week where parents could attend a Little Magic Train group.

So, we had the advertising board out the front and parents could bring their children along. The Magic Train expert for the setting then delivered the stories and played the music, etc. while parents stayed in another room to have coffee with a member of staff.

We had various success of charging or giving the places to play for free. Sometimes, charging a little means the parents value it a little bit more. Even if it just covers the coffee and biscuits!

Parents whose children didn’t generally come in that day could attend as well, especially for Little Magic Train. We also offered the sessions because the parents stay – whether they were prospective or current families, this is important.

We were lucky. We had a viewing gallery, where parents could sit, drink their coffee and watch their children below.

It is really good for parents to network, get together with a cup of coffee and talk about their problems. They can discuss with and gain the knowledge of the member of staff that’s with them.

So, not only is it really great for the children, but it also starts building those relationships with the nurseries. This created a community feel about our nurseries and kept waiting lists full.

Why does this work?

Parents don’t come to see the literal building you are in and the toys and loose parts you may have. (Though some might think that that’s what they are doing.)

They come to be WOWED. They come to find a reason to join the waiting list. They come to find a reason to stay on it. They come to make sure that this is the right place to send their children. A quick tour and ‘any questions?’ doesn’t really cover that, does it?

The uniqueness of your provision is in you, the practitioners, the team leaders and your pedagogy. Show it to them!

Consider what extra you can offer over and above the basic requirements of the EYFS. Maybe you do yoga or dance already. It probably seems completely ‘normal’ and commonplace to you now, but you need to show these things off to prospective families.

You can watch the sparkDEBATE Why is imagination and creativity so important in the early years? with Gina and I here.