This week, the Peterborough Early Years Team tells us how they have been supporting families in their community during the Coronavirus crisis.
Over the last few weeks we have been supporting families through various online tools including Tapestry a learning journal tool where parents can add observations, photos and videos of what they are doing with their children. The Early Years team is linking these to the Early Years Foundation Stage and adding the next steps and providing activity sheets to extend their children’s learning. Tapestry has been a great way to keep track of the children’s progress and connect with the parents stuck at home.
‘weekly tips and game ideas’
Another tool we have been using is a mobile app called EasyPeasy which provides parents with weekly tips and game ideas sent to them every Saturday. There are activity ideas that parents can also try at any time and then add observations that inform us how their child engaged with the activity.
We are also reaching out to families who access our Facebook pages. The Early Years team is posting storytime sessions and sharing play ideas and activities.
‘Parents have really appreciated this contact’
However, not all the focus is on providing activities. The Early Years team is contacting families on a weekly basis to ‘check-in’ either with a phone call or text and parents have really appreciated this contact. We have received positive messages, particularly from our families who are in flats with no access to gardens who have appreciated the activity suggestions.
Through this contact, parents have been able to ‘reach out’ for further support – for example, advice on potty training, managing behaviours, and routines as well as any other issues that they may be experiencing and requiring support for.
Additionally, we have started to video call our families in small groups. One parent fed back:
“I did like the group chat as it was good to see everyone…Thea really enjoyed seeing you all (although she went all shy). She couldn’t wait to tell Daddy she spoke to Angie and Tor [from the Early Years team]”
Well done to all of our colleagues in Peterborough!