The small amount of the EYPP funding per child means that partnership working will be a key way to making your funding go further. Especially f you have few eligible children, working with others will allow you for example to jointly commission bespoke training to meet your continuous professional development needs. High quality training has been shown to have a lasting impact on practice.
Partnership working can be for single events, or on a more long term basis such as working together to benefit children and families who attend more than one setting. This will provide an opportunity for consistency of approach, advice and support. Settings can also act as critical friends for eachother and provide opportunities for refining and focussing of pedagogical thinking.
Benefits of working in partnership
There are a number of benefits to working in partnership.
- Sharing costs makes the funding go further eg training, resource purchasing
- Families can be supported in a holistic fashion eg if attendance is poor and there are siblings in another setting a common approach could be trialled.
- Messages are consistent eg advice given is more likely to be the same and can be spaced out so families feel supported rather than singled out.
- Workload can be shared eg Systems can be shared between interested professionals.
- A wider range of views can be taken into account eg moderating assessments, building up common expectations
- Knowing you are not alone through forums and networking opportunities
Getting a partnership underway
Some things you might like to think about:
- Who you would like to work with and how does thier expertise compliment yours
- Size of the partnership
- Time frame for the partnership
- Expectations of the partnership – be specific initially
- Be pro-active
- How the roles and responsibilities might be divided
- Explain the benefits to potential partners
- Other settings
- Schools or Children's Centres
- Services e.g. health visitors or family support workers etc
Partnerships will take time to become established and will evolve over time.