Families and carers make significant contributions to children’s learning and development before and after children enter the preparatory setting. To build these partnerships, teachers need to accept different family structures and lifestyles, and be genuine in their attempts to involve families meaningfully. By working in partnerships with families, teachers: develop learning environments that make the transition to the preparatory setting smooth and successful • make connections between children’s learning and experiences that occur outside of the preparatory setting • involve families in supporting children’s learning through sharing information and contributing their own knowledges and perspectives • involve families in the preparatory setting, listening to and responding to their ideas, and recognising the contributions they make.
The cultural and social communities in which children live have an impact on how they construct knowledge and understand the world. Preparatory settings should not be seen as separate from these communities but as embedded within them. As children build on or construct new understandings, capabilities and dispositions, they will be drawing from the knowledges that are seen as important in their own communities. Partnerships with communities will lead teachers to better understandings about children and how the preparatory program can best meet their learning and development needs.
By working in partnerships with communities, teachers: • create learning environments that recognise children’s social and cultural lives and the contributions that children make to their own communities • create learning contexts that make connections between children’s prior experiences in the community and their learning • recognise the social or cultural biases that shape knowledges and minimise any barriers to children’s learning and development • reflect the important social and cultural aspects of the community in the preparatory program.