Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Relationships Matter


Tuesday 20 August 2019

As a manager of a full day care setting, I have come to place a huge value on the relationships we have with our families and community. This value is something that is echoed by all the staff in Happy Days because we have to share our ethos, otherwise it just doesn’t work. I do realise that this takes time, effort and patience, but to enable this staff must be confident in themselves and their practice to build that relationship, and not feel overawed by parents spending time in their rooms.

Reflecting on how a parent must feel when they first set foot inside your door, not knowing anyone in your setting and having to leave their most treasured children in your care, must be one of the most frightening moments of their lives. This has made us realise how important a settling in period is, as it is the space where a parent builds trust and a relationship with the key person and the setting. Over time, we have come to understand that having a standard settling in process needs to meet the needs of all children and families. If a parent is insecure and upset, the child will sense this. We now understand that we are settling the parent along with their child, so a settling in period needs to be flexible to ensure the parent and child begin to feel confident in the care we provide. The couch in the room shows parents they are welcome to come in and sit for periods of time just to see how things are in the room. They will observe how well the interactions are between children and staff. They will see how the staff cope under pressure and all this reassures a parent. When parents begin to feel confident in the care given in our setting, the child will sense this. 

A person’s true values and beliefs will show in their everyday interactions with children because it is how they think and feel when they are working with them. Following a child’s routine speaks volumes to the parent as they can see that the needs of their child is paramount. Allowing a child to follow their natural sleep pattern is giving the child their right to sleep when tired. Standing over your policy of allowing children to sleep when they are tired even when a parent may request to not allow the child sleep as they were up all night, is also reinforcing how you are prioritising the child’s rights in your setting. We can all associate something in our lives that gives us the comforting feeling; something we go to when we need a little TLC. This is why we think that a child should be able to bring their little things from home that brings them a sense of comfort, especially when they’re in our setting away from home. An open-door policy that actually is what it says gives parents a sense of security knowing they are welcome in at any time of the day unannounced. This tells a parent that they are respected as the primary care giver and that what you see is what you get.



Anne Macken is the manager of a large full time community setting in Ballyporeen, South Tipperary. Anne has over 30 years’ experience in early years opening her own preschool at the age of 18 after completing the IPPA introductory course. She then moved to developing a community preschool and manged this on a voluntary basis until the purpose built facility opened in 2010. She is very focussed on supporting both her staff and children to reach their potential, by engaging in the Aistear in Action initiative pilot program, and is currently in the process of revalidating for Siolta QAP. Over the years she has completed her Level 5, 6 and most recently Level 8 degree in Early Education. She has a post grad qualification in children and loss as well as the LINC programme and accountancy qualifications. As an advocate of the fact that qualifications bring higher quality, more than 50% of her staff hold degrees in Early Education and Care.   

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

supportive environments(2) Rising to the Challenge(2) Shoes(1) Bereavement(2) Children's Research Network(2) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Facebook(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Rituals(1) Reopening Childcare(1) ECEC Setting(2) Gardening(1) Staff Motivation(1) research(8) Ariana Pucci(1) guardian(1) SAC(1) developing motor skills(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Return to Work(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) dogs(1) Upcycling(1) Loss(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Penguins(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Cork(1) TRAP(1) risk(2) Leaders in Practice(1) bloom app(1) TUSLA(1) Educators(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Exploring(1) Relaxation(1) Kids Own(1) Inter-generational(2) Halloween(2) pets(1) Qualifications(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Sustainability(3) Photographs(1) HR(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Sport(1) Intention(1) outdoor play(7) Graduation(1) timekeeping skills(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) coronavirus(1) respect(5) behavioural science(1) Iraq(1) Celebrate(1) Performing(1) PIP(1) Wilenski(1) Pen green(1) National Holiday(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) Limerick(1) Mark Twain(1) Anxiety(2) Participation(2) curiosity(3) Pre-School Services(1) Universal Design(2) Craft(1) Shapes(2) Kilkenny(1) Art(6) Flowers(1) Biting(1) Infectious diseases(1) Home Corner(1) Iceland(2) E.coli(1) Fabric(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Positivity(1) mushrooms(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Trick or treat(1) Wendy Lee(4) UNICEF report(1) UN(1) Motor neuron disease(1) National Awards 2019(1) Recycle(1) Childhood(2) creche(1) homeschool(1) presentation skills(1) Story(2) University(1) Behaviour(3) Exclusion(1) Creativity(7) outdoor space(3) EECERA(1) United Nations(1) scientific and artistic processes(1) Children's Book Club(1) risky play(2) Leargas(1) Academic Skills(1) Mount Everest(1) Well-Being(10) Creative(1) Trade union(1) Socioemotional development(1) conference(1) Digital(1) curriculum(7) Wonder(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Arts(1) collaboration(1) Patterns(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) ECIAwards20(1) show and tell(1) Mathematicians(1) preschool(4) Training(3) gender stereotype(1) CCTV(1) Wesco(1) quarantine(2) AsIAm(2) Early Childhood Education(1) Challenges(1) Affordability(1) Running(1) lockdown(1) Maynooth(1) UK Government(1) life long learning(1) Childcare(3) social media policy(1) Gratitude(1) ECEC(4) eating(1) Masterclass(2) dublin(2) Syria(1) Irish(1) Workforce(1) Learning Journal(2) Names(1) Nordic model(1) Japan(1) linc(1) code of professional responsibility(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) art of the relationship(1) UNCRC(2) Buddies(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) meals(3) Children's Rights(3) Playschool(1) Ceremony(1) food(1) Oireachtas(1) Childhood Development Initiative(1) Games(2) ELC(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Kindness(1) Academics(1) educarer(1) grandchild(1) Traditions(2) an post(1) Buddy Bench(1) Youtube Series(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) reopening(1) Technology(3) Emergent Curriculum(1) Builders(1) Summer(2) Inter-generational learning(2) MECPI(1) bonds(1) learning bias(1) San Miniato(4) Engineering(3) Plants(1) peer group(1) family time(1) conversations(1) National Pyjama Day(1) Seanchaí(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) New Appointments(1) planning(1) Leadership(1) Kerry(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) education system(1) Valentine's Day(3) Exit interview(1) Loving Relationships(2) Inspections(1) Children(8) pablo(1) outdoors(4) Culture(2) play pods(2) Policy(2) Plastic(1) Santa(2) Child Care(1) Norway(2) Queues(1) risk assessment(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) annual awards(1) Identity(5) Children's Voice(1) scéalta(59) Opportunities(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) listening(1) reopening ireland(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Imagination(3) Reggio Children Network(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Covid19 crisis(1) Vertical grouping(1) Study Trip(1) Self-Esteem(1) The Jelly King(1) child led(1) Return to Work Training(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Awards 2019(1) QRF(1) Death(2) Dance(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Proceedings Journal(1) Little Buddies(1) Jenga(1) Health(2) Self-regulation(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Arlene Forster(1) Adoption(1) Pretend Play(1) early childhood educator(2) Orla Kenny(1) aistear blog(4) Irish guidelines(1) staying connected(1) Magic(1) child-centric(1) Care routines(1) Environment(2) Maternity Leave(1) Fee Play(1) Growing up Outdoors(2) DES Inspection(1) Early Years Education(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Degree(1) partnership with families(1) Potential(1) Family(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) learners(1) play therapy(1) Map(1) Autism(4) Exploratory Play(1) Wrapping paper(1) Diversity(1) Our Little Seed(1) Magnavacchi(1) Early Years Educators(3) Síolta(139) Twitter(1) keep in touch(1) Capable(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) AIM(2) early life(1) interacting(2) memories(1) preschool settings(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Document Learning(1) Child mental health(1) Engagement(1) Communicating(1) Early Learning and Care(2) Laugh(1) Feeding(1) Appreciation(1) Advocacy(1) friendships(1) Belonging(3) Super Shed Stories(2) democracy(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Looking Back(1) TOY Programme(1) early year’s classrooms(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) Time Out(1) Early Childhood Ireland(10) Nonverbal(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) overhear(1) Thanks(1) MA(1) EM Standing(1) Reggio(1) baby room(1) Design(1) Italy(1) Horizon 2020(1) feisty(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) Touch(1) Albert Einstein(1) children development(1) Recycling(2) racism(1) Interactions(3) Hand Hygiene(2) School Age Childcare(2) STEM(3) Interaction(1) Fire Safety(1) documentation(4) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Settling in(4) Digital Devices(1) Community involvement(1) Professionalisation(5) Siolta blog(8) learning(19) Communications(1) healthy eating policies(1) Brain(1) COVID-19(18) Unesco(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Awards 2018(3) Consent(1) Small World Play(1) Routines(2) trust(4) Mental Health(4) UK(1) built environments(1) Mayo(1) Drawing(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Thinking(1) Line-ups(1) World Health Organisation(1) social science(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Special Needs Assistants(1) Learning Stories(9) early years research(3) Seas Suas(1) Leprechauns(1) democratic citizens(1) Inspirational(2) Celebrations(4) Croatia(1) Graduate(1) Trade Unions(1) NAEYC(1) educating(1) Afghanistan(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Meet the Members(1) awards 2020(1) partnership(1) Sustainable(1) ReCreate(2) playleader(1) Infection Control(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) inspiring interactions(1) early years learning(1) First 5(1) Music(3) Covid-19 lockdown(1) Awards Night(1) Regulation 23(1) science week(2) Meal time(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) play pod(1) Reggio Emilia(2) education(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) quarantine kids(1) research submissions(1) College(1) Montessori(3) community(5) CIT(1) gender bias(1) children’s learning(1) outdoor environment(1) Aistear(132) Quality(4) Favouritism(1) Margy Whalley(1) responsive relationships(1) emotional well-being(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Learning Story(1) animals(2) iOS(1) Confidence(1) stories(3) Online(1) Pobal(1) listen(1) Mantra(1) Treasure(1) Exercise(1) man up(1) Workplace well-being(1) Sessional service(1) Spiders(1) Rich Documentation(1) journey(1) Fantasy play(1) Skillnet(1) natural environment(2) Social Skills(1) refugees(1) Whole Group(1) ECCE(7) Investment(2) Self Help Skills(1) worries(1) Anthony Semann(1) Easter(1) NCCA(4) Research and Professional Learning(1) Research Seminar(1) Sociodramatic play(1) DCYA(6) Inspiring Practice(1) dining experiences(1) SPICE Framework(1) Mud kitchens(1) Body Language(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) play stories(2) dolly parton library(1) Supernanny(1) primary education(1) Síolta QAP(1) RTE Investigates(1) Sweets(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Dolly Partons Imagination Library(1) Arithmetic(1) Christmas Creativity(2) nutritional learning(1) UD(1) STEAM(1) Trigonometry(1) Europe(1) Yoga(1) story time(2) IGL(1) Giraffe(2) Growing up in Ireland(3) EECERA 2016(1) preschools(1) Women(1) Vietnam(1) Covid pandemic(3) Scéalta Blog(106) experience(1) Administrative Burden(1) Awards(2) First 5 strategy(1) Grief(1) continual professional development(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) International Narratives(1) Funding(1) worldbookday(1) Snack Time(1) Elders(1) christmas(9) Frosty the Snowman(1) European Project(1) Painting(1) june29(1) Snacks(1) RIE philosphy(1) Party(1) Mealtimes(1) blog(58) National Childcare Scheme(1) Role play(1) Decisions(1) movement behaviours(1) Workplace Relations(3) Impact(1) maternity health(1) Engineers Week(2) Care-giving routines(1) Maria Montessori(1) annual conference(1) Window(1) Book Review(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Confident(1) structure(1) Blocks(1) GDPR(1) Early Years(1) Visitors(1) Decision Making(1) Storytelling(8) Equality(1) Sculptures(1) Family wall(1) Stress(2) Breathing(2) toddlers(3) upskilling(1) Covid response(2) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Glitter(2) Support(1) phone apps(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) doodle families(1) code of ethics(1) Online Research Symposium(3) science(3) youdoodle(1) World book day(1) mental health problems(1) parents(7) Mindfulness(3) Empathy(1) online training(1) routine(2) Reading Time(2) emotional environment(2) social media(2) Inspired Practice Award(6) purpose(1) early childhood(1) Mixed age groups(3) Building Resilience(1) Learning journals(1) Employee(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Light table(1) child-centred approach(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Winter(1) Human Resources(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) babies(7) Sleep(1) play(37) Pedagogy(2) Visual Impairment(1) Treasure Chest(1) Reflective Practice(1) Teamwork(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) child safeguarding(1) Mo Scéal(1) ICBN(1) Interests(1) Cognitive development(1) Change(1) GoToMeeting app(1) Lego(2) Primary School(3) Your place(1) Sequins(1) Weather(1) Love(3) reading(6) Competent(1) early years settings(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) emotions(2) Maynooth University(2) Performance Management(1) multi-generational community(1) Smiles(1) budget(1) Thank you(1) COVID(3) Maths Week(1) Magda Gerber(1) communication(4) apps for children(1) Large Doll Play(1) Budget 2019(2) Exploring and Thinking(1) ears(1) imotion(1) environments(2) Titles(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) learning hub(2) keezy(1) transitions(10) Nutrition(1) Scents(1) under 3's(3) Prexit(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Xbox(1) Book Club(2) Budget 2020(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) dining(1) role playing(1) Snakes(1) relationships(18) Counting(1) Playdough(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Maths(6) INTO(1) Malaguzzi(1) childcare services(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Budget 2018(1) Children and families(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) CPD(1) Certificate(1) Traffic Lights(1) Independence(1) Frustrations(1) development(9) Looking Forward(1) Through the looking glass(1) Laughter(1) doodle den(1) ERASMUS+(3) Inclusion(3) Time(1) National Awards 2018(2) Obesity(1) books(5) Eritrea(1) women in research(1) Event Guide(1) value(1)


Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine