ENHANCING QUALITY IN ECEC THROUGH PARTICIPATION

Garden project

 General goals of the activity

To have the parents involved in the daily life of the daycare service by thinking, planning and carrying out a project in the outdoor space.

To strengthen the social cohesion of a neighbourhood.

To create a outdoor space for the children and a meeting place for the parents and the neighbourhood.

 Description of the activity

All the parents are informed about the intention to work in the outdoor space. A parents’ and coworkers’ task force is formed through a call.

The task force takes the time to investigate the space and the possibilities. During a group activity with all parents, such as a summer-party, the whole group of parents can be asked for suggestions, ideas and priorities. Based on this ideas, the task force makes drafts and plans, looks for resources and partners.

Once the garden is created, parents can divide the tasks of maintaining the outdoor space: watering the herb garden in summer, feeding the animals, pruning the trees in the winter…

 Remarks

(issues to be aware of when implementing the activity)

A diverse group of parents, with different skills and talents, enhances the possibilities and the solutions proposed and later carried out.

It will often be necessary for one or two members of the staff to guide the process. Don’t hesitate to involve the parents in the real work, with boots and spade.

 Role of the teacher

The teacher can take part in the process, or even be its driving force.

The teacher’s involvement is important in ensuring that the mission and vision of the daycare service are reflected in the plans.

Role of the family

The families can also be the driving force, depending on the situation.

Each parent can bring along his own skills and talents, and get involved in either the planning phase, the actual carrying out of the plans, or the maintenance of the outdoor space.

 Added value for the child and the family

The daycare service’s outdoor space enhances opportunities for playing, discovering, connecting and meeting up.

Materials to be used

Plans of the outdoor space.

Depending on its nature, the project might need extra resources to carry out heavy work, or the helping hands of families and local partners to do small jobs.

Guiding questions to reflect on the general improvement of the service

Partners can be sought locally, eg. a vocational school who helps to make wooden or metal materials in the garden or a training project in joinery for adults.

Guiding questions to reflect on the general improvement of the service
In what way the activity improved the participation of the parents? To what extent the activity improved our professional development as a team? In what way the
activity had an effect on the development of a trusting relationship with the parents?

Partners