Improved communications between After School Club and parents through CACHE qualification
After School Club in Surrey sees communication improve between setting and parents after owner studies CACHE qualification.
Emma Huskinson, a busy owner and manager of a successful After School Club in Surrey, implements change and improves outcomes for children in her setting through studying the CACHE Level 4 Certificate for the Advanced Practitioner in Schools and Colleges.
“I wanted to continue my professional development and improve outcomes”
Emma shares her story of studying the CACHE qualification:
“I started the Level 4 qualification in March 2018 at The Teaching Assistant College. I wanted to continue my professional development and improve outcomes for children in my setting, so I decided to gain new skills and knowledge to apply in the workplace.
“One of the units involved me undertaking a research project, which required me to plan, implement and evaluate change in relation to an identified theme, using current research to produce recommendations for improvements and then implementing these. The theme I selected was ‘Effective partnership working between parents, families and practitioners is vital when ensuring the best possible outcomes for young people’. I started researching and analysing what staff and parents thought about the ways in which we communicated with them through a questionnaire.
Working together to improve communication
“My setting caters for working parents who often have limited time for discussion at pick up after a long day at work, therefore I was keen to look at other ways we could communicate with them and incorporate modern day technology. Parents and staff both suggested other forms of communication that we could use, and as a team we looked through the feasibility of using these.
“Methods selected were Skype meetings with parents, an interactive noticeboard to show development milestones and share information with staff and parents, as well as Real Time Observations sent via text or email. At the end of the year we held a well-received parent information evening, showing a presentation and encouraging discussions around the ways we were moving forwards with our communications. This made it more accessible for parents and carers to find out about their child’s development at a time that suited them.”
Supporting children’s mental health
Emma continued: “Knowledge gained through the Level 4 Certificate has also supported me to improve outcomes for children’s mental health. We now have a yoga teacher coming to the setting once a week to help children with anxiety issues, as well as making use of meditation in our quiet room daily.
“The qualification has enabled me to feel more confident about making changes and improvements to my setting and has strengthened our team significantly, through having more regular meetings and fully involving staff in any changes.
“Overall the course has reignited my passion to care for and support children, young people and their families through play."
Finding realistic solutions
Anne Bradbury, Director of Learning at The Teaching Assistant College said: “It has been a pleasure to support Emma with her Level 4 Certificate. Through her commitment and hard work she has seen improvements not only to her own practice, but to the effectiveness of her team, the ethos of her club, and the well-being of the children and parents she works with. She adopted a thorough approach to her research project, identifying relevant gaps in her setting and ensuring that she was able to discuss these with her team and find realistic solutions. Emma has carried this forward into other aspects of the course as well - she has done mini-research projects relating to well-being, and seeing her apply the skills she has learnt to improve practice and outcomes has been really inspiring."
Janet Scott, Subject Specialist Childcare at CACHE commented: “This Level 4 qualification aims to provide professional development opportunities for practitioners working in schools and colleges. Learners will acquire and use skills of leadership, mentoring, coaching and reflection as they complete the qualification through work-based learning opportunities and will challenge the learner in both daily practice and theoretical understanding.
“Emma is a great example of how learners can use the knowledge and skills gained through this qualification to implement positive changes in a setting.”
To find out more about this qualification, visit www.qualhub.co.uk.