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Partnership with parents – observation clip 4

Dylan plays with his key person, Kerry. She talks to him about where his parents are and who's on the phone.

Good for looking at

  • Language and communication development
  • Partnerships with parents
  • Building up relationships
  • Sharing information


  • What do you notice about the quality of relationships between parent and practitioner?
  • What evidence of ‘holding in mind’ do you see in the clips?
  • How do practitioners support and maintain the child’s primary attachments?


What are your thoughts about:

  • What Dylan was communicating – think about his body language, gestures and verbal communication?
  • How is Dylan learning? Which areas of development, engagement and characteristics of learning can you observe?
  • The role of the key person in this interaction – how did she support Dylan and his connection with his family?

Further reflection

(you may want to watch more observation clips before moving on to further reflection)

  • It can be hard to build a relationship with parents whose behaviour, lifestyle or belief system you find challenging or very different to your own. What do you find most difficult about building relationships with parents? What kinds of support can help with this?
  • Parents have their own ways of showing their concern for their children (and their own anxieties and fears about care and education). How do you ensure that you reach out to every parent, finding ways to communicate effectively, helping them to feel relaxed and welcome in your setting?
  • How can practitioners reassure children that their parents hold them in mind when they are away from them?
  • How can they help children hold their parents in mind?
  • How can practitioners reassure children that they themselves hold the children in mind when they are away from them?
  • What strategies can you use to promote and maintain a child’s primary attachments?


  • Are there any actions/changes that could be made – as an individual or within your setting that would help support primary attachments and partnerships with parents?