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Offering Your Help With Pre-School Activities

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 29 May 2012 | comments*Discuss
Pre-school Nursery Sure Start

As we all know it is important that your child when they first start attending any sort of educational institution is given as much attention and stimulation as is possible. You have to remember that this is your child’s first foray into interacting with other children from different backgrounds with different levels of need.

Nurseries and pre-school organisations such as Sure Start do the best they can with the resources they have but it is always welcome for parents to lend a hand where they can with whatever they can.

This level of help can be anything from helping children in the playground environment or indeed in a mealtime scenario and spending time with them in the classroom, aiding with their development.

Parents volunteering are also able to participate in helping the children with painting, working with numbers, identifying things around them, singing, playing educational games and also with such things as day trips and perhaps sports days and extra-curricular activities. These may include for example the nursery or play group nativity play.

Parents are also invited to participate in fund raising events, such as bring and buy sales, auctions, and other specific activities aimed at adults with a view to raising much needed funds for the nursery/playgroup.

Parents can assist with classes in which their own child is not present, as it can have an adverse effect if you are present in your own child’s class. This makes the withdrawal process that bit harder as your child can become used to your presence and also it may cause jealousy between your child and other children if they see their parent spend more time with others than with them.


It is also worth noting that there are now – in today’s climate – a series of legally required checks, which must be carried out before any parent can be allowed to act in a supervisory capacity alongside a teacher.

This process is called a CRB Check (Criminal Records Bureau) and is a legal requirement for anyone who is working with individuals who may be regarded as vulnerable. This is also includes adults with physical and mental disabilities and the elderly.

A CRB check can be funded by the individual or the school/nursery, but it is a legal requirement and without one you will not be allowed – regardless of how good your intentions – to participate in any activity with children other than your own. If you wish to act as a volunteer in this environment then the responsibility and the fee are yours and yours alone.

Limiting Factors

You will find that your nursery or place of pre-school education will be grateful for the offer of help as classroom sizes have increased significantly over the last ten years. That said, there are what are known as classroom assistants employed by the local education authorities, but their numbers have been vastly depleted in recent years given the onslaught of such things as budgetary constraints and the national minimum wage.

Also with the number of offences committed against children and minors having steadily increased in the last five years the number of people prepared to volunteer their services unpaid has decreased.

There is lots of scope for you, as a parent, to help out other children and the pre-school environment in which your child is placed, but you should be aware that there might be sufficient demands made of your time.

In saying that however it is a worthwhile endeavour and one you as a parent and the children under your supervision can gain from.

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