This material is also available in a PDF format: All about partnerships [5MB]

Partnerships help people understand each other and work towards common goals.

What is a partnership?

A partnership is a relationship between people who agree to share responsibility and work together towards a common goal. Everyone in a partnership is valued and is thought of as equal. Each person contributes their own views, skills and knowledge. Everyone communicates openly and decisions are made together.

Why have partnerships?

By exchanging information and working together cooperatively, families and staff can understand children’s emotions, behaviour and needs and find the best ways to support them in their development and promote their mental health and wellbeing.

This resource provides further information on the importance of partnerships between families and early childhood staff. There are also suggestions about how families and staff can do this together.

Developing partnerships involves families and staff:

  • Learning each other’s names, greeting each other and getting to know one another.
  • Sharing and showing an interest in children’s activities both at home and at the service.
  • Letting each other know their involvement and support is valued. 
  • Acknowledging both can learn from each other.
  • Creating invitations for families to be involved in the early childhood service in ways that suit their needs and circumstances.
  • Sharing experiences that might be affecting children’s feelings and behaviour.
  • Sharing the best way to communicate with each other, for example, face-to-face, email or telephone.
  • Respecting each other’s differences and being committed to working together.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of information exchanged.