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Resources for professionals engaging with parents

When professionals and practitioners use a common language and provide consistent messages about early years, they provide parents with the knowledge and skills to better support their child’s development. Practitioners can empower parents by working in partnership with families, building on their strengths and promoting parenting as a learning process.

A practice guide for working with parents from pre-birth to 8 years

A practice guide and online training are available to support practitioners and professionals engage with families in early childhood development.

Why was this guide developed?

Extensive social research with parents revealed that they received inconsistent and confusing information about how best to support their children’s development. 

This guide was developed to ensure professionals and practitioners across a range of disciplines share consistent and compelling parenting information for supporting child development.

About the guide

The practice guide is based on the latest neuroscience evidence which shows that positive relationships and experiences in the early years contribute to children’s optimal development and lay a foundation for future development and learning. 

The focus of this guide is for professionals and practitioners to work from the same starting point, and to use a common language and provide consistent messages about the early years of child development.

The guide includes:

  • Shared values that underpin professionals’ and practitioners’ work with families
  •  4 key principles of early childhood development based on the neuroscience evidence
  • Practice Guides for working with families based around the 4 key principles
  • A planning and evaluation framework for services to plan and assess their parenting initiatives.

Online training

Early childhood practitioners and professionals can access a free interactive online training that is for working with parents from pre-birth to 8 years. 

The training covers the information, key principles and practices outlined in the practice guide and allows professionals and practitioners to reflect on their own practice. Applying the information, key principles and shared values of this practice guide to current practice will enhance the role practitioners play in supporting families to give children the best start in life.

The training takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete and can be completed in smaller sections or all at once. A certificate of completion is provided at the end of the training. 

Leaders and managers are encouraged to include this training as part of their team’s professional development. Teams can discuss their responses to reflective questions completed during the training to encourage them to implement their learning into practice.

Access the online training here.


Parent engagement

Email: education.ParentEngagement [at] sa.gov.au