Sightlines Initiative

promoting creative and reflective practice in early childhood education


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A section for parents

The intention of this section is to help you

  • Look for a preschool/school
  • To help you explore your vision and expectations
  • In how to know what you might be looking for
  • In what to expect
  • To find ways to support the educators to develop their work with your children

And to help educators become more determined, informed and connected: your reflections and questions can help enormously all those centres and educators who are working hard to create new and different learning spaces for children, in ways that they perhaps haven’t been schooled themselves – remember that it is difficult for them, and they are being brave, and thinking hard about what to do!”

Below are some questions which we are currently using as a basis of discussions to help us develop this section. If you would like to join in this discussion, please get in touch (or if you would like to simply write in with your thoughts, please do, It will be a great help.

For parents who are attending a preschool in the network

  1. We work from the principle that all children are born competent, creative, curious, sociable: What do you feel is important for childhood and what children should experience in settings(early childhood centres/schools?)
  2. Can you find three words which characterise the most important aspects of your experience; your child/ren’s experience; about the characteristics of the centre and the educators? (Three words for each – but add more if you want!)
  3. What are you seeing and learning about your child through the possibilities that this approach to education is providing?
  4. Are your own expectations/ your parenting developing differently than before?
  5. What do you want to tell other parents about the benefits of working in this way?

For any parent (e.g. if you are seeking educational places for your children)

  1. What do you want / for you as parents / for your child/ren?
  2. We work from the principle that all children are born competent, creative, curious, sociable: What do you feel is important for childhood and what children should experience in settings(early childhood centres/schools?)
  3. What kind of help do you want in looking for a ‘good preschool’ that has our values?
  4. Can you recall seeing elements of these qualities anywhere, or had them in your own experience as a child? Please tell about them.
  5. What worries you about the current offering for our children in schools and centres?

Ongoing Dialogues ...

Since making this invitation, we are now in active dialogue with parents' campaign group Let Kids Be Kids, and members of  the More Than a Score coalition.

We have also researched past studies such as  'The School I'd Like', and hope to publish extracts of some.

We now have an ongoing 'Parents in Dialogue' group which is also collecting and responding  to our invitation. They are focussed on how to make the strongest public case for 'education fit for children.'


Dear parents/ carers, centres & schools,

We have started a series of blogs and exchanges to support families and children learning together at home.TT08from 'Traps & Tenderness': Viviana & Federico

 Through these blogs we aim to provide an inspiring resource to families, so that home learning can be an exciting and joyful experience.

The blogs will appear once a week on our website and on social media, and will include some ideas for you and your children to explore at home.

We would like to share experiences of children and families in the blogs and invite you to participate by sending us your photographs, videos, notes from your family explorations. We’d be able to share some of your experiences  on our website, blogs and on our social media pages – this will all help build a lively picture of parents and children around the country imaginatively exploring, learning and being together.

We are in an enforced situation, but we can maximise the joy and playfulness and new perspectives which are hidden in our everydays.

Some of the things we anticipate that the explorations will include are:

  • working with different learning spaces at home (including the kitchen)
  • materials and imagination
  • story telling
  • den building
  • dressing up
  • working with children's questions and ideas.

Sightlines Initiative is an organisation working with educators, families and others interested in creative and imaginative approaches to education.

Click on 'Subscribe to our blog' on the left of this page to sign up to Sightlines Blog posts.

Go to 'JOIN' to sign up to share some of your children's and your experiences

Here are the Topics which have started, with responses from parents and children.

Click on the Title to go to the Topic introduction and it's gallery of responses: