Team up with your early learning service community
Where to Start?
Your ELS newsletter, website, Facebook or online platform (e.g. Educa or Storypark) is a great place to start to share information with whānau/families. It is important to have systems in place to regularly update your community about what you are doing as part of Building Blocks so they are active participants in the promotion of health and wellbeing. You could share this Newsletter Snippet.
Think about the methods you use to consult with your community before making decisions that affect their tamariki. Ask whānau for the best ways to consult with them and provide clear ways for them to give feedback.
Engage Local Iwi
Engage with kaumatua and local iwi to learn more about your local stories and how your service can connect with them.
Inform other agencies and providers you interact with about Building Blocks. Find out who are the experts in your community and ask if they can support you with advice, resources or workshops.
Share with new whānau about the importance of health and wellbeing through enrolment packs, proactive conversations, newsletters, workshops and events. Raise awareness about what Building Blocks is, why you’re doing it, what’s in it for them, and how they can contribute and participate.
Include Building Blocks as a regular agenda item at staff meetings, in staff pānui and in orientation for new staff. Provide opportunities for staff to take the lead with different blocks and develop their own professional practice.
Enable tamariki to contribute their own ideas for each of the different wellbeing topics. Provide them with projects or activities to take home to share the message with their whānau or to gather their feedback and contributions.
Share the key results from your block checklists with your community to keep them up to date on your weaving journey. Focus on positive messages for whānau/families such as improved learning and concentration, developing healthy habits and behaviours.
Keep It Relevant
Think about timely, relevant information. For example, heading into summer might be a great time to work on the Fun in the Sun Block, while the winter months are an ideal time to focus on the Keep the Bugs at Bay block.
Dedicate a portion of your service noticeboard to Building Blocks and create engaging displays with posters and photos showcasing your activities.
Competitions are fun and exciting and can help engagement. You can celebrate healthy habits such as using active transport (using bikes/scooters, or taking the bus), teeth brushing, handwashing, applying sunscreen or healthy lunchboxes by using charts/cards that can be marked off and put into a regular prize draw.
Celebrate when you achieve a block and invite whānau/families to be a part of this. Display your block awards somewhere visible to all whānau/families, staff and tamariki.
Ask whānau for feedback about what you are doing well or what you can improve on in caring for their tamariki. When you complete a block, ask for feedback. Ask about the key changes they have seen, what went well, what didn’t go well, what could be improved and how are they supporting their tamariki at home in this area?