We organised a Father’s Day Breakfast event between 8am and 9am at the nursery. We were keen to do an event which specifically targeted dads and male carers because although we see a high percentage of dads collecting or dropping off their children, they are usually rushing to work or home and due to the staggered drop off times they don’t often meet other dads. We have organised similar events for mums in the past.
The event was advertised initially in our March newsletter and posters were put up at the beginning of May. We made invitations with the children at the beginning of June. On the day, four dads and two grandads joined our Under Twos for breakfast and seven dads and one grandad joined our Over Twos. The nursery supplied fresh orange juice, doughnuts and toast and encouraged the dads to eat and converse with their children, many of them also stayed to play afterwards.
This event helped the dads feel included by the setting and gave them a non-hurried opportunity to see where their child spends time without them. They also had time to speak to other dads and form friendships; we heard many of them still chatting as they left the building.
We also used this opportunity to introduce the dads to ECaT by ensuring our display board was up to date with news about the scheme and by providing information sheets that the dads could take away. Many of them took the opportunity to discuss it further with the room staff or the ELLP.
The children also gained a lot from the experience, initially a few staff had concerns that it may confuse the children (particularly the younger ones) and so had distractions ready. The children actually showed little distress when the dads decided it was time to go, they had had so much fun playing and eating with them. The older children also spoke about the event at length afterwards. They loved looking at the photos, and talking to their friends about each other’s dads. From discussion with parents it is clear that this conversation also continued at home as they spoke to their families and friends about the event.
Early Language Lead Practitioner