Parents, child care providers should develop relationshipOne of the best business investments child care providers can make is to develop a relationship with the parents of the children in their care. Open and honest communication between providers and parents results in positive experiences for parents, providers and, most importantly, children.
By: Verla Jung, The Jamestown Sun
One of the best business investments child care providers can make is to develop a relationship with the parents of the children in their care. Open and honest communication between providers and parents results in positive experiences for parents, providers and, most importantly, children.
Parents need and want to know what their children have experienced each day while in child care. Providers also need to be aware of children’s experiences at home. Communication between child care and home eases transitions and helps the caregiver to adapt and be sensitive to the child’s immediate needs.
There are many different methods providers can use to partner with parents in communicating. Information about policies, activities, children’s successes and child development can be shared through bulletin boards, newsletters and notes sent home with children. Parents can send disposable cameras or blank videotapes with their child so that providers can capture special events and/or everyday activities on film. This allows parents to feel more a part of their child’s day. Another way for providers to record the child’s experiences is to make photo albums. Parents can browse through these at the facility or they could be lent to parents to take home.
Of course, the most effective methods of communicating with parents are the ones that provide face-to-face interactions. It is important for both parents and providers to share information when children are dropped off and picked up each day. It may be difficult to have quality interactions when many families arrive or depart at the same time. So, providers might want to consider phoning parents and/or setting up parent conferences to share additional details or gain necessary information.
Visiting the program gives a parent a firsthand look at how their child spends their time while in child care. Visits can be as little as half an hour or as long as half a day. Providers can ask parents to simply drop by for a visit, plan an open house, or find volunteer opportunities for them to take on. Providers might consider asking for parent assistance with a particular project, holiday/birthday party, picnic at the park or a field trip. Or, parents can be invited to join their child for lunch on occasion.
These are just a few of the many ways to develop communication partnerships between child care and home. Whatever communication methods are used, it is a wise investment of time that will lead to smoother transitions for children and better relationships between parent and provider.
Jung is a child care specialist for Region 6 Child Care Resource and Referral. Region 6 includes a nine-county area: Stutsman, Barnes, Dickey, Eddy, Foster, Griggs, LaMoure, Logan and Wells counties.