It is essential for parents to support the learning that happens in preschool settings at home as well. Parents who are in tune with what is happening in their child’s preschool classroom or childcare facility are better able to establish a connection between what is learned at school and what takes place in the home. This connection is a key component of a child’s development and supporting further learning.
Not only does family or parental involvement help extend teaching outside the classroom; it creates a more positive experience for children and helps children perform better when they are in school.
Parent involvement in early childhood education can extend the experiences that a child has in the classroom to real-world activities that happen in the home. A parent who understands what their child is working on at preschool has a better sense of their child’s competency and which areas they need to work on to improve confidence and ability.
One of the most difficult challenges for early childhood educators is figuring out how to better engage parents in their child’s learning. By establishing good lines of communication between your child care centre and parents, as well as making a strong effort to involve parents as an important partner in their child’s education, you can make a positive impact on their learning ability.
- Invite parents to learn more about you, your staff and how your child care centre operates. Making families more comfortable with your centre and the educators who work there will go a long way in making them feel at ease and more likely to be involved.
- Ask parents if they’d be interested in participating in your classroom. Do they have a special talent that they would like to share with the class? Would they be interested in volunteering to help in an art project or read a story?
- Ask parents if there are any topics they would like to see incorporated into your curriculum.
- Create a daily report or journal for each child which outlines their individual progress and offers a way for parents and educators to communicate and give feedback.
- Make useful resources available to parents in relation to developing motor skills, language development, behaviour management and more. These resources can offer additional guidance that parents can use at home to cultivate further skills and talents in their children.
- Recommend complementary activities that a parent and child can complete at home to extend your curriculum beyond the classroom setting.
- Thank parents for being involved. After a parent visitor volunteers at your child care centre, write a thank you note to let them know you appreciate their time and assistance.
Studies show that when parents are actively involved with their child’s early childhood education, they are more likely to stay involved when their child enters elementary school. By encouraging parent participation in your child care centre, you can help support children beyond their early years and make their families an important part of their education well into the future.