Easy tips to help early childhood educators communicate with parents
Communication between an early childhood provider and parents is an important part of a high-quality early childhood program.
In the Early Childhood Standards of Quality for Infant and Toddler Programs from the Michigan Department of Education, one of the program standards is that “the program maintains ongoing partnerships with families to support families’ continued engagement with and participation in their children’s development and care.” Communication is not always easy, but you can use the following ideas to help promote communication with parents using your facility.
- Daily progress reports
The primary purpose is to let parents know how their child is doing each day or week. Reports can be formal or informal and can be done at pick-up or drop-off the next day. Remember to report the positive things just as much as the negative!
- Bulletin boards
These can provide a quick look at the upcoming week or month. You can post schedules, policies or anything else parents need to review. You can focus your board on the things that children are learning about that week, or you can provide parent resources and information on topics they may have questions about.
Can be done once a month or quarterly. They can include updates on policy or procedure changes, ideas for ways parents can extend learning at home or upcoming volunteer opportunities for parents.
- Parent-provider meetings
These can be done regularly or for special incidents. This is a time for you and the parent to discuss the child. Invite the parent to provide input also.
Greet the parent at pick-up and drop-off. Small talk goes a long way in helping build positive provider/parent relationships.
Following these simple strategies can help you keep the communication lines open with your parents and make your job much easier! For more resources on communication with parents, please visit the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care. For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.