How much time should I spend at my children’s day care?
Families are a crucial component in all child care programs. One study conducted by the University of Oxford found that children whose parents participated in the child care facility’s family engagement program made significant progress in language comprehension and the understanding of numbers, books and vocabulary. Another study published in the Journal of Instructional Psychology concluded that increasing parental involvement improves schools in general. Playing an active role in your child care program can help build trust and strengthen relationships.
Value of Visiting
Parents whose children attend a child care program should feel welcome to drop in for a visit at any time without calling ahead. Visiting the program unannounced allows parents to get a glimpse of what their children are doing and how they are learning. Dropping by the program also shows children how deeply invested their families are in their education and success. Having regular conversations with child care teachers can provide parents necessary transparency to foster a healthy relationship and keep them in the loop about any upcoming activities.
Value of Volunteering
Volunteer activities are a great way to get involved. Parents who volunteer at their child’s early learning program spend time with their children, bond with the teachers, and network with other parents – all of which build a strong child care community.
Field trips – Child care providers often need volunteer parents to chaperone various field trips outside the program. Parents chaperoning a field trip may observe their children interacting with peers, having new experiences and learning through play.
Special Events – Families frequently plan special events at child care programs like festivals, fundraisers and teacher appreciation events. Planning special events allows families to get to know child care teachers and other parents with children at the program. Familiarity with other parents and teachers can improve communication and foster healthy relationships to support the early learners.
Classroom – Parents can often assist with classroom activities like reading to children, cooking or teaching special skills like yoga. Families who volunteer in the learning environment can improve children’s confidence in the classroom setting and demonstrate to children how important early learning is to children.
Committees and Boards – Each family member of a child has a unique voice. A fresh perspective and new ideas can be great contributions to a parent-teacher association (PTA), or parent’s advisory committee for a child care program. Parents’ suggestions and input can provide valuable feedback regarding how the program affects each family.
There are a wide variety of ways to be active in child care programs, and parents and family members can be involved as much as time and the program allows.
Visit abcquality.org to learn more about child care and development, search for a child care provider and learn about the state’s voluntary quality rating system. ABC Quality is administered by the SC Department of Social Services’ Division of Early Care and Education.
By ABC Quality Team on September 5, 2017