If you’re like most parents, you rely on daycare because you must work. The idea of leaving your child with strangers often causes anxiety. To minimize your concerns, you must get to know your child’s school. You must also develop a strong partnership with the daycare teacher who spends time with your child while you work each day.
When you drop your child off at daycare, you have great expectations for their success. You want to see your young student learn, achieve, and reach new milestones. You want your child ready for elementary school when the time comes. When you connect, communicate, and interact with your child’s daycare teacher, you unite in a partnership that encourages your child to meet and exceed your expectations.
Here are a few tips to help you create and sustain a strong parent/teacher partnership.
A Psychology Today article, “Choosing Childcare…” identifies “parental involvement” as an indicator of quality child care. Author Noam Shpancer, Ph.D. whose research focuses on child care and development, suggests that parents don’t take advantage of the important opportunities they have to interact with their child’s daycare teacher. He has documented a trend of parents communicating with daycare teachers only when there is an issue to resolve.
Shpancer recommends a positive, more proactive approach that includes daily check-ins with teachers. He suggests that parents ask both their child and the daycare teacher about their day and that parents ask teachers if they need any assistance. He further recommends that parents treat daycare teachers like the educated professionals they are.
Here are some additional ways to maintain meaningful communication with your child’s daycare teacher
- Brief conversations during drop off and pick up
- Weekly/monthly online newsletters on the school’s website
- Email newsletters to parents
- Group and private text messages to parents
- Paper newsletters for non-tech savvy families
- Informational bulletin boards for parents
Take Advantage of Your School’s Open Door Policy
When you must leave your child in an unfamiliar daycare environment, the school’s Open Door Policy makes it easier for you and your child to adjust to the change. Your visit relieves your anxiety because when you feel the need to check out your child’s activities, you can simply show up.
Not only do you get to see your child’s classroom performance, but you also get to see the daycare teacher at work. Interacting with your child’s daycare teacher helps you develop confidence in your child’s daycare arrangments. As you’ll be the only parent in the classroom during your visit, you can also spend a few moments talking to the teacher. You can let her know that you’re interested in your child’s classroom activities and that you appreciate her efforts.
Connect With the Teacher During Special Events
Teachers work hard, planning special events, and open houses to entertain and inform parents. They appreciate the parents who show up. Your presence lets them know that you understand them too. Teachers understand that many parents are too busy to attend after-hours school events. The fact that you put in the extra effort to show up helps build a stronger parent/teacher relationship.
Get to Know Your School’s Handbook
A school handbook is an essential display of a school’s fairness and consistency. Written rules help parents and teachers maintain compatible goals and expectations. They also support a school’s philosophy that all students and parents are the same, and everyone must follow the same rules.
Share Relevant Family Information
Teachers understand that every student is different. They have different cultures, backgrounds, and traditions. Some families are divorced with complicated custody arrangements. Other families work odd hours and must make complex drop-off and pick-up arrangements. When you share this relevant information, your child’s teacher can get to know you and your family and understand your challenges.
Contact The Learning Center
Contact TLC if you want to learn more about building a strong partnership with your child’s daycare teacher. Complete our online contact form or call us at one of the locations listed on our Contact Page.