Building and maintaining a partnership with your child care center is an important element in early childhood education in Phoenix, AZ. The center of this partnership is communication. You need to stay engaged and maintain dialogue with your child’s care provider and teachers. Here are six tips on building this partnership:
- Learn preferred contact methods: Some people are avid texters and live on their mobile phones and check email several times a day. Others prefer turning off mobile devices and only accepting office calls, except in emergencies. Learn how your teacher prefers to communicate, and stick to those methods. If you want to have a discussion with the teacher, schedule a time. Pickup and drop-off times are the most hectic and stressful and not a good time to delve deep into your concerns.
- Attend events: Even home-based preschools hold barbecues and other community-building efforts. While these events are not happening now with COVID-19, they will resume at some point. This encourages interaction with preschool staff and helps you learn more about your child’s classmates. At the same time, never feel guilty when you need to miss these events. Consider rotating with the other parent, or even sending a grandparent or other relative with your child.
- Talk before it escalates: Never wait until something becomes an overwhelming problem to address it. If your child is being bullied, tell the school immediately—do not wait until your child arrives home with injuries. Likewise, if an imminent death in the family or a divorce is likely to affect your child’s behavior, giving the teacher a heads-up is a considerate course of action. They will know what to expect and be able to offer an extra effort to be sensitive to the situation.
- Attend conferences: Parent-teacher conferences are an excellent time to ask questions and promote discussion. Even if your child is thriving, conferences are still necessary. You can learn how to encourage this development and support them at home. If there are struggles, you can discuss them with the teacher or care provider and formulate a plan. This is your chance to address concerns and build a healthy foundation for communication.
- Be creative: If your work schedule or circumstances make it difficult to be there at drop-off or pickup, find other ways to maintain communication. Some child care providers use journals that are passed back and forth between parents and the schools. This can be a great way to write down observations and questions as they occur to you and receive consistent feedback from teachers.
- Do not forget gratitude: There is nothing easy about early childhood education, and teachers are very dedicated to the efforts. A “thank you” can go a long way after long days of dealing with different young temperaments. You want to treat your child’s educators and caretakers as professionals and avoid taking them for granted.
Magical Star Preschool is a child care center in Phoenix, AZ that provides early childhood education and after-school programs. Contact us today to learn more about our programs and enrollment.