Parents are active participants and partners and receive the support and information needed to promote healthy child development.
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The research on early childhood education demonstrates that teacher-family partnerships are a key indicator of quality and a strong predictor of positive developmental outcomes. Quality programs view parents as the child’s primary caregiver with a critical role in the child’s healthy development; tailor the program to meet families’ emerging needs to the greatest extent possible; encourage maximum family involvement; and support, educate, and empower families.
|Self-Study Evidence||On-Site Evidence||On-Site Activities|
Parents have access to daily schedules and other classroom information.
Interpretation The program may use classroom bulletin boards, newsletters, a webpage, or email to provide parents with consistent access to classroom information. Information on daily routines should include the menu if meals are provided.
Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the program.
Interpretation Active involvement in the program can include participation in classroom activities as an aid or volunteer, parent education meetings, parent advisory groups, or regular parent meetings. Having an open-door policy is one effective method for encouraging parents to visit the program, meet with their child’s teacher, and participate in daily activities or special events.
Parents are helped to understand and be actively involved in their child’s development and education through:
Interpretation Teaching staff should have a system for documenting daily events, accomplishments, or concerns to share with parents.
Interpretation Parents should be encouraged to share information on the child’s behavior and development at home to ensure assessments are comprehensive and reflective of both the home and classroom environment. See CYD-ECE 8.03 and CYD-ECE 8.04 for more information on involving parents in assessments.
Interpretation Health resources can include hearing and vision screenings, resources for immunizations and well-baby check-ups, and the state and local health department.
The early detection of vision and hearing deficits is critical to limiting any developmental delays that could result.
Teaching staff discuss cultural values and beliefs with parents and:
Interpretation Providing culturally responsive care that reflects the care provided at home can be comforting to the child. Daily routines that may be adjusted based on a family’s belief system include potty training, feeding, and napping. However, not all cultural practices should be supported in the classroom as they may cause harm to children or contradict developmentally-appropriate practice. Teaching staff should discuss with their supervisors how parental preferences can be appropriately incorporated into the child care setting.
A study that reviewed cultural conflicts between teaching staff and parents found that conflicts tended to fall into three categories: (1) daily childrearing practices such as feeding, gender roles, sleeping techniques, and discipline; (2) specific cultural customs such as the celebration of holidays, ceremonial clothing, and hygiene; and (3) biases or preferences toward specific cultural groups such as parents’ preferences for same-race teaching staff or the use of their native language in the classroom.
Information is available to help parents cope with child-rearing responsibilities.
Interpretation Information should address the needs and interests of parents and can include topics such as:
The program is flexible and responsive to the changing needs and unique circumstances of families served.
Interpretation Changing needs or unique circumstances can include job loss, military deployment, the birth of a sibling, a death in the family, family violence, or divorce.
Examples of how a program can demonstrate flexibility and responsiveness include: