Parents want the most for their child’s preschool experience. To make that happen, parents need to learn to communicate effectively with their childcare’s teachers. Regardless of the subject matter, parents need to take an active role in the communication process, make sure everything is clear, stay up-to-date with daily events and actively seek a relationship with the childcare teachers.
Take an Active Role
Always remember that communication is a two-way street, and that parents must do their part. This includes filling out and returning forms as soon as possible. Many times this information is a matter of safety and includes medical and contact information. This also includes surveys that help the childcare teachers get to know the child. In addition, parents should notify teachers immediately if there are changes at home that might affect the child.
Make it Clear
Critical to communication with childcare teachers is making sure everything is understood. Both parties should be clear on such basics as paying bills, picking up children and how to handle problems such as discipline. Parents need to read all policies and paperwork. Often parents are guilty of skimming this material, but that may mean missing key information. In addition, if there is a question, ask, and if there is a problem, bring it to the teacher’s attention immediately.
Know What’s Happening
Often parents feel like they are missing a part of their child’s life, but they can minimize this by keeping up on what’s happening at the childcare center. Most childcare teachers send home daily progress reports or short notes to let the parents know what happened that day. This may include lesson plans, lunch menus or something specific to the child. Take time to read these and if the child is old enough ask them. Additionally, take time to read the notes on the bulletin board.
Use High Tech Communication
Another way for parents to feel more connected is to make use of modern technology. Many centers have websites that post important notices, and they may even have video cams that allow the parent to view their child during the day. Parents may even be able to communicate with childcare teachers via email, which means issues can be dealt with rapidly. Also, take part in any social media (Facebook and Twitter) that the center offers. The more connected the parent feels the better the communication will be.
Build a Relationship
The best way for parents to improve communication with childcare teachers is the old fashion way – get to know them. Each day, take time to greet and exchange a quick pleasantry. Share a brief comment about the day or news about something that happened. In the end, both the parents and the teachers end up feeling more comfortable with each other. This fosters trust and a greater openness. After all, both sides tend to be more receptive to suggestions or comments if coming from a “friend”.
In the end, improving communication will benefit the parents, the childcare teachers, and, most importantly, the child. The preschool will have the necessary information to do their job, and parents will feel like they are a part of their child’s life. Of course, this takes daily effort on the part of both the parents and the teachers, but it is well worth it. Plus, who knows? The parents may end up with a life-time friend in the childcare teacher.