Most modern education policies and curriculums prescribe parent engagement as one of the cornerstones of education and care. Parents today request to know what is happening during the day and to learn how the child is developing. The daily face-to-face meetings between educators and parents are very important but too hectic. There is simply so little time and so much to tell and discuss. A better approach is needed.
Why is it important?
Co-operating with a child's family is one of the most important matters in early childhood education. Parents know their child best, therefore their input, knowledge, and views concerning their child are crucial. Parents want to engage in the child's learning. See evidence of learning and be sure their child is developing well. Parents also want to handle all the daily practicalities in a smooth and efficient way. Both educators and the family are interested in the best of the child, so you are in the same boat.
How to go forward?
Especially when the child is starting the journey in early childhood education, the family's insight is priceless. Family can give educators important knowledge, for example about the child's interests, acquired skills, fears, and routines. In the beginning, it is good to ask the family to fill out a child's resume so that you get all those meaningful pieces of information that may help you a lot during the child's adjustment time.
When the child is starting early childhood education, also families are desperate for information on how everything is going. Then it is good to have a clear system of how educators inform families efficiently and without spending too much time writing notes, messages and emails. Keep in mind that every photo or video of the child's day will delight the parents' minds!
It is good to sit down every now and then with the family and have a meeting concerning the child's development. During the meeting, the educator and family can fill out a learning plan for the child. The plan includes the most important learning objectives for the child and a description of support needs among other valid information. The plan gets re-assessed in another meeting, during the next term, for example.
Download the free Kindiedays Child's Learning Plan template →
New approaches are needed!
Nowadays working parents are busy and connecting with them can be challenging at times. Families tend to forget to return the consent forms, reply to event invitations, inform about absences, etc. When they pick up their child, the child’s teacher may not be available to tell them about the day’s lunchtime, nap, or activities.
Therefore, the ways of keeping in touch and sharing information play a major role in fluent collaboration with the families. It is good to assess your ways of communication and think if they serve all parties in the best way possible. In case some parts are lacking, you need to assess ways to do it better so that both educators and families stay up-to-date. You can think of situations like:
- How do we share photos of the children with the families?
- How do we inform the families about the child's important learning moments?
- How do we inform families about how the children ate?
- How do we keep track of children's attendances and absences?
- How do we inform families about important events?
- How can families contact us?
New tools are needed!
Lack of time is a challenge in childcare centers all over the world and therefore digital solutions help a lot with daily collaboration. With a digital solution such as Kindiedays Pedigagogical Management Solution, you can manage daily routines quickly and safely, so that children grow up in a secure and well-managed environment. You also share the child's learning journey both in real-time and in the form of automatically collected portfolios and reports. No need to hassle with pen and paper anymore. Educators save time and families find all the important information in one place.
To make this possible you need a digital solution supporting not only daily collaboration but also supporting the preschool's learning process in a consistent way and throughout the year. This we will discuss in detail in next week's blog post. Stay Tuned!
PS If you became curious, check the family section on our web page