Parenting is one of the most challenging and important jobs there is. And parents need all the support they can get – especially during this current health crisis. The new Building Blocks of Parenting™ (BBP) App provides parents with easy access to information, resources, and supportive connections to help them promote their children’s learning and healthy development. It’s available in English and Spanish on both iOS and Android platforms.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many early learning professionals to connect with parents and families in an entirely new way — providing support for parents who are educating and caring for their children at home full-time. Parents are now receiving so much information about teaching their children at home, that it can quickly become overwhelming. While these resources are helpful, one of the best things that you can do to actually help parents is to help them feel empowered. No one knows their little ones like they do, and it is important to remind them that by trusting their instincts, they will get through this!
With school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become reliant on emails, messages, and other forms of communication to stay in touch with families. Because many parents are overwhelmed with having their children home full-time, it can be tricky to connect with them during this time. Whether you want to remind them about an upcoming webinar or send them some helpful information, it is important that what you share is for parents to read and digest.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in different ways. We’re all figuring out how to balance our different roles and demands right now, and many parents might be reaching out to you with questions about their children. To help, Zero to Three has put together a big list of parenting questions and answers to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parents are struggling to balance work, child care and self-care while stuck inside during the COVID-19 crisis. To help, The Child Mind Institute has shared a list of resources to offer support to parents and families during this time. These resources might help you as you stay home with your own little ones, or they might be beneficial to share with families in your care who could be in need of extra support (these resources are also available in Spanish).
Parents want to know best practices for screen time, setting limits, age-appropriate content, online safety, movie & TV reviews, apps for learning, and digital citizenship. To help support families, Common Sense Media recently created Tech Balance to give them the information they need. Tech Balance is a new, free, bilingual text messaging service for families with children. The program delivers advice, resources, and tips.
In your work as an educator and a professional in early learning, many parents will turn to you for advice about important questions related to their child’s development, and ask for resources or ideas for how to support learning at home. In this article, we share a list of helpful resources on developmental milestones and appropriate activities for parents to try with their little ones at home. Each of the resources are evidence-backed and come from reputable sources in the field of early learning.
Are you looking for new ways to engage families in your program? Ready4K is an evidence-based family engagement curriculum. When early learning programs partner with Ready4K, the parents in your program will receive text messages with fun facts and easy tips on how to promote children’s development by building on existing routines.
Sending newsletters to your program’s families is a great way to keep everyone in the loop about what is going on and to maintain an open line of communication. If you do not currently have a program newsletter, it might feel intimidating to create one. In this article we share a few quick and easy tips to help you get started.
Whether you chat with parents via an early learning app, email, or phone calls, today’s early learning classrooms have a unique opportunity to connect with parents in a wide variety of ways. With so many different options, it can be difficult to know the best way to connect with families. Finding out what works best for parents, can help to ensure that you are connecting in a convenient and supportive way.
Inviting parents and families to spend time in your center is a simple way to build connections and create a sense of community in your program. Hosting events such as potlucks, social get-togethers, or cultural celebrations gives families a chance to connect not only with teachers and staff, but also with one another. These connections help parents to feel at home in your program, as they become part of the community.
Children thrive when their parents are actively engaged in their learning environment. When parents feel welcome and involved, they can partner with teachers to ensure the best possible care for their child. Sending out surveys on a regular basis is an easy way to reach out to families and involve parents in your program.
A warm, welcoming environment helps to build meaningful relationships between families and caregivers that benefit teachers, parents and, especially, children. When parents feel comfortable, recognized, and valued, a positive bond forms between caregivers and families, and children feel safe and cared for.
Are you looking for fun and simple ways to make deeper connections with families? Learning what families enjoy outside of school helps educators and caregivers to establish more personal connections. A fun question to pose to parents is to ask what music they enjoy listening to with their children at home. This simple conversation starter is a great way to incorporate some of children’s home practices into your classroom.
Are you struggling to find ways to effectively communicate and connect with families? Janis Keyser’s book, From Parents to Partners, is an excellent resource that provides quick and helpful tools to help you successfully connect with parents and families.
Do you post memos with important information, but find that parents do not read them? It happens all too often that teachers post information about important dates and reminders, only to have parents miss out on necessary information. Making a few simple changes to the way that you send communication can help ensure that your reminders do not get missed and that parents are in the loop of communication.
Although separation anxiety is a very normal part of child development, it is still stressful… for children, parents, and caregivers. When children feel sad or anxious, it is important for us to have a clear understanding of what is going on in order to properly support their needs. With this understanding, we can create a plan with children and their parents that supports each child’s individual transition process.
If you are working with early learners, you know how hectic the end of the day can be, especially when multiple parents arrive at the same time to pick up their children. You can make this time more productive by incorporating easy-to-implement daily communication tools to inform parents about specific play-based learning activities, topics of conversation, and moments of discovery and fun.
Communication with parents is a critical ingredient to your effectiveness as a child caregiver and educator. Sometimes, these connections can feel challenging as they require a delicate balance of mutual trust, honesty, respect and understanding. Check out this article for simple ways to develop conversations with parents, as shared by Educa’s article The Secrets of Good Parent-Teacher Communication in ECE.
Photography in classrooms and child care centers has become a typical part of classroom routine in recent years. Teachers use cameras, tablets, and classroom phones to take snapshots of children actively engaged in play as a curriculum planning tool and as a way to communicate with families.