Staying Involved
in your child's care

One of the best ways to stay involved is to form a strong partnership with your child's teacher or provider. It is not always easy for parents to know just how to develop a good relationship and how to monitor the care their child receives.

Here are some key suggestions for developing and strengthening the partnership:

Communicate:

A strong partnership is based on ongoing communication. The information you can share about your child is very important, as is the information that the teacher or program will share. A quality program should offer multiple opportunities to exchange information.

Use these opportunities to:

  • Ask questions
  • Share observations
  • Bring up any concerns about the program and your child's development

Connect:

It's important for families to support the skills and learning that children work on during the day. It is just as important that programs take steps to incorporate each child’s home culture into the school's learning environment. This creates a connection between home and school that tells children that learning happens all the time. You could ask to borrow a book your child enjoys at school so you can read it at bedtime. Or ask your child and teacher what they are doing in school so that the learning can continue at home.

Check In:

No matter what form of child care you choose, it is very important for parents to drop in unannounced once in a while to see how things are going. Observe activities that are going on, how many children are present, how well the children are being supervised, the conditions of the home or center and whether the children present seem to be enjoying themselves. Notice also if there are any other adults present that you are not familiar with. Always ask who they are, their reason for being there and how often they are there.

Get involved:

There are many ways to get involved in your child's program. Some families can volunteer in the classroom while others need more creative options. Talk with your program to find ways to contribute that are meaningful to you. By sharing your time, talents or energy, you show that you are an invested partner in your child's learning. You also show your child that the adults in their lives can work together to support them.

Some suggestions for how to be involved in your child’s program:

  • Attend parent meetings
  • Ask questions about the day’s events and how your child participated
  • Let the center director or provider know that you are interested in meeting periodically with other parents and staff
  • If you have a skill such as cooking, sewing, woodworking, playing a musical instrument, or storytelling, offer to go to the center or home and share it with the children Volunteer your time when you are able, like participating in clean up days
  • Join a parent council or advisory board
  • Join in special events such as field trips, career days, or on dates that are culturally important for your family