Caring for Our Childen (CFOC)

Chapter 2: Program Activities for Healthy Development

2.3 Parent/Guardian Relationships

2.3.2 Regular Communication

2.3.2.3: Support Services for Parents/Guardians


Caregivers/teachers should establish parent/guardian groups and parent/guardian support services. Caregivers/teachers should have a regularly established means of communicating to parents/guardians the existence of these groups and support services. Caregivers/teachers should document these services and should include intra-agency activities or other community support group offerings. The caregiver/teacher should record parental/guardian participation in these on-site activities in the facility record.

One strategy for supporting parents/guardians is to facilitate communication among parents/guardians. The facility should give consenting parents/guardians a list of names and phone numbers of other consenting parents/guardians whose children attend the same facility. The list should include an annotation encouraging parents/guardians whose children attend the same facility to communicate with one another about the service. The facility should update the list at least annually.

RATIONALE
Parental/guardian involvement at every level of program planning and delivery and parent/guardian support groups are elements that are usually beneficial to the children, parents/guardians, and staff of the facility (1). The parent/guardian association group facilitates mutual understanding between the program and parents/guardians. Parental/guardian involvement also helps to broaden parents’/guardians’ knowledge of administration of the facility and develops and enhances advocacy efforts (1).

Encouraging parents’/guardians’ communication is simple, inexpensive, and beneficial. Such communication may include the exchange of positive aspects of the facility and positive knowledge about children’s peers. If parents/guardians communicate with each other, they can share concerns about the behavior of a specific caregiver/teacher and can identify patterns of action suggestive of abuse/neglect. Parents/guardians can encourage each other to report all concerns to the director or owner of the program.

COMMENTS
Parent/guardian meetings within a facility are useful means of communication that supplement mailings and indirect contacts.
TYPE OF FACILITY
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
REFERENCES
  1. National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. It’s a win-win situation: When parents and providers work together. Child Care Aware. http://ccaapps.childcareaware.org/en/subscriptions/dailyparent/volume.php?id=29.