Chapter 2: Program Activities for Healthy Development
2.3 Parent/Guardian Relationships
2.3.2 Regular Communication
188.8.131.52: 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.
RATIONALEParental/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.
COMMENTSParent/guardian meetings within a facility are useful means of communication that supplement mailings and indirect contacts.
TYPE OF FACILITYCenter, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
- 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.