Parent-teacher conferences are important in the daycare and preschool environment. Child care providers should be the experts in Early Childhood Development and have the ability to direct parents so that children have the proper developmental foundation.
What is the purpose of a parent-teacher concert in the daycare or child care setting? A large part of jobs in child care center around supporting the child’s development socially, emotionally, physically and academically.
Early information about a child’s development can lead to early intervention. Preschool teachers can recognize speech issues, fine and gross motor development, social appropriateness and basic learning styles. If parents have an objective understanding of how their child is developing they can go forward and make better choices for their child’s future.
Parents and teachers should have at least two scheduled conferences: One in the fall and one in the spring. Daycare providers should make themselves available to meet with parents at any time necessary. Conferences should at least a half an hour per child and both parents should attend even if they don’t live together if possible so that parents are on the same page when it comes to their child’s development. If meetings occur separately, so much can be lost in translation.
Prior to the first conference, daycare providers should distribute a questionnaire for parents which asks them what their expectations are for their child. The child’s social, emotional, physical and academic development should be discussed and suggestions for home should be made. For example, parents may want to receive ideas about outside activities, reading suggestions, reducing television hours, proper discipline, etc. These answers can be used as a template for the entire year.
Tips for parent teacher conferences:
Parents should take and keep notes and be prepared to listen more than talk. This is the daycare provider’s chance to tell parents their very well thought out experience with the child. Only when we are quiet can we truly hear what is being said.
Parents should be completely honest with home daycare providers and not hide things from caregivers. Whatever goes on at home will affect the child at and school, so it is important to keep the lines of communication must be open.
Be open and willing to cooperate. If the childcare providers or teacher suggests therapy to help strengthen the child’s gross motor skills take the suggestion seriously. If they see that your child is lethargic and tired during the day, and suggest that you put your child to bed at an earlier time, heed the advice. The childcare provider is the professional and should be treated as such.
Parent-teacher conferences are a vital part of early childhood education. Child care center staff and parents are collaborative partners and it is imperative that they work together.
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