Communication is the primary ingredient in building an effective parent-teacher relationship. There are many ways to communicate with parents to let them know what happened throughout the day, from email to daily daycare reports to Facebook notices.
We asked fans on our Facebook page: How do you communicate with parents the activities the children participated in throughout the day and the meals they ate? Answered varied but there were tons of great ideas:
- I have a notebook that gets sent home at night and back in the morning. Each child has one. It tells what they had for snacks, lunch how long they slept and a little blurb about their day at my house.
- I always “gift” my families a book called “How Was Your Day Baby” it’s a spiral journal (hard to find these days) but has enough pages for about 9 months and there is a reorder form in the back if the parent want to continue the trend, they… purchase new ones. Not only does it communicate with parents, it was helpful when I had multiple babies on different schedules. You can search “preschool daily report forms” on the internet and tons of printables will come up.
- I try to tell the parents what we’re doing but mostly I post on Facebook as they are all connected! It makes it easier me and them. The meals, I only have one parent that asks what we eat but come Sept I’ll be posting a menu for the week. Hope that helps!
- We write a what we did today paper everyday and hang it up so the parents can see, we also have a form for each child saying what their mood was, if they listened, what they ate for lunch how longed they napped and a space for any comments such as upcoming events
- I talk with each parent, each day about each of their children. Sometimes our conversations are short and to the point and sometimes they are long and friendly-like. I enjoy the talking part of my job very much! I have started a Shutterfly site to share pics, calendars, newsletters etc. with the families but the bulk of my communication is through direct, face-to-face conversation!
- Make a “What I did today” sheet. Include things like, circle time concepts. Outdoor activities etc. You can also put their mood and list if they need any thing. These things often help parents who don’t know what to ask. It also invites them to become involved and gives them conversation pieces to encourage language development in their children. I don’t think not saying is a wise business decision. After all communication is key to operating any business large or small. You can include a menu to make them aware of what’s being served for the week or month. On the What I did today you he sheet doesn’t have to be very complicated. Just some boxes with headers and input your info.
- I tried to give the parents daily sheets, but they didnt read them, now I send home a montly newsletter, and I use a white board near the entrance and daily I write a few things e.g. books, letter, number of the day, art and the menu. The best thing is that I save on a paper and INK
- I do a monthly activity calendar and a weekly menu plan. I print them off and put them into their daily journal books.
- I have a dry erase board by the door. On one half I list the menu in the morning, I also put birthdays & other reminders (if I will be out for an appt. or holiday closings etc…) During rest time I write on the other half of my board what we talked about that day. I call it Discussion Starters. So parents can ask their child specific questions. We have a daily question that everyone gets to have a turn answering. Sometimes I write down all of the answers and put it up for everyone to see. Cracks us up! Yes, I have a really big board for all of this. I wish I could do sheets, but with 12 kids only the infants get daily sheets. I still share a few tidbits of their day with mom & dad, but the basics are on the board. I also have a FB page just for current parents where I post pictures and coming attractions.
- I post a menu, send out a monthly calendar with themes, special days, field trips and closed dates noted-I put copy of menu on back. I used to post weekly lesson plans with daily activities, etc on but found a general monthly curriculum/themes with highlights touched on works better-parents have more time to read. During special times of year like holidays I do make a week of Activities sheet so parents have pj day, party info etc on one sheet.
- I send out a general email to all families mid-day, during nap time. This tells them what we did, what we ate, and what is planned for after nap. Infants under 1 year get an individualized paper sheet on naps,bms, etc. Also a mid-day email update. When supplies are needed which parents supply, a quick email is sent for that too.
- I communicate through Minute menu and email the daily report to them and I love it!
- I use an app on my Iphone called daycare tracker, & send them a daily report via I phone to their email
- I have a hanging file holder at the front door. It has a folder for each day of the week as well as family. I update it on Sunday night so that it shows the current week’s activities as well as lunches. If I need to send anything home it goes in the family folder. If something has come up that I need to talk to a parent about I flag their folder and they know to hang around for a few minutes. But I also try to talk to the parents and give a short run down of the day.
- I use a daily communication form, but I’m thinking of discontinuing that. I don’t take infants, only ages 1 and above, so I feel it’s becoming unnecessary. I’m thinking of coming up with something that I can email weekly to let the parents know the menu for the week and a preview of what we’ll be working on (theme, activities, etc.). I may make this available on paper if parents request it.
- I send home daily sheets that are in ’3rd Person’ like the child is doing the talking. I write down what they ate for breakfast/lunch/snacks and how much they ate, all diaper changes, what activities they did, their accomplishments, a’ teachers section with notes for the parents of upcoming activities, daycare closings, time out issues, ( if any) the funny things they said that day, wipes/diapers needed by this date, etc. All my parents really enjoy them; they told me that they make time to read it together as a family when they get home! It makes me happy to know that they are happy. And as far as the child’s accomplishments, etc. I send them out an email (for the parents of the 4 year old that didn’t require a daily sheet) for our communication and personally talk with them each day. As I do with all my daycare parents.
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