Supporting early childhood professionals worldwide in
their efforts to craft thriving environments for children and adults.
Instruction in youth is like engraving in stone.
Here are a couple of the insights shared by Deadru Hilliard in her Exchange article, "Making Families Welcome," that serves as the basis for the Exchange Out of the Box Training Kit, "Making Families Welcome":
Initial Contact. Our main goal is to learn about the child. We ask parents to come in and talk with us about their child. We allow them to find out if we fit their needs and to get an overview of what the center is all about. We ask what it is they need from us other than child care. This may be their first encounter with someone asking them to think more in-depth about what they want for their child. They may be dealing with leaving their child for the first time, so we spend the first half-hour just talking. We ask them to share some insights about their family and to elaborate on what expectations they have.
Communication. Keeping the lines of communication open with parents can be done in many ways. Some parents call throughout the day and some use the computer to receive information through e-mail. Others leave notes or pass questions on to the staff person who is there when they arrive or leave. We have a board that is set up for this particular task. If a parent leaves a note for me while I'm out of the building, other staff transfer information onto the staff board under my name. It is then our job to check for any messages and return any calls necessary. We don't want to miss the chance to help in whatever way we can, because parents may lose their comfort in asking and the relationship can become distant.
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I am so delighted to see this article. I know this is something I adhere to as a Director.
It is extremely important to keep up the communication between current families as well
as prospective families. Let's be real here as we are dealing with young children who can't always communicate for themselves and response to anything relative to them and their care or future care is critical!