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Communicating with Parents

by Margie Carter
July/August 1996
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/communicating-with-parents/5011080/

Everywhere I go I see early childhood programs struggling to find a more effective means of communication with and involvement of parents in their programs. Though everyone believes this is a critical component of quality, hardly anyone is satisfied with what is happening. There is a longing for something more, something different.

The longing we feel is about some deeper issues in our lives - lack of time, lack of extended family and community. Instead we have tight schedules, traffic congestion, the stresses of single and shared parenting, low wages, precarious health, and financial instability plaguing both the workers and families in our child care programs.

It seems like staff and families could be a mutual support system for each other; but instead, they typically have complaints and irritations with each other. There is a genuine dissatisfaction with the level of communication between them.

To be sure, there are exceptions to this state of affairs, but that's what they are, exceptions. Caregivers long for the kind of respect, support, and community involvement they hear their Italian counterparts have in the schools of Reggio Emilia. Most families in the U.S. don't know about Reggio, but they have their ...

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