Issue #455, August 30, 2002
"It's a funny thing
about life: If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get
it." W. Somerset Maugham
PARENT INVOLVEMENT IN FAMILY CHILD CARE
In the Summer 2002 issue of The National Perspective, the official
newsletter of the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), Therese
Wiley, Family Child Care Coordinator at Holloman Air Force Base, offers these
thoughts for enhancing connections between parents and family child care providers:
"Caring for the child and the family builds a sense of community.... Before
parents are comfortable participating in the providers home, they must feel welcomed
in the home, and comfortable with the provider.... The biggest challenge appears
to be developing a sense of comaraderie without parents mistaking it as friendship
and expecting special favors or waivers to business and contractual issues. From
a parents perspective, there appears to be a fine line between professional practices
to support each child's development and friendship. Parents seem to mistake one
for the other. Providers walk a tightrope trying to remain professional and caring
without trying to remain professional and caring without crossing the line into
becoming friends with the parents.
"So how do providers encourage parent involvement? By adhering to professional
business practices and tailoring their program to meet the needs of individual
"Maintain an open-door policy: Give parents a copy of the daily schedule.
Invite them to join their children for meals/snacks.
"Avoid playing "favorites" or getting involved with one family
more than another. When hosting a get-together, ensure all families are invited.
"Introduce them to each other, but respect their confidentiality. Get to
know parent's interests and invite them to share their interests with the children
enrolled for care.
"Find innovative ways for parents to support your program that do not require
their presence in your home: reading books on tape, collecting recyclables for
the program, and providing recipies of their children's favorite foods are just
a few ideas."
NAFCC is an Exchange Strategic Partner. For more information about NAFCC and other
Exchange Strategic Partners, check out the ECE Organizations section of www.ChildCareExchange.com.