By Linda Hassan Anderson, Vice President, Education
Making connections with other parents at your child care or early education center has many benefits for your family, your child, and even your center. Here are three reasons to build relationships with parents at your child’s school:
It’s Good For You:
It can be helpful to share with parents of children in your child’s class. Pick up and drop off times are prime for brief introductions and conversations.
- Even if you are not a first time parent, it is affirming to talk with parents who are having similar experiences with child rearing and child care experiences.
- Sharing with other parents reinforces what you already know and creates opportunities to acquire and share information and resources.
It’s Good For Your Child:
By the time your child is a preschooler, they may begin to express interest in friendships with peers. Your child’s teacher can be instrumental in helping you recognize how to support emerging friendships and how to encourage your child to be comfortable, describe and be satisfied with their budding relationships.
- Developing relationships is an important part of typical early childhood development. How this emerges varies widely among individual children – some children seem naturally comfortable with a large circle of friends, some prefer one special friend and others may need support in creating meaningful relationships with peers.
- Communicating with parents of your child’s classmates and friends supports your child to develop social and emotional skills. It also provides an opportunity to appreciate and acknowledge differences in families.
It’s Good For Your Center:
There is a strong body of evidence that parental involvement in children’s school experiences, including the early years, impacts the quality of children’s experience. Ask your center director to share opportunities to support the program. They are able to identify a wide range of ways to get involved with other parents that add value to the program.
- Being actively involved in teacher-parent experiences, including social opportunities for families, can create strong and lasting friendships among parents.
- For programs that are pursuing national accreditation, family involvement is an important component of demonstrating high quality, so it can directly benefit your center to get involved.
- Sharing your insights on how well the program is functioning with other parents and participating in supportive activities creates leadership and partnership opportunities and helps your child to see your commitment to their early education.