tips for successfully homeschooling your kids

4 Daycare Parental Involvement Strategies That Work

by Guy Jacobs

Daycare is much more than a place to drop the kids off at while you're at work. It's a caring home away from home and an educational environment. Even though you aren't physically present while your little one's at the center, parental involvement is key to your child's success. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), early childhood programs need to collaborate and communicate with parents. How can you get involved in your child's daycare? Check out these tips for making the most of the parent-school collaborative process!

1. Volunteer to read a story. You might not have time to spend half the day at the school field trip, but popping in once a week (or once a month) to read a quick book is an easy way to get involved. Ask your child's teacher what time works best with the classroom schedule before you show up. Also ask if there's a specific children's author that the class enjoys or a theme that goes with what the children are learning about.

2. Talk to the teacher during drop-off/pick-up. You don't need to have a full-on conference with the teacher at 7 a.m. drop-off, but a simple, "Hi. Just checking in to see if there's any way that I can help out in the classroom," will do. If the teacher's not sure or wants to talk to you more about future opportunities to get involved, ask when a good time to call is or tell her that you'll send an email later on.

3. Read the bulletin board. Does your child's daycare room have a bulletin board? If it does, chances are that it has information on how you can help out, volunteer opportunities or upcoming events. Take a look at what's going on and read the board.

4. Volunteer to help the center or school. Involving yourself at your child's daycare doesn't always mean volunteering on the classroom level. If you have a special skill or talent to lend, ask if you can help out. For example, if you're a social media pro, ask the director if she needs assistance with the daycare's Facebook page. Another option is to join the center's parent-teacher organization. If one doesn't exist, suggest starting one. These types of organizations put together field trips and special events. They also often bring in presenters for parent meetings or workshops.

Look beyond the obvious party chaperone opportunities and consider how you can help out at your child's daycare. Even if you don't have much free time, an occasional visit to the classroom or email to the teacher makes a difference and helps to build strong school ties! For more information, contact a daycare center such as Mountainside School.