Time and time again I’m asked by parents what they can do to assure that their child will be successful at our preschool. Should they work with them at home on key concepts being taught at school? Should they have their child in preschool 5 days a week or just a few days a week? Full days or part-time? While all of these concerns and ideas definitely will help each individual child thrive in whatever preschool environment they are in, there is always another answer I strive to give.
Communication. That’s right! More than any of the other things that parents can to for their child to ensure success at preschool is to communicate with their provider on a regular basis! Communication is vital to your child’s success in a preschool or child care environment! Why? Because without that strong communication between the provider and the parent, we aren’t going to be able to accurately measure how your child is responding to the concepts being taught. Or, your provider may not know things about their home life that would help in the classroom! Another reason communication is so important is because many preschools and child care centers, Precious Lambs included, strive to make sure that they provide daily reports for parents on things that are working and things that may need a little prompting at home from parents. These items are key to be able to move forward with a child and make sure that they are gaining everything they can from a preschool environment!
Here are some tips for parents to make sure that communication remains the #1 goal in any preschool or child care environment:
Read materials that go home daily
This may seem like a given, but preschool centers strive to make sure they are keeping parents in the loop on everything that is going on. Whether there are snacks that need to be brought, events that are going to be happening at the preschool that centers would like some help with parents on, or just the daily progress report that many centers provide, it’s imperative that parents take a second to take a look at these materials. There may be things being offered at the center that you weren’t aware of and by making sure you take the time to read the material that comes home every day, you’ll be opening the lines of communication with your preschool center.
Write requests and send it in your child’s backpack
We understand that many parents work and it can be difficult to chat every day when you have a job you need to make it to. On the flip side, talking to every parent during drop-off or pick-up can be difficult for teachers, as well, since there is a lot of activity going on in the classroom. To help combat this, we ask parents to write a note with anything they may have questions about that can be easily reviewed throughout the day. This way, issues or questions are being addressed on both sides without taking up that valuable time in the morning or afternoon when it may be more difficult to thoroughly address the questions.
That being said, if there is every anything serious that a parent would like to discuss, we always recommend scheduling an appointment with the director or teacher to make sure that both sides have that face-to-face relationship to best handle any situation.
If you ever forgot any key points that you weren’t able to convey during drop-off or pick-up, always feel free to email the teacher or director of your preschool center. A quick email will put your mind at ease that you’re going to get your items answered. It also helps teachers and directors be more thorough in any answer or explanation that they may not have had the time to give no matter what during a hectic drop-off. While many teachers may not have the chance to check emails during a school day, there are typically aides and the director who do stay on top of messages that are coming in throughout the day.
Many things make children successful in a preschool environment, but none of those things work as well if there isn’t strong communication between parents and teachers. Make sure you put this at the top of your list when searching out preschools for your children. Ask what the communication styles are for the different centers you are looking at and make sure you are comfortable with how things are handled. This will be a vital step in finding the right preschool for your child!