5.0 Parent Involvement
5.1 Home Center Communication
Parents are the most significant adults in a child’s life. We strive to create mutual respect between parents and the center staff; a partnership for the benefit of the child. Our doors are open to parents at all times.
During the year, the Center sponsors events that all parents are encouraged to participate in, such as afternoon festivals, graduation, and luncheons. Suggestions and volunteers are always appreciated.
Calendars are provided on a monthly basis with upcoming events for each classroom. In addition, room parents are encouraged to work with the teachers to distribute classroom specific information.
5.2 Parent Teacher Communication
Communication between the parent, child, and teacher is important to ensure a good working relationship. We encourage daily communication between parents and teachers. Parents will receive daily information about their infant’s and toddler’s progress. For older children, teachers will communicate through daily discussion with parents as well as information boards. Parents are encouraged to visit the classrooms and speak with the teachers as often as possible.
5.2.1 Parent Teacher Conferences
Our responsibility is to communicate with the parents regarding their children’s progress. Our primary method of communication is daily information shared between the staff and parents. The preschool staff are required to hold two Parent Teacher Conferences annually. If a child has problem areas, they will be brought to the parents’ attention along with the teacher’s strategy to correct the problems. It is our experience that when parents and teachers are able to work and plan together for the child’s educational progress, the child benefits great
FEELC complete formal assessments twice a year for children ages Infants to Pre-K. Parents have the opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher to review the assessments. During the conference parents and teacher discuss the child’s progress and set up future goals. FEELC also has many informal assessments that are conducted throughout the year.
As a part of new employee orientation staff are made aware of assessment tools used by FEELC. Ongoing support from the program facilitator and the program coordinators are available to assist staff when needed during assessments.
Assessments are used to involve the child’s family in his or her educational process, include their goals for their child, and to keep the family apprised of achievements, milestones, and challenges a child may be facing. We use them also to track children’s emerging interests and specific needs. In addition, assessment is necessary to examine (and continually Monitor) the quality and relevance of the classroom environment, curriculum, and overall program effectiveness.
Informal assessments take place every day. Assessments are observed in the natural environment of the outdoors and the classroom. Assessments can be done while children are in groups or one on one with their teacher or a program coordinator. The process addresses all aspects of the child’s learning and development. These methods may include anecdotal notes, checklists, and observations. These observations and assessments are tools teachers use to help each child reach their maximum potential. The assessment (as with all children’s records) is kept confidential. Teachers keep children’s personal assessments in files in their classrooms.
A child’s assessment document will contain specific information from the formalized assessment tools. For Infants to 3 years we use - Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3), Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social –Emotional, and for children 3 to 5 years we use - Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum Assessment. In addition we include samples of the child’s work, photos of particular skills demonstrated, checklists, and observational records.
The most important factor in the assessment process is the people involved in the process. It is essential to include family input so as to include the family’s cultural perspective, understanding of their child, and goals for their child. Upon parents request information about specific assessment tools will be made available.
FEELC will locate a translator whenever necessary, to make parents comfortable, and to assure clear, two-way communication. If parents have any questions or concerns we will work with parents to procure appropriate feedback.
5.2.3 Early Intervention
Early intervention is important to help young children with delays reach their full potential. Through play, teachers have the opportunity to observe children. Observations and assessments are tools teachers use to identify a possible developmental concern. Teachers will share their concerns with an FEELC administrator and the child’s family as a first step in a referral process towards early intervention. When one of our staff suspects that a child has a developmental delay or special need they will schedule a meeting with the family. The meeting will be confidential and take place in one of the administrative offices. The staff will provide documentation and explanation for their concerns. This is an opportunity for the parents to ask questions and help collaborate with the teachers. Together both parents and teachers will form goals for the child’s development and future milestones. FEELC can assist in gathering information about local resources, websites and contact information about early intervention services in our area. If children require on-site support from outside sources we provide space for that work to take place. With parent permission, teachers will work with early intervention specialists to make sure the child’s developmental goals are being addressed within the program.
- Durham County Network of Care
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Early Childhood Outreach (EChO)
- Community Partnerships
5.2.4 Children’s Records
All records kept on your child are confidential. Your child’s records include enrollment information, medical information, accident reports, and assessment/progress reports. You have a right to view your child’s records. We ask that you call the Center office in advance, if you would like to see the records.
5.3 Parent Visitation
The open-door policy at the Center welcomes parents at any time they wish to visit. Parents are encouraged to visit and to share as many experiences with their children as considered feasible and desirable. It is important for the parent to understand that all may not go smoothly at first. Children may not understand the coming and going of parents and at the beginning may be confused or upset by visits especially when the parents leave. Our staff is trained to understand the children’s need for special attention and reassurance during this time. Once the children are well adjusted to the routine at the Center and to the parents going back to work, visits by the parents can become a truly wonderful experience. This means parents can be more involved with their children’s daily lives and activities and can participate more fully in their early learning experiences
Parents are encouraged to call ahead, if possible, so staff can prepare your child for your visit.
Whenever there is a question or a problem regarding visiting the Center or participating with the children, parents are encouraged to confer with the Director or staff.
5.4 First Environments Parents’ Organization
The Center encourages parent support and participation, which enriches the program. Parents may work with the classroom teachers, the Director, or Board members to determine areas where volunteers are needed within the Center. One specific volunteer role is that of room parent. Individuals who serve in this capacity serve as a liaison between the teachers, the Board, and the parents.
5.4.1 Required Parent Hours
Each family with a child enrolled in the Center is required to contribute a minimum of six hours per year to the Center. Work projects that qualify for parent hours will be communicated by classroom staff and the Center. It is expected that each family will contribute some of its six hours by participating in such classroom activities as art, music, cooking projects, or sharing special talents. It is parents’ responsibility to document their hours and can be done so at the front desk. Families who fail to complete their hours by the end of the year will pay a fee of $50 for each hour not met. For purposes of computing hours, the year starts January 1 and ends December 31. Families will owe 0.5 (1/2) hour for every calendar month or fraction of a month that your child is enrolled in the center.
Parent participation can enhance the quality of the Center without adding to the cost. It is also a wonderful way to keep in touch with what is going on in your child’s life and to provide support for the staff that are creating a nurturing environment for the children. Please contribute of your time as generously as you can.
5.5 Parent Meetings
All parents of children who attend the center will be invited to attend the biannual Parent Organization meetings. These meetings are held in July and November. Next year’s budget will be discussed at the July meeting and the November meeting provides a time for updates and discussion on any issues that concern the entire Center.
Whenever possible, parents are invited to share their time and talents with the children. Please check with your child’s teacher, as she/he will know the best time to set up a visit and may suggest materials for you to bring. If you would like to spend time in your child’s classroom, or assist with a classroom or center event, contact your child’s teacher.
At times, volunteers from the community may be brought in to work with the children. Volunteers provide the center with additional adults, lowering our teacher/child ratio so that children are able to receive more individual attention.
5.7 Parent Conduct
Parents are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and respectful manner. The relationship between parents and teachers impacts the well-being of all our children and should serve as a role model for healthy, adult interactions. While issues with teachers should not be discussed in front of children, parents should feel that they can communicate their concerns and complaints directly to the caregiver of their child provided it is done in a civilized and considerate manner. Parents may also talk directly to the Director. Displays of anger or hostility are not appropriate. Neither the Director or teachers have the authority to change center policy; issues of policy should be brought before the Board of Directors.
Certain actions are so serious that they will lead to immediate disciplinary action. Such actions include but are not limited to:
- Comments of a sexual nature
- Racial, ethnic or religious slurs
- Violence or inappropriate language
- Smoking or drinking on school property
- Disrespect of the staff, children or other parents
5.7.1 Disciplinary Action
If a parent is in violation of Center Policy, this violation will be brought to the attention of the parent. First time violations or minor incidences may be discussed verbally with the parent by an individual Board member. The Board member, however, shall make it clear to the parent that this is a formal verbal warning and a written record will be kept in the Board minutes. More serious violations or repeated minor violations will result in a written warning from the Board of Directors to the parent. The parent will be asked to formally acknowledge the warning and corrective actions may be required. As a last resort, the Board may ask a family to leave the center. Timing of the departure will be at the discretion of the Board of Directors. A parent who disagrees with any disciplinary action may submit a written complaint as directed below.
5.7.2 Complaint Resolution and Grievance Policy
In cases where problems or misunderstandings arise, the parent should attempt to resolve the issue through discussions with the teacher involved and the Director. If the parent is unable to resolve the issue in this manner, she/he should contact a Board member and may submit a formal complaint as directed below.
When a parent disagrees with the Director or Board, she/he shall submit the complaint in writing to the Board of Directors. The Board will investigate the situation and determine a resolution. The decision by the Board will be binding and will end all further discussion of the issue.
Any parent who continues to discuss the issue after the Board has determined the resolution will be in a state of non-compliance and subjected to disciplinary action.
5.8 Solicitations Policy
It is our policy at First Environments Early Learning Center that neither parents nor staff may solicit either parents or staff for funds, services, or products that are not specifically related to fund-raising activities for the Center. If a parent or staff member is participating in a fundraiser for another non-profit organization, he/she may request permission from the Board to post notices at the Center. The Board will approve or disapprove such requests on a case-by-case basis
Last updated: 4/21/2017