Involvement of Parents and Community: Communication and Strategies of Communicating

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Communication

ECCE: Communication

ECCE: Communication

  • ECCE settings or preschools should ensure that the staff and parents have both formal and informal opportunities for communication and information sharing about the child.

  • While the formal opportunities may be quite apparent (e.g., meetings with parents), due consideration should also be given to creating informal interaction with parents and may begin with something as fundamental as making them feel welcome within that setting.

  • communicating information to parents about their child’s development and learning

  • integrating parents’ knowledge and input into the planning and assessment of children’s learning and development

  • supporting parents in understanding children’s learning and development. The problem may be, how to communicate with parents. Many parents are working, and they often do not get time to interact with the teachers and sometimes they do not even come for Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM). So, the teacher needs to find the way to involve and communicate with these parents.

Strategies of Communicating to Parents and Community

Effective and meaningful communication between preschools, parents, community and children must be there to form the foundation in developing and maintaining quality partnerships.

  • Using a range of communication tools and channels, including newsletters, websites, e-mails, assemblies, parent/teacher interviews, and PTMs.

  • Developing a preschool activity calendar outlining activities, celebrations, events and holidays in the preschool year where engagement of the parents and community is very important. Specific activities can be used to engage them for example, volunteer parent coming to tell a story/rhyme.

  • Using Parent Teacher Meeting (PTM) to talk about children’s development and their progress.

  • Planning Home Visits, if required, as it will help the teachers, get acquainted with the families of the children. The teacher can learn about the family’s culture and special talents, etc.

  • The teacher can communicate with the parents during drop off and pick up time. This allows parents to informally interact with the teacher.

  • Use bulletin and notice board specifically meant for the parents to share notice for the meetings, nutrition menu, and other relevant issues.

  • Involve parents on field visits/excursions.

There are number of other ways and strategies through which parents can be involved such as:

  • helping in fund raising

  • cleaning and painting plant pots

  • preparing Teaching Learning Material (TLM)

  • reading stories to children

  • helping in the classroom and working with small groups for activities like clay modeling

  • helping during festival celebrations

  • helping during annual function and cultural programmes

Community Ownership and Participation

Community ownership and participation of community members are important in the smooth functioning and success of the center. Teachers need to talk to and convince members of the community about the significance of ECCE. Preschools, along with the help of the primary school, can plan and organize village camps for spreading ECCE and childcare messages. Community members including the Sarpanch and other panchayat members need to be explained the benefits of ECCE. It can be done through role plays, street play or nuked Natak, group discussions, exhibitions and using advocacy posters. This should be done by community motivators.

Key Features of Sound Partnerships between Early Childhood Centers and Parents

Some of the key features are:

  • Parents’ role in their child’s early education is acknowledged by the teachers and other caregivers in the preschool

  • Recognition of the role played by parents in early education of their child and their continued involvement is crucial to successful learning

  • Parents feel welcome in the preschool and there are opportunities for collaboration among parents, teachers and children

  • Preschools provides access to information about their ECCE programme to the parents in a variety of ways

  • Recognition of expertise of parents and other adults in the family, and this expertise is used to support the learning opportunities provided within the preschool

  • Parents contribute to, and are kept fully informed of their child’s progress and growth

  • Parents and children feel secure in the new setting; and

  • Opportunities for learning provided through parent conferences, parents workshops, parents resource center, etc.

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