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  #1  
Old 04-15-2013, 11:19 AM
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Ok, so my ECE program tends to bring up over and over again that we should encourage parent involvement. We should, for instance, have activities and ask parents to volunteer their time or talents to come in and help.

We could have a parent board that advises us, or family events, etc.

I have NO problem holding a family event of some sort 2x a year. I have no problem asking a parent who is a woodworker if he could make us some minor thing, or cut the legs down on a table for me, etc.

But, I don't think it's appropriate to ask parents who are PAYING ME FOR SERVICE to come in and volunteer their time for field trips or activities. I also don't have any desire for a parent board to "advise" me.

Does anyone here see it differently?

A suggested activity is to have families bring a favorite recipe...ok with me
Put together a recipe book with the kids...ok with me
Ask the parent to come in and make it with the kids.

Um...the reason their child is here is because they have to work!

I get the premise is to get parents more involved before the children go to school. But, I don't see myself the same way as school. For the most part, school is free...I'm not.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:32 AM
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Yes, I tend to agree with you. Parents can not take off a lot of work for family involvement activities. I keep those types of things to a minimum. But I do ask for parent volunteers for field trips (4 times per year). I also have a Fall Festival and Easter Egg Hunt in the late afternoon where parents are encouraged to attend, although it is not mandatory.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:36 AM
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I agree, I have no desire to ask my parents to help me in any way. Honestly, I think if a parent had the time to come to my house to volunteer I would rather they take their child somewhere and spend time with them! Not at my house when I am being paid for my job.

I also don't think my young age group gives a hoot about recipes lol.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:40 AM
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I prefer that my parent involvement end at the front door. I like for them to go to work and do their job and leave me to do mine.

Now, having said that, I really don't mind when they offer to go on field trips. I haven't had a parent, other than my own daughters, go on a field trip in 7 years though.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:40 AM
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Yes, I tend to agree with you. Parents can not take off a lot of work for family involvement activities. I keep those types of things to a minimum. But I do ask for parent volunteers for field trips (4 times per year). I also have a Fall Festival and Easter Egg Hunt in the late afternoon where parents are encouraged to attend, although it is not mandatory.
I agree. Parents NEED to work, they take enough time off as it is for their sick days, kids sick days, my vacation time, etc.

The ways I involve parents;

Once every 3 months on a Saturday evening (used to be 1/month but that was too much for me). I do a pizza dinner. Parents are welcome to stay or go. I have one set who leave, the rest stay. Lots of networking, playdates, chatting to me, my husband, my kids. They all love it. Might move it to an afternoon at a playground next time.

I also send home little 'feedback' cards once a month with my newsletter and menu, nothing special, just any ways I can improve, are you happy, would you like an appointment for a conference, that sort of thing with a personal note about that dck attached. Parents LOVE this.

I also ask when they enroll for a favorite recipe for lunch. Most of my recipes are now DCP (current and former) contributed!
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:41 AM
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I involve them by having a couple of events like "muffins with mom" and "donuts with dad" and also I appreciate them helping with parties. Other than that I don't see a lot of need for them to volunteer.
I never do "homework" either. Some parents like it but if my child was in daycare I wouldn't like it. That's our only family time besides weekends and even though homework is something that you can do with them it's not usually a very enjoyable activity.

However, I am thinking about doing a big cookout this summer as an appreciation type thing for my daycare families. Maybe rent a bounce house for the kids...something like that.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:47 AM
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I guess I'm the odd man out. I think it's a great thing to have parents involved in filed trips and the like. Parents love it, and kids love it. And with it being volunteer based you know the parents are there because they want to be. I think it is extremely important to have parents involved whether they actually come to your program, or contribute in other ways (providing things on a wish list, volunteer to help prep an art activity at home, etc).
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:52 AM
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I also don't think I would have a parent board per say, unless I was a large center, and even then I would be hesitant. But I do think a survey couldn't hurt. Yeah, we don't always like to hear the negative complaints from parents, but we are providing a service and they are our customers. It may be hard to receive that feedback but I also think it can be a good thing if done constructively.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:54 AM
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I don't mind *if* it's something the parent offers to do. I feel that if I ask them, it puts pressure on them to do something they may not want to, but feel they have to. I think the push to get parents involved all goes back to the push to institutionalize child care - these are the same people who refer to day care as "school" The problem I have with this is, as others have noted, unlike school, I am not free. And the whole reason parents pay me is so they can work.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:55 AM
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Heidi,

This is whats required in our STARS rating. I think I actually did a thread on this not to long ago.

Same thing-adivisory board for policy/procedures? This is my business that I have built over 17 years. All I need is for parents telling me what needs to be changed. It was said that I could answer that these policies are in place, etc and why. Then why have an advisory board? I'm an in home childcare, not a corporate run childcare with a board of directors (well except me-).

My family does not want childcare here after hours/weekends and I see that being pushed little by little with all these programs.

Also, same thing-bring in parents to help, community members, etc. Its bad enough when inspections are going on, but to bring in more stranges-uh, no.

My parents are working and at the end of the day, they are outa here. They have families also, and after work activities. To ask them to now help with the daycare after they are paying me. Does not make sense to me at all.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:57 AM
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Our QRIS "coach" suggested things like:
  • An invite them for a "breakfast with DCK" before they need to go to work
  • Invite them to share a tradition from their culture, home or lifestyle
  • Ask them to share what they do at work in person, in writing, in photos or in video form
  • Do a monthly or bi-monthly parent meeting
  • Have a Family get-together (invite one entire family at a time over for dinner with your family AFTER hours)
  • Do a "meet and greet" twice a year so ALL families get a chance to know one another
  • Ask them to bring in family photos and then do a bulletin board where you high-light one family each week/month
  • Ask them to volunteer for a field trip with you
  • Do parent-teacher conferences atleast 4 times per year

That's all I got.

Yes, I rolled my eyes at a few of them.
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Old 04-15-2013, 11:57 AM
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I agree. My husband and I are both in jobs where we can't get off easily and we feel very bad when our kids' schools plan special events during the day and we can't be there. I don't plan events during the day for parents because I don't want to put that guilt on them. I have had a Family Picnic in the evening many years (except when I had families I really didn't want to see outside of business hours). I also involve parents by inviting them to send food/drinks for holiday parties, posting a "Wish List" of items we could use in the program, and by making sure I let them know what their children are doing with me every day.

As far as field trips, after going to the Children's Museum on a day it was closed, being poured on for 4 hours at the Zoo and being sleeted on the entire time we were at the Pumpkin Patch I decided that "the universe" didn't want me to do field trips. Plus WI requires vehicle alarms that I wasn't willing to put into our family vehicles just for occasional field trips.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
I don't mind *if* it's something the parent offers to do. I feel that if I ask them, it puts pressure on them to do something they may not want to, but feel they have to. I think the push to get parents involved all goes back to the push to institutionalize child care - these are the same people who refer to day care as "school" The problem I have with this is, as others have noted, unlike school, I am not free. And the whole reason parents pay me is so they can work.
I agree, I wouldn't feel comfortable directly asking parents to volunteer, but maybe a note home or one posted on your bulletin board would suffice.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:03 PM
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Holy cow, some of the suggestions alarm me out.

I try to keep things as separate as I can. HOWEVER, I am doing a "Fishing Day" for 30 minutes during our Field Day next month. The parents are invited to come and assist and my own Dad is heading it up.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:12 PM
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I do invite my parents on our field trips but we only go on like 2 or 3 a year. Some parents come. Some don't. I do a family cookout every June for current and former families. It's great to see all the kids as they grow since I don't do school aged care. I also do a spaghetti dinner in December for my currently enrolled families. These things don't take much time or effort and keep the families involved.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:29 PM
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Boy it was like pulling teeth just to get shot records. And yes, I put a HUGE not on my "parent advisory bulletin board" and told one dad and then the mom acted like she'd never heard of such lol. It hasn't been suggested to me by the powers that be, but we do weenie roasts and marshmallow roasts in the summer. Also when weather permits, we take the camper to the local campground and haul,the kids there everyday and bring them back for pick up lol. Call me crazy I swear we have TWO residences in the summer time lol. But we enjoy ourselves and I raided my dads cane patch and each kid has their own fishing pole and life vest.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:56 PM
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I have had a mom come in and dye easter eggs with us. one went on field trips/ someone coming in to cook something may mean a child tries a new food.

an advisory board could be fore new playground equipment . how to raise money arranging volunteers to assemble it

Maybe it could find donations of supplies like paper from printing companies. It does not have to advise how to run the business. It is a board not administration. Does the PTO tell the school how to run the school? nope.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:28 PM
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I have had a mom come in and dye easter eggs with us. one went on field trips/ someone coming in to cook something may mean a child tries a new food.

an advisory board could be fore new playground equipment . how to raise money arranging volunteers to assemble it

Maybe it could find donations of supplies like paper from printing companies. It does not have to advise how to run the business. It is a board not administration. Does the PTO tell the school how to run the school? nope.
"Families attend family meetings and/or serve on advisory groups to provide input on program and policy decisions." This is from our guidelines. I already have my program/policies in place-PHB covers all this.

This to me sure sounds to me like they should have a say on how to run it.
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:42 PM
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"Families attend family meetings and/or serve on advisory groups to provide input on program and policy decisions." This is from our guidelines. I already have my program/policies in place-PHB covers all this.

This to me sure sounds to me like they should have a say on how to run it.
Providing input and making the final decision are two different things. Providing input can be as simple as suggesting what they would like (which they do ANYWAYS even when we don't ask LOL!).
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Old 04-15-2013, 01:50 PM
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Providing input and making the final decision are two different things. Providing input can be as simple as suggesting what they would like (which they do ANYWAYS even when we don't ask LOL!).
Oh, I know but why open up a whole new can of worms. They are in place for a reason and I really don't want the headache of s suggestion everytime something isn't going someones way. Also, our advisor said, just tell them after they make the suggestion of why its the way it is. Then why let them make the suggestions if you already know your not going to budge and your just going to give the same answer over and over.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:03 PM
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I guess I'm the odd man out. I think it's a great thing to have parents involved in filed trips and the like. Parents love it, and kids love it. And with it being volunteer based you know the parents are there because they want to be. I think it is extremely important to have parents involved whether they actually come to your program, or contribute in other ways (providing things on a wish list, volunteer to help prep an art activity at home, etc).
I'm with you on that one. I think it's great to involve parents. You aren't forcing them per say, just offering the opportunity to involve them somehow. If I need something or want to offer my clients the opportunity to help out I put it in our monthly newsletter so that I don't have to specifically offer to a parent and so that they don't feel obligated to do so.

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I also don't think I would have a parent board per say, unless I was a large center, and even then I would be hesitant. But I do think a survey couldn't hurt. Yeah, we don't always like to hear the negative complaints from parents, but we are providing a service and they are our customers. It may be hard to receive that feedback but I also think it can be a good thing if done constructively.
Me neither but I think that a lot of people are freaking out over that example because of what it sounds like. I'm sure that in larger daycare's like a center it could work because you have a larger array of families but in small child care homes or even in large daycare homes for that matter it's a lot harder to do and not really worth the time. A parent advisory board is a good idea when you have such a large amount of clients that you can't possibly hear about every family's needs and the board tales care of the "ideas" that the other families may have. When you are smaller like when you do family child care you have a deeper connection and a better opportunity to take the time to communicate needs individually. It has nothing to do with clients controlling your daycare. And in any case, that was just one example of many that one can use to involve parents.

Here are some ways that I have been able to involve my clients:
  • Ask for volunteers to come and talk to the kids about the type of work they do (electrician, police officer, fireman, office manager, store manager etc)
  • Take supplies home to cut/prepare for me for another day's activities
  • Prepare an ethnic meal at home and bring it to daycare if we are learning about that culture
  • Come on field trips with us
  • Donate supplies/equipment (new or used)
  • Parent surveys
  • Read a story before they leave to work or before they go home after picking up their child
  • Play a musical instrument for the kids
  • Show off a hobby that they have (photography, woodworking, gardening etc)

When you involve parents they feel more welcome and the kids ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT when they can say "My mommy helped make this" or "My daddy is going to read us a story". It takes a little bit of time out of their day and doesn't have to mean more than 10 minutes or so (unless they volunteer to do so) and it can really make a "hovering" parent back off. If the opposite happens and a parent uses this opportunity to nit-pick at your program you can simply tell the parent that you are all set for the day and don't need any help but send home things for them to do etc.

IDK but I've had good results with involving parents, maybe it's just the relationship that I have with them and the way that I run my program?
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:15 PM
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I'm going to really have to think this one through because I just see it being alot of "extra".


If your out there reading this Nan-what do you think about this?
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:56 PM
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[html]oh I love love the idea about the parent coming to share about their job. I'm definitely going to do that!!

I'm a previous homeschooling mom and when my daughter was in first grade here at home we did things like that. We had a month of community helpers and it was so much fun. I live very very rural and I had some of the volunteer firefighters drive their fire truck to our house. It was priceless when the kids saw it. It was a great lesson on fire safety they gave the kids too. Then we had a sheriff deputy come and explain what he does every day. We had the local water company send the inspector out and showed the kids how the system here works. We are on a local well but also have our own well at my dads house.

My dads family owns a business and they have farms and gardens etc. when my husband is in the state (he works in la) we take the kids to the farms and gardens etc. we also have chickens and the kids beg for the animal helper job every week lol.

Homeschooling is a pretty common thing here so there are a lot of support communities and they don't mind involving me. But inviting the parents over to explain what they do is a great idea. I'm so totally going to do that.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:10 PM
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My son goes to a large in-home daycare/preschool. They are ALWAYS having events and activities and encourage the parents to come. It seems like multiple times a month! I've gone a few times, but honestly its really hard with work and if I'm taking time off and not getting paid I want to spend it with my kids, not necessarily with their daycare! I appreciate the effort and that the providers are trying to include the parents... but I wish they didn't. You can tell that the kids are out of sorts having the parents there, then either DS could care less that I'm there because he's in the daycare groove and playing with his friends... or he doesn't want me to leave when the event is over and is begging to go with me which just makes me feel awful. On the flip side, I don't want to be "the parent that never shows up."

It seems like the kids (and providers) would be having more fun if the parents weren't there, and the older kids sometimes ask why their parents aren't there but so-and-so's are and it just seems like it isn't a good idea. Or works better for stay at home parents that have chosen to send their kids to daycare. Like I said, as much as I do love and appreciate our daycare provider, if I'm taking time off work, I want it to be quality time with my kids, not an event at their DC.

I have absolutely no problem doing things like sending recipes, or making stuffed easter eggs or valentines or thigns like that to send. Its just hard for my physically being there for a chunk of time in the middle of the day.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:22 PM
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I can definitely understand where parents would have a hard time getting off work for daycare functions. I don't do that here during hours. We do our weenie and marshmallow roasts on Saturday nights when we do them. I've been know to schedule Sunday lunch a time or two as well. But doing stuff during their work really does interrupt the routine, lead to feelings of parental guilt, and leave those children with parents who can't get off work feeling like crud.

In my case we live so rural and parent drive 45 minutes one way to work, it just isn't a possible thing. However, my parents participate in other things when I ask like wish lists, recipes etc.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:31 PM
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My son goes to a large in-home daycare/preschool. They are ALWAYS having events and activities and encourage the parents to come. It seems like multiple times a month! I've gone a few times, but honestly its really hard with work and if I'm taking time off and not getting paid I want to spend it with my kids, not necessarily with their daycare! I appreciate the effort and that the providers are trying to include the parents... but I wish they didn't. You can tell that the kids are out of sorts having the parents there, then either DS could care less that I'm there because he's in the daycare groove and playing with his friends... or he doesn't want me to leave when the event is over and is begging to go with me which just makes me feel awful. On the flip side, I don't want to be "the parent that never shows up."

It seems like the kids (and providers) would be having more fun if the parents weren't there, and the older kids sometimes ask why their parents aren't there but so-and-so's are and it just seems like it isn't a good idea. Or works better for stay at home parents that have chosen to send their kids to daycare. Like I said, as much as I do love and appreciate our daycare provider, if I'm taking time off work, I want it to be quality time with my kids, not an event at their DC.

I have absolutely no problem doing things like sending recipes, or making stuffed easter eggs or valentines or thigns like that to send. Its just hard for my physically being there for a chunk of time in the middle of the day.
Thank you for responding from a parents view!

I can see parents having to use personal/vacation days for this and then when we want to take some they will say "oh, used it up coming into the childcare" or something like that. You know it will happen

Also, my parents aren't going to want to stay longer in the pickup time to read or help. Everyone is in the mode to go home and I'm happily letting them go.

Then on the weekends, there are sports, their own family times, other activities. Also, I think your going to not be in business mode on a Sat. night and it might be to personal then business.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:52 PM
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Ok, so my ECE program tends to bring up over and over again that we should encourage parent involvement. We should, for instance, have activities and ask parents to volunteer their time or talents to come in and help.

We could have a parent board that advises us, or family events, etc.

I have NO problem holding a family event of some sort 2x a year. I have no problem asking a parent who is a woodworker if he could make us some minor thing, or cut the legs down on a table for me, etc.

But, I don't think it's appropriate to ask parents who are PAYING ME FOR SERVICE to come in and volunteer their time for field trips or activities. I also don't have any desire for a parent board to "advise" me.

Does anyone here see it differently?

A suggested activity is to have families bring a favorite recipe...ok with me
Put together a recipe book with the kids...ok with me
Ask the parent to come in and make it with the kids.

Um...the reason their child is here is because they have to work!

I get the premise is to get parents more involved before the children go to school. But, I don't see myself the same way as school. For the most part, school is free...I'm not.

Your ECE program is teaching you this because you are being trained to work in a "centre" not trained for home daycare. In a centre parent involvement is quite important as many centres are non-profit and have parents and community members sit on their boards.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:01 PM
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Thank you for responding from a parents view!

I can see parents having to use personal/vacation days for this and then when we want to take some they will say "oh, used it up coming into the childcare" or something like that. You know it will happen

Also, my parents aren't going to want to stay longer in the pickup time to read or help. Everyone is in the mode to go home and I'm happily letting them go.

Then on the weekends, there are sports, their own family times, other activities. Also, I think your going to not be in business mode on a Sat. night and it might be to personal then business.
Like I said in my OP, I do like my families involved. But to me, anyway, there is a fine line. Having two events a year...sure, no problem. Having muffins and coffee out in the mornings for them to take to work, yep. Communicating personally with them on a daily basis about their child, you BET! Checking in with them to make sure they are satisfied, absolutely. But, that's where I personally draw the line. I work about 55 hours a week. Spending additional time outside of that to coordinate more events is asking too much for $400-$500 per week.

I still feel like asking too much of the parents in regards to time is expecting too much. It'd be like my bank calling me in to volunteer "teller" for a few hours here and there....lol. Since I'm an "expert" at that (was a bank teller for years), it doesn't seem unreasonable. I have on rare occasions had parents along on field trips, but I don't make it a practice.

As a matter of fact, I think the only time it's happened is when the parent was off work anyway, and was planning on keeping their child home. I invited them along on the field trip, but then they left with their child right afterwards.
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:37 PM
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I guess I'm the odd man out. I think it's a great thing to have parents involved in filed trips and the like. Parents love it, and kids love it. And with it being volunteer based you know the parents are there because they want to be. I think it is extremely important to have parents involved whether they actually come to your program, or contribute in other ways (providing things on a wish list, volunteer to help prep an art activity at home, etc).
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Originally Posted by MarinaVanessa View Post
I'm with you on that one. I think it's great to involve parents. You aren't forcing them per say, just offering the opportunity to involve them somehow. If I need something or want to offer my clients the opportunity to help out I put it in our monthly newsletter so that I don't have to specifically offer to a parent and so that they don't feel obligated to do so.



Me neither but I think that a lot of people are freaking out over that example because of what it sounds like. I'm sure that in larger daycare's like a center it could work because you have a larger array of families but in small child care homes or even in large daycare homes for that matter it's a lot harder to do and not really worth the time. A parent advisory board is a good idea when you have such a large amount of clients that you can't possibly hear about every family's needs and the board tales care of the "ideas" that the other families may have. When you are smaller like when you do family child care you have a deeper connection and a better opportunity to take the time to communicate needs individually. It has nothing to do with clients controlling your daycare. And in any case, that was just one example of many that one can use to involve parents.

Here are some ways that I have been able to involve my clients:
  • Ask for volunteers to come and talk to the kids about the type of work they do (electrician, police officer, fireman, office manager, store manager etc)
  • Take supplies home to cut/prepare for me for another day's activities
  • Prepare an ethnic meal at home and bring it to daycare if we are learning about that culture
  • Come on field trips with us
  • Donate supplies/equipment (new or used)
  • Parent surveys
  • Read a story before they leave to work or before they go home after picking up their child
  • Play a musical instrument for the kids
  • Show off a hobby that they have (photography, woodworking, gardening etc)

When you involve parents they feel more welcome and the kids ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT when they can say "My mommy helped make this" or "My daddy is going to read us a story". It takes a little bit of time out of their day and doesn't have to mean more than 10 minutes or so (unless they volunteer to do so) and it can really make a "hovering" parent back off. If the opposite happens and a parent uses this opportunity to nit-pick at your program you can simply tell the parent that you are all set for the day and don't need any help but send home things for them to do etc.

IDK but I've had good results with involving parents, maybe it's just the relationship that I have with them and the way that I run my program?
I feel the same way. The whole reason why I decided to start my own dc business is because I wanted to be able to volunteer at my ds's school and be a more active participant in his daily life, whether it is at school or at home. Yes, parents have to work, but the parents that want to participate will try to find a way to do so. I have no problem with giving the parents an opportunity to spend "special" time with their child during the day, even if it's only for a short while. I know my own ds gets SUPER excited when I've volunteered at his school and the smile on his face shows me that I made the right career choice. I think it's a great thing for both kids and their parents. Hopefully I will fill my spots with like-minded parents that also want to be involved in their kids' lives.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:32 AM
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I have absolutely no problem doing things like sending recipes, or making stuffed easter eggs or valentines or thigns like that to send. Its just hard for my physically being there for a chunk of time in the middle of the day.
This is a GREAT way to participate! I ask of this from my clients also and I make sure when we do the activity that I let the kids know that "Little Johnny's Mommy helped us make these so that we could use them today! Isn't that special!" Even that makes the child feel proud and gives him/her the spotlight.

I for one completely understand how hard it is to take time off of work (I am the daycare provider after all lol) which is why I don't mind that most of my clients can't personally come to help us out, parent involvement has a lot to do with making connections with parents and how special the child feels to have their family life in their daycare life. Believe me, sending recipes, making Easter baskets and Valentines etc. specially for your child's daycare is more than enough involvement on your part.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:49 AM
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My son goes to a large in-home daycare/preschool. They are ALWAYS having events and activities and encourage the parents to come. It seems like multiple times a month! I've gone a few times, but honestly its really hard with work and if I'm taking time off and not getting paid I want to spend it with my kids, not necessarily with their daycare! I appreciate the effort and that the providers are trying to include the parents... but I wish they didn't. You can tell that the kids are out of sorts having the parents there, then either DS could care less that I'm there because he's in the daycare groove and playing with his friends... or he doesn't want me to leave when the event is over and is begging to go with me which just makes me feel awful. On the flip side, I don't want to be "the parent that never shows up."

It seems like the kids (and providers) would be having more fun if the parents weren't there, and the older kids sometimes ask why their parents aren't there but so-and-so's are and it just seems like it isn't a good idea. Or works better for stay at home parents that have chosen to send their kids to daycare. Like I said, as much as I do love and appreciate our daycare provider, if I'm taking time off work, I want it to be quality time with my kids, not an event at their DC.

I have absolutely no problem doing things like sending recipes, or making stuffed easter eggs or valentines or thigns like that to send. Its just hard for my physically being there for a chunk of time in the middle of the day.
Yes! Last year my younger daughter was in Kindergarten and there were several middle of the day events. I only made one and she was devastated I couldn't do the others. She brought it up for months afterwards (just that she was sad about it) I am fortunate to work at home, but I am working.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:05 AM
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Ewww.

No way.


Too many cooks in the kitchen never ends well.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:27 AM
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My ECE classes stress the important of family involvement too. I know how it can be an incontinence to have the parents there over your shoulder. I am a mothers helper and the last few days the mom was at the hospital having her second baby and her older one had acted up a few times but his grandma was there too (she can't move around too much) and every time he started to cry because he didn't get his way she would start asking from the other room "Why you crying? What's wrong?" and times I was afraid to try to limit distractions (like toys at the table) or take his toys away so he could eat because I was afraid he would cry and she would tell his parents I was being mean to him. She once even accused me of not properly cooking a yam because if had been out for hours and started to drying out and getting hard (he doesn't sit down for more than a few seconds to eat) and she said "I hope he doesn't get a tummy ache, because it wasn't cooked properly". Some parents think it is easier for you when they are around but its actually harder because both parties are afraid to discipline the child in front of the other but you know that if you don't that child (or the other children) will act worse. Also some parents may try to discipline other daycare kids and that could cause issues. But there are other ways to let the parent be involved in their child's education without them having to volunteer in class (stuff that can be done after hours).


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Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Our QRIS "coach" suggested things like:
  • An invite them for a "breakfast with DCK" before they need to go to work
  • Invite them to share a tradition from their culture, home or lifestyle
  • Ask them to share what they do at work in person, in writing, in photos or in video form
  • Do a monthly or bi-monthly parent meeting
  • Have a Family get-together (invite one entire family at a time over for dinner with your family AFTER hours)
  • Do a "meet and greet" twice a year so ALL families get a chance to know one another
  • Ask them to bring in family photos and then do a bulletin board where you high-light one family each week/month
  • Ask them to volunteer for a field trip with you
  • Do parent-teacher conferences atleast 4 times per year
  1. *Parent/Provider Conferences Because I plan on doing observations (with a DRDP) and a preschool I planned on having parent-teacher conferences at the beginning of the school year and towards the end to discuss where the child is at the beginning of the year and the progress they have made at the end of the year- I only plan on doing that for preschoolers and younger (may only do for full time or kids who show up at least 2 or 3 times a week). It could also help identify any delay the child may be having even after DAP curriculum. I would let the parent know in between if there are any concerns or that they can talk to me if they have any concerns.
  2. Graduation/Summer/End of the school Year Celebrations. At the FCC I worked at once a year there would be a graduation/end of the school year/beginning of summer celebration where there is a theme and the kids/teachers dress up and dance to songs at a church a few blocks over. Some of the parents volunteer to help decorate/set up before and clean up after, transport kids or decorations/props from DC to church (most of the parents were close friends), donate some items or services (like taking pictures of grads or video tape), help kids get ready between songs, or bring food/beverages. All the parents would try their best to help out. I would love to be able to do this but it may take years to build up that kind of enrollment and get that great of parents.
  3. Career, Culture, or Talent Day/Night (Show And Tell for adults) I have thought about maybe having like a career day where parents can come (on days off or around their pick up/drop of time) during preschool time and talk about their job and what they do and how they like their job/why its important. And I have thought that I could do the same when it comes to some cultural/ family traditions or any special talents/skills they have with the children but that can be tricky because some parents may take offence to that BUT I would let all the parent's know it is part of teaching them about diversity/tolerance- not trying to impose any religious/cultural views; I would also make sure that I see an outline of what they plan to show/teach the kids as well. They could also just make a short video or a mini book that talks about their job or we could read about their job and use pictures of them in a work uniform and make a book about them. Or they could have it at night and that way other parents can get to know about them too.
  4. Annual Appreciation Dinner Party/Potluck/ BBQ. I also thought about doing like an annual dinner or a BBQ/potluck for daycare families but that could be expensive and there is a chance that no one will show up. At the FCC I mentioned last summer the providers daughter was pregnant (they officially announced it at the last graduation) so on the daughter's birthday (exactly a month before the baby was born) they rented an area in a recreational park and invited not only their friends and family but also the daycare families, most of them showed up but because it was in the later afternoon on a Saturday and they all had young kids, most of them either just dropped off a gift and left or left after eating (the party started at 1 she didn't start to open presents until around 5 or 6).
  5. Open house I thought about maybe doing an open house so that parents could mingle and get to know each other. But some parents may value their privacy more than others and some parents may just find it silly. I also thought of doing it for only inquiring families (kind of like an orientation meeting or group tour) but it would be difficult to set up a day for all pending families to be available and if there isn't enough flexibility it could lead to the loss of some potential clients.
  6. Newsletters/FB/bulletin board You can also send newsletters/bulletin board (maybe even a private Facebook page) to keep the parents up-to-date on what their children are doing, upcoming events/holiday parties/ birthdays.
  7. Donation Box/Share Box You can have a donation box. Let them know if you are looking for donations for projects (such as orphaned socks or TP/PT rolls) or you can let them know if there is any days that you will need a volunteer or a day that they can sit in and observe for an hour to know what their child's routines are like. They don't have to stay all day. They could just stop by to read a book at circle time. Just let them know that they cannot stay too long because of licensing regulations (might need to see what your state rules say).
  8. Suggestion Box You can have a suggestion box where parents can anonymously suggest things that they think will help their children learn or help the daycare improve in some way. Though you may need to make it clear that the suggestions should be about how to improve the quality of the program for the children- NOT the price or policies/house rules! Everything that follows that criteria in the suggestion box will be considered but it does not necessarily mean it will be enforced if it proves to be too difficult for the provider, the children, or all other parties involved or if it is in anyway illegal, goes against state FCC regulations, or can offend others.
  9. Theme Night/Movie Night/ Poetry Slam I know many people here have "date night" specials. Maybe have like a theme night or a movie/book night where everyone comes over (can be in their PJs) and watch movies or read books. You can either make popcorn/order pizza or request that it is a pot luck and parents bring any food they want to share; If you provider food you can probably charge but that might turn off some parents from attending when it is supposed to be about community. If you have a projector and a big screen you could have an outside movie theater in your yard and everyone can sit on blankets or in tents. My college's preschool program has a movie night once every month or two (it's indoors but they have a big projector screen in one of the rooms). They could also make their own story/poem or pick a story from their family/culture or just something they created.
  10. Talent Show You could have a talent night once or twice a year where everyone can come over and sing/dance/act/ cook or show off any talent they have (you and the parents can participate too); they could also just sit back and watch but I would make sure you have at least 2 or 3 acts to keep it interesting. If you want you could have a vote (but if you participate you wouldn't be eligible to win). Or you could have a recital of songs you teach the kids every couple of months (can have a theme like nursery rhymes, America, or seasons/holidays) or you can read a story to the kids for a few weeks and have a play where they act it out (depending on the ages and the story).
  11. Coupon Cubby/ Library You can also have like a "coupon cubby" or "Coupon Library" where parents can drop off ads/coupons and you can teach kids how to use scissors/ stay in the lines, organizing/sorting, as well as ways to save money. You can also have a folder to put all the cut out coupons and parents can pick out which coupons they want (I got that idea after an "Extreme Couponers" marathon lol). The best part is that you can get first dibs on the coupons and if you see something you know a particular family may want you can save it for them (you can have a 'coupon watcher' list for each family).
  12. Holiday Community if you and your daycare families share similar beliefs/celebrations you can have a holiday party outside of daycare hours where you invite daycare families. Maybe you can set up a trick or treating group where the parents who cannot or don't want to go out trick or treating (if they want to go to a party or stay home and have a haunted house/pass out candy) can set up for their kids to go with another DCK's family (or you can volunteer to be the 'trick or treat' chaperone) maybe you can have an Easter egg hunt at your house or set up for a community egg hunt with other providers at a park. Maybe around Christmas you can have a mini Christmas play or a tree/house decorating party (can help people who are not physically able to) or volunteer at a hospital/nursing home singing Christmas carols to the elderly/ill or help decorate for elderly/ill (they get very depressed around holidays).
  13. Dinner Guests You can set up a dinner guest event where the parents get to meet each other by going over to each other's houses for dinner/desert/ coffee (completely voluntary of course, not required) or you can once in a while invite DC parents over for dinner (you can invite only one family at a time, a few families at a time, or all the families {you will probably need coupons in this case}).

All these may not be directly in daycare but they do teach the kids about community and socializing with friends out of regular settings. Also if you teach the children manners it is a great way for them to practice it in real life situations.

Last edited by Starburst; 04-16-2013 at 12:15 PM. Reason: more ideas/formating
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  #34  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:38 AM
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Providing input and making the final decision are two different things. Providing input can be as simple as suggesting what they would like (which they do ANYWAYS even when we don't ask LOL!).
Too many parents would expect their "suggestions" to become policy and take offense if the provider says no. Asking them gives the impression that they have a say in how things are run.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:51 AM
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Too many parents would expect their "suggestions" to become policy and take offense if the provider says no. Asking them gives the impression that they have a say in how things are run.
EXACTLY.



On the flip side of that, as a parent, I'd feel pretty peeved if I was asked to participate in a round table type discussion where my opinions were not really going to matter in the end. What a complete waste of the time I could be spending at home with my family.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:54 AM
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Too many parents would expect their "suggestions" to become policy and take offense if the provider says no. Asking them gives the impression that they have a say in how things are run.
Exactly!!!!!

This is what I keep saying /thinking! Especially for a FCC in a home. I can see them not doing this in a center/headstart/school but when you only have 3-7 families I can see how they might want to have a big say in it.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:06 PM
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Exactly!!!!!

This is what I keep saying /thinking! Especially for a FCC in a home. I can see them not doing this in a center/headstart/school but when you only have 3-7 families I can see how they might want to have a big say in it.
CK~~~ THIS is exactly why I said in many other threads that the whole LONG-TERM point of the QRIS is to eliminate family child care as we know it.

Ideally, the government would like to see college degreed people teaching the children in an environment that is like a school setting.

Universal preschool, QRIS, unions, new standards, etc etc etc.....

Seems to me there will be no place left for the stay at home mom's who want to watch a few kids and make a few dollars while doing so.

Child care will become the next big over regulated, under valued career choice out there..... and definitely one the home family child care provider can no longer compete in.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:22 PM
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EXACTLY.



On the flip side of that, as a parent, I'd feel pretty peeved if I was asked to participate in a round table type discussion where my opinions were not really going to matter in the end. What a complete waste of the time I could be spending at home with my family.
I was already told when this comes up-after taking the suggestions/opinions-to let the parents know why my policies are in place.

Seriously, if I'm going to do that why oh why go through all of this in the first place?
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:28 PM
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I was already told when this comes up-after taking the suggestions/opinions-to let the parents know why my policies are in place.

Seriously, if I'm going to do that why oh why go through all of this in the first place?
So they're anticipating parents will be like what the heck, but they still want you to do it anyway?? That's ridiculous!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:42 PM
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So they're anticipating parents will be like what the heck, but they still want you to do it anyway?? That's ridiculous!
I guess, all I know its going to be a lllloooonnnggg process to get this done!
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:49 PM
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I guess, all I know its going to be a lllloooonnnggg process to get this done!

I don't know, I'm not sure I'd be up for doin all that pointless joop jumpin....maybe if there was some sort of wine inventive.....?

You should ask, just in case there is!!!


(I will keep my fingers crossed for you!)
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:43 PM
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I have no problem asking parents for things pertaining to curriculum. I also encourage parents to come to all parties and field trips. Those who can, do. Toae who can't , don't. I take a lot of pics for the ones who can't. 98% of the parents are chomping at the bit to volunteer for anything. I happily accept their help. Where I do have a problem, it's "Curriculum Fees". Each year, the parents of DCK age 2-5, have to pay a "Curriculum Fee". This is supposed to pay for supplies for the year. We never see a dime of that money and end up buying everything ourselves. All requests to end "Curriculum Fees" are met with deaf ears.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:31 AM
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I encourage parent involvement often.
  • I will create a little project for them to take home and do with the child and return.
  • They come on field trips, but the trip destinations, dates and times are sent out three months in advance so they can take time off of work and decide what they want to go to. It is not mandatory at all, but I have at least one parent attend each field trip.
  • We have evening events such as our Christmas concerts.
  • They help out ensuring their child has a specific item for the show and share theme every week.
  • Parents send snacks and treats for our parties

That is about it and all is volunteer, not required. Parents are going to have a ton of pressure soon enough when their child get's in school. I don't think they need it right now.
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