If your child is enrolled in day care or preschool, wouldn't you enjoy hands-on participation in some way? There is a fine line between constructive interaction versus outright interference. As a concerned parent, how can you become more active in your child's day care activities without seeming like an overzealous control freak? Here are five suggestions to get you started.
1. Volunteer Your Time and Services for Special Events
Is your child's daycare planning a Christmas party or other themed party in the near future? Is there a preschool carnival in the works? If so, this is the perfect opportunity for you to become actively involved in your child's activities. For example, you could volunteer to be a chaperon for the class field trip or zoo outing.
Volunteering to help with party planning, preparing or serving refreshments or overseeing an outing, will give you the chance to interact with your child's caregivers more directly, as well as meet the other parents and children. It also helps you form a tighter bond with your child, as he or she gets to spend more time with you as you both share in the special events.
2. Share Your Special Talent
Do you love to draw or create pottery? Do you sing for the local church? Are you an amateur photographer? Why not share your enthusiasm and creativity with your child's classmates?
Not only will your child take pride in your abilities, it will enable you to interact in the classroom and offer a diversion from the normal routine. If your child shares your talents or special skill, make it a project you both can share with the day care class. This may help create memories for you and your child to hold dear.
3. Attend Parent/Teacher Meetings and Open House Events
Just about every day care facility and preschool will have organized conferences for teachers and parents to share their ideas and concerns or simply communicate. Scheduled times and dates are often posted or emailed to parents in advance. Make it a point to know when these conferences are scheduled so you may attend.
The same applies to open house night. This is an opportunity for you to learn about your child's daily activities and receive updates on his or her progress or issues that have arisen. Take the time to walk around and observe. You may see a display table showcasing the students' art projects, or view artwork on the wall. You will also see a close-up view of your child's daycare environment.
4. Organize a Fundraiser
Would you like to see upgraded equipment and materials at your child's day care? Why not organize a charitable event that will raise the money necessary for these upgrades, or for annual events such as field trips? Think of ways for all parents and children to become involved.
You might put on a school "talent show" and charge admission. Perhaps there can be a bake sale with profits going towards your designated project or upgrades. Get creative while doing something constructive. A group effort in fund raising is a fun way to become involved.
5. Know Your Day Care Provider's Policies
Although it may seem like common knowledge, not every parent is aware of every rule and regulation that is applicable at their child's day care facility. When you first enrolled your child, you were probably given a handbook listing all the policies in depth. It's important to take the time to read this booklet thoroughly. This will help you understand your rights as a parent and possibly offer suggestions for how you may participate.
For more information or assistance, contact resources like Kid's Country Child Care & Learning Center.