What do you need to know about communicating with your child's new daycare? Parent-educator communication is central to your child's pre-kindergarten experience. If you're new to childcare services, take a look at the what's and when's of communication in an early childhood education environment.
What Should You Communicate?
You know you will need to talk to the teacher at some point in your child's time at pre-school. But what do you really need to communicate to them? It's possible you may have a lot to say. This doesn't necessarily mean you need to constantly email, text, or call the school. Instead, consider these areas of communication content:
School absences and closures. Will your child need to miss school for a week due to a family vacation? Should your child stay home when they're a little sick? When is the center closed? Clearly and consistently communicate with the teacher about these types of issues to avoid missed days or confusion.
Your child's progress. Is your child on track developmentally? Talk to the teacher about expected developmental milestones. Ask the teacher to explain what they see during the school day, what your child's strengths are, and which areas your child needs to work on.
Behavioral issues. Do you have concerns about your child's behavior? Do you have additional concerns about other children's behavior towards your child? Discuss any behavior-related issues with the teacher as soon as possible.
Along with these talking points, you may also want to speak with the teacher about changes at home that could affect your child during the school day, center or classroom events and activities, or an upcoming transition to kindergarten or a new school.
When Should You Communicate?
There's no universal answer to this question. But there are better, and worse, times to talk to the teacher. While each educator has their own individual classrooms rules, in general:
Try a before school time. Get to the center early, before the morning rush of parents come in. This gives the teacher a few uninterrupted minutes to answer general questions or provide you with extra information.
Schedule a call. Do you have a sensitive matter to discuss? Avoid any time where other people are nearby and can hear your conversation. Instead, ask the teacher to schedule a phone call.
Use email. Ask the teacher if they prefer you to email your questions. This gives the busy classroom educator time to read your questions and respond thoughtfully to your concerns.
Even though the teacher wants to communicate with you, the children require the educator's immediate attention. You may have a better chance of voicing your concerns/questions completely during out-of-school hours. This minimizes the possibility of interruptions and allows the teacher to focus on what you have to say. Keep these tips in mind when looking to enroll your child in a pre-school near you.