Early Childhood Education and Care
EXPLORE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND CARE
A child’s experiences from birth to age five play an important role in shaping the person that child becomes. The Collaboration between the parent and teacher in facilitating the child’s growth and development is just as important as the experience itself. Collaboration considers the unique situation of each child and their home and brings an individualized approach to tailoring the services to build on the strengths of each child. Our goal is to honor and support teachers and parents in providing the necessary tools to respond flexibly to the unpredictable experience of young children.
Here are a few tips to aid in informing, engaging and supporting parents:
Partnering with parents and building meaningful relationships will lay the foundation for sharing information that may be uncomfortable. When parents feel that you have their child’s best interest at heart; when you have communicated all of the strengths and great things about their child as well as areas of concern consistently; when you’ve intentionally listened and sought their feedback and suggestions; then parents are more likely to be receptive of information shared regarding your concerns.
Be vigilant in seeking resources and supports for children with disabilities. Having resources readily available will help parents as they strive to seek answers and support. Be proactive and have a plan in place for sharing concerns, for identifying strategies to support the child, for documenting what’s working and what may still be needed, for making referrals and for working with local early interventionists.
Remember that, although you may have worked with several children with disabilities, for most parents this may be their first experience and their primary concern will be for their child. Always relate to parents with compassion and genuine concern. Be mindful of the stages of acceptance they may experience and patiently work with them through every phase (denial, anger, bargaining, sadness, and/or acceptance). Remember every child and family is unique and will require your understanding.
Learn all that you can about working with young children with disabilities. Adopt a philosophy that supports inclusive practices and have a communication plan in place for sharing your philosophy with other parents as well as the local community. And above all, commit to educating all children, working with them where they are and challenging them to achieve what is appropriate and reasonable for them.
Simply remember to CARE!