You can feel confident that your interest and participation in your child’s preschool education will be welcomed.
It is a strong principle in education that children learn best, achieve more and are happier at school if their parents are involved in their learning.
So do get involved!
Building a strong, trusting relationship with preschool staff will provide many opportunities to be involved appropriately in the life of the kinder.
This not only applies to preschool education but also to primary school. Parents of preschool children should expect that well run day care, kinders and preschools will welcome their interest in their child’s development.
The National Quality Standards (NQS) from the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) clearly expect registered preschools to form respectful and supportive relationships with families. These standards state that by building strong relationships, the children will achieve the best outcomes to access, inclusion and participation in all programs.
So what can you contribute to the life and learning of your child at preschool?
It is hard to hand over responsibility to others after many hours and years devoted to nurturing your child.
As parents you have known exactly where your child is and what they are doing. In this digital age, there is the ability to monitor in real time, a child right from those early years in the cot. So it is a big wrench not being able to see or know what your child is doing at any moment.
Building that trusting, respectful relationship with your preschool staff is so important.
Preschool staff act in loco parentis, that is as parents in your absence. They will speak with you ay pick-up about anything that might be of concern – but also all the good things that happen during the day. If you have any nagging concerns that something is not being picked up or noticed, it is important to speak with staff.
Good two-way communication will be the most important way you will ensure that you are involved in the preschool.
Do read newsletters, notices tacked on the doors or any other way the staff use to communicate. Reading notices is your part of taking responsibility for the smooth working of the centre.
There will be many other ways to be involved. Some kinders and preschools will have a Committee of Management which you can be part of and assist in the efficient operations of the kinder. This will depend on whether it is a community or council run preschool or a privately owned one. Many community based kinders will have parent helper rosters.
With privately owned preschools there are often family days, working bees and many other opportunities to be part of the children’s activities.
Talk with your child’s room supervisor and let them know that you can spare a half an hour or so at drop-off, or before pick-up, and you would like to sit and listen to the story or help with craft.
Offer your expertise. Educators love parents who offer to show or share with the children something special. It could be your interest in science, art or bringing along a nurse’s uniform and stethoscope.
A happy, enthusiastic parent is always welcome in a child’s education.