A program of Lutheran Social Services in western North Dakota and Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

Working with Families and Communities

Care providers will have a better understanding of children's strengths and needs if they develop a good relationship with families. There are a variety of ways to foster good relationships that will ultimately benefit the children, their families and the child care environment.

Make families feel welcome

  • Greet families by name when they arrive and tell them about your plans for the day, skills the children are working on or activities the children are involved in.

  • Ask parents to share advice with you about their child.

  • Develop good listening skills that show parents that their concerns and ideas are important and valid.

  • Create a welcoming entrance that allows parents to help their child get settled.

Get families involved

Parents stay better informed and feel more a part of the child care program when there are opportunities for them to get involved. Their involvment helps providers offer a more varied program and children benefit when key adults in their lives take an interest in their activities.

  • Have an open door policy so parents feel comfortable dropping by.

  • Ask for their assistance with field trips or at fund-raising events.

  • Host parent events such as potlucks and children's programs.

  • Offer parent education by sharing things you've learned through your experiences, a training event or class.

  • Encourage parents to share their skills such as carpentry work and sewing.

  • Request donations of scrap materials for art projects, dramatic play items or picture books.

  • Get their feedback by sending out parent evaluations and having a suggestion box available.

  • Form a parent board and solicit their participation and input.

Communicate with families on a regular basis

Good communition is the foundation of a strong relationship. Everyone benefits when there is regular communication between child care providers and famiiles.

  • Daily communication techniques

    • Verbal communication when children are dropped off or picked up.
    • Written communication forms

  • Ongoing communication techniques

    • Newsletters  • Web site   • Bulletin boards  • Parent mailboxes   • Email  • Voice mail  • Social Media

  • Parent conferences

    Schedule conferences at least twice a year to provide parents and care providers the opportunity to discuss goals, develop a formal strategy and share ways to make the child care experience satisfactory.


Training Recommendation

Visit the Child Care Aware® of North Dakota Training Center to search and register for training related to ND Core Competency: Working with Families & Communities.