Get involved and volunteer at your child's preschool.

Parent Involvement in Day Care Center Activities

by Erica Loop

Sending your little learner off to day care doesn't mean that you are completely off the hook when it comes to her education. If you want to make the most out of your child's early education, getting involved in day care activities can jump start her school success and show her how much you care.

1. Benefits

Taking time off from work to participate in your 4-year-old's day care activities is often easier said than done. While spending every day helping out in the classroom without fear that you could lose your job is ideal, it's doubtful that this is your reality. That said, when deciding to get involved in your child's school day understanding the benefits to her development can help make it easier to carve out the necessary time from your work day. Parental involvement in the early childhood classroom can help get your child more interested in school, feel more comfortable in the classroom and even lead to scholastic success.

2. Helping the Teacher

Involving yourself in your child's day care activities also benefits the teacher or day care staff. While your main goal is to give your little one a boost and also to spend some quality time with her on her own turf, helping out an over-worked educator isn't a bad byproduct. You know how much work it is just to manage your own child. Now imagine that times 10 or more. Whether you are reading a book, helping out with snack time or setting up for a classroom party, an extra pair of helping hands is always a welcome treat for a day care worker.

3. Getting Involved

Whether your child's teacher posts a parent helper list, directly asks you for assistance or invites everyone to get involved in the weekly e-mail newsletter, there are most likely an abundance of ways to take part in day care activities. While your child's teacher might ask for help with special activities such as parties or a class play, there are also everyday ways to get involved that you can bring up to the staff. For example, if you have a few extra moments every morning ask if you can read a quick story to the kids during circle time. Another option is to share a special talent or skill with the class. While a group of preschoolers might not have any interest in Janie's mom's CPA skills, they might like to hear you play your guitar.

4. Take-homes

Involvement in your child's day care activities doesn't end at the school door. Keep the interest going and take home what you are doing at the day care center. Start with something simple such as a discussion about what you and your child did at school. For example, if you chaperoned a Thanksgiving party talk about the day's events. Ask your child open-ended questions based on the activities such as, :How did you make the Pilgrim hat that we worked on?" or, "What was your favorite part of your class's friendship dinner?". While talking about your child's day is certainly something that you can do regardless if you volunteer or not, being in the classroom gives you an insider point of view when taking home the learning with your little one.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.

Photo Credits

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