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One of the most rewarding experiences is to expose your child to the joys and benefits of early childhood education. It’s an invaluable time when children quickly learn that they are part of a community, that they need to share with and care about others, and that there are social norms to follow for the benefit of all. These elements are only heightened when parents and teachers work closely in tandem to foster a child’s potential early on. For young children, this is a time of great exploration and when they start to develop a sense of self. When surrounded by people who care deeply for them both at home and in the classroom, it only serves to help them to thrive in every setting.

two women, one with glasses

The parent-teacher bond:

There is something so special about parents and teachers working together to oversee and foster a child’s early education. Often young parents need guidance and reinforcement that their child is on track, what to do if not, and understand that teachers can offer educated guidance. Sometimes children act very differently in front of a teacher and this can be communicated to parents who may worry that their child is  exhibiting different types of behaviors at home.

When parents support what is going on in the classroom, a collaborative bond is formed and the children are the ones that benefit. It’s not always easy for working parents to stay focused on their child’s day-to-day development, so a teacher can become a valuable partner. When parents and teachers develop trust and in turn a genuine respect for each other, is when each can successfully contribute to the learning journey of the child.

Open and productive communication

The more open the communication can be between parents and teachers, the more a child will benefit. Young children grow at a fast pace and some develop faster than others. When parents and teachers have open communication, they can foster productive dialogue to keep each other informed. There should be a clear system established in advance so if there is something urgent that needs to be told, neither a teacher or parent will miss important updates. At the same time, parents need to be mindful that teachers have many children in their care, so to be selective about the timing and urgency of what they feel they need to share or have the teacher address.

Parent teacher conferences are also a crucial aspect of early childhood learning. It’s important that parents come prepared with questions about their child, but also come with an open mind when listening to what a teacher may have to say. It’s always helpful when parents take a moment to show appreciation to the teacher who spends so much time with their child on a daily basis. With that said, when parents and teachers get to know each other, they can better decide when there is something going on with a child that needs to be discussed and can’t wait until a formal time to meet is scheduled.

The community connection:

When children are placed in an early childhood education environment, they start to see how other children interact with their own parents, how parents and teachers act towards each other and how all of this ends up forming a supportive and nurturing environment. They also start to learn the social norms and cues that will set them up to have better success when transitioning to elementary school.

Another beauty of early childhood education is the opportunity to teach children how to be curious about different cultures and learn to respect how others may be different from themselves. In a classroom setting, teachers and students may plan events and learn about different customs that aren’t necessarily celebrated in their own homes, but will result in teaching them to have a better appreciation of the world around them.

Many parents enjoy the early childhood education experience as much as their children since it provides them with the opportunity to meet other parents with young children and learn that their own child rearing experiences may mirror that of other families. Sometimes long lasting bonds are formed that last well beyond when the child is physically at the center. It’s not uncommon for some teachers to stay in touch with a family for many years to champion a child into early adulthood!

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