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Parent Partnerships

Conversation Starters

It takes a very special kind of talent to love other people’s children. For those who have this ability, it seems natural to bond with the children in their care.

This bonding is what is at the heart of quality child care for all children, and it is absolutely critical for quality care of infants and toddlers. But caregivers cannot take the place of parents in the lives of children. When caregivers and parents work together it gives the child a strong sense of security and support for learning at home and in child care.

Conversation Starters

The purpose of asking these questions is to begin the process of getting to know a child:

  • What are some of the things (your child) is noticing now with the most interest and enthusiasm?

  • When (your child) is upset, what is soothing?

  • What kinds of situations does (your child) find stressful or upsetting?

  • At this time, what could we do to support (your child) well related to:

    • eating and drinking

    • toilet use

    • managing clothes

    • preparing for naps and waking from naps

    • getting washed

    • playing alone

    • playing with others

    • switching from one activity to another

    • any specific frustrations related to being in groups

  • What have you noticed about (your child’s) sensitivities, if any,

    • to touch, e.g., any physical sensations that your child enjoys or wants to avoid?

    • to light or brightness, e.g., any attractions or avoidance to light?

    • to sound, e.g., any attractions or avoidance to sound?

  • At this time, how does (your child) let you know, or how can you tell, if s/he is not feeling well or needs something?

  • Is there any information we should know related to food allergies, environmental health or safety, or any other individual safety needs?

Leave an opening for parents to disclose anything specific or general; ask if there is anything else until the parents feel finished.

 

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