STARS Training Online

Training Designed for Washington State Child Care Professionals

Continuing Ed HomeTraining InstructionsAbout CertificatesSTARS ScholarshipContact Us

Parent Partnerships

The Inclusive Child Care Program

You can’t make families truly welcome in your child care program until you increase your understanding of cultural differences. Learning about customs, holidays, and child rearing practices of the families in your child care is a way to prevent misunderstanding, to support family life and help children and families feel they are a full part of your child care program. The families themselves are your best source of information. Ask questions respectfully, and families will often share their culture with you enthusiastically.

Strong connection between families and child care providers is essential for building a positive environment for young children. But too often, parents and program staff do not effectively communicate with each other, thereby limiting opportunities for developing open, respectful, and trusting relationships. Miscommunication, or limited communication between adults, can lead to situations that adversely affect all of the parties involved.

Get to know the child’s family. Mother, fathers, grandparents, step-parents, aunts, uncles and family friends are all important to the children in your care. So try to involve as many family members as possible. Start with an orientation meeting or home visit and invite all family members to participate. This is a chance for you to learn about the family as well as a chance for them to learn about your child care. Take the time to learn about the cultures of these families.

Studies show that people are the most confident about their children’s care when they feel that their children’s care giver is interested in them as people. Look for the strengths of each family member. This helps you to work together in a respectful and positive way. Be sensitive to each child’s cultural and family experience. Reflect the diversity of these experiences in the toys, books, decorations, and activities you choose in creating your learning environment.

An action-oriented philosophy of family-school support and nurturance is a powerful force in creating a positive learning environment. Teacher actions that promote such a philosophy include the sensitive involvement of parents from cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. Relating classroom activities to the varying needs and interests of children and families is another reflection of a family-centered program.

Next Page