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Partnership with Families and the Community
Children are the foundation of sustainable development. The early years of life are crucial not only for individual health and physical development, but also for cognitive and social emotional development. Young children need the support from a caregiver and from the parents so that they can feel secure within the preschool environment. Parental or family involvement in early childhood education plays an important role because it creates a connection between the school and the home environment. Furthermore, family involvement in school helps them to have a peek into the world of young children.
- EXPLANATION OF PARENTAL OR FAMILY INVOLVEMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD:
The family seems to be the most effective and the economical system for fostering and sustaining the child’s development. Without family involvement, interventions are likely to be unsuccessful, and what few effects are achieved are likely to be disappear once the intervention is discontinued.
Parental or family involvement in early childhood education is a term used to involve families in their child’s early education and form a strong partnership with their child care provider. This helps to make a significant positive impact on the child’s growth and development. Parents are the important source because it relate to young children positive healthy learning in early childhood. For example, family involvement in school is a way for building trust, respect and opens two –way communication between the teacher and parent’s .A healthy partnership often leads to positive living and with this, children will develop good values in them .Including parents in early years of young children learning are important as parents are the primary educators besides the teacher. The role of parents in young children education often leads future success as a source in early learning. School should choose practice that help to identify the goal of each student. The types of practices that can be helpful is communicating .Teachers can communicate to families about their child progress through effective school to- home and home to- school communication .Communication is also a way for teachers to have conferences with the parents about their child progress at least once a year. Decision making is also effective when teachers include families as participants in school decision, governance, advocacy and committees. Other practices such as learning at home also help parents to provide information and ideas to families about how to help student at home with homework and other curriculum –related activities, decision and planning.
- IMPORTANCE OF INVOLVEMENT:
Parental or family involvement in early childhood expands the child to success academically. For example, parents interest in learning shows that they value education and they know the best for their child. Parents that are connected with the school curriculum can expands their ideas on what the child has learnt in school. For example, if a child learns about animals, parents might take the child to the zoo or read animal’s book to them. Parents that are involved in their child curriculum get the better sense of what goes on in the program .Besides all, significant research over at least 25 years has demonstrated that family involvement is critical to the educational success of young children. For example, school that acknowledge the relevance of children’s homes and cultures and promote family involvement, they can develop supportive environment for learning through meaningful activities that engage and empower families. Parents that are involved in child’s education do help the child but the parents themselves. For example parents that are involved will help to cope with separation anxiety .Studies has shown that parents that are involved in children education can build strong foundation of a well educated person .Children can also adjust better in school when parents are involved, allowing them to have a more positive attitude towards education .This also includes by giving them message that education is very important for now generation.
- BENEFITS OF INVOLVEMENT:
Parent’s involvement in preschool setting helps to develop trust between the teacher-parents. Furthermore, parents that are involved in their child school curriculum tend to increase their interaction between their children and know about their child social, emotional and intellectual needs .Moreover, parental and family involvement is way to help parents increase their confidence and parents decision making skills in home and schools .Preschool teachers that includes parents often leads to greater respect for their profession from the parents. Other benefit includes, children have better self esteem and more self disciplined, and show higher aspiration and motivation towards school .Young children from diverse cultural backgrounds tend to do better when the parents and professional work together to bridge the gap between the cultural at home and the cultural in school .Family or parents that are involved in young children’s education has a higher opportunities for the children to score higher grades, test scores and graduation rates. Parents or families that are involved in their child’s education often tend to experience an increase of confidence in them and in their child’s education program. This is because, parents feel valued by the educator working with their children .Parents that include themselves in child’s education helps to see the strength and weaknesses of the child and if weaknesses arrived ,parents can find way to work on it .
- CHALLENGES TO INVOLVEMENT:
The challenges for parents/family involvement often are arise when parents are included into their child’s curriculum or settings. Teachers that include parents into the child’s curriculum should think about family involvement as a continuum. For example, teacher should actively reach out and invite parents to share both their child’s and their experiences in previous setting, as well as how they would want to be involved in the present .Language/culture differences are also the challenge in early childhood education .This is because, parents or families that enrol the child in early years often stands with different ethnic background or culture differences such as Indian ,Chinese or Malay that has different views .Language difficulties is also a major challenge where parents can’t understand the perspective of a teacher or language barriers between teacher-parents relationship .Often language/cultural differences lead to different perspective of each parents. This happen when parents has different thinking or role into their child development or what they think is best for their child and this lead to great confusion in the settings of early ears enrolment .Lack of understanding and trust is also one of the other challenge. For example, miscommunication between the teacher-parents often leads to disagreement and lack of understanding of each other’s role .Parents that are not satisfied or they think that their child’s is not receiving enough education often blame the teacher role in early years but in this case, parents should work together with the teacher to help overcome the problem by playing their role as parents in educating the child besides the teacher. Time consuming is also a factor because parents that have other priorities in their lives often neglect their child’s education which requires children that need their parent’s time too. Availability is very important in the sense of attending school meetings. Busy parents often have no time to attend any school meeting where face-to- face interaction is lacking to know their child’s development in school. Family stress is the normal stresses of parenting of growing and changing child challenge all parents. As children develop, parents must learn to handle the new behaviors that come along the way. This normal life stress can be made more difficult by other families. At times child care providers might be not aware of the problems that make it hard for family member to get involved.
- WAYS TO INVOLVE PARENTS/FAMILIES:
Parental or family involvement can include parent-teacher conference. For example, teacher can prepare a day for meeting where parents can know about their child development in school and to know better about the strength and weaknesses of their children by these meetings .Besides that, teacher can also prepare message book for the parents to know further information regards to preschool curriculum. Helping with class activities is also a way to include parents into the curriculum because it makes teacher-parents relationship strong as well the child as they will feel good with the support of parents beside them. Having family nights, carnivals and potluck dinners is also a great way to include family involvement because it strengthens the relationship between the teacher and parents. Celebrating achievement thorough work sampling is a fun way to include parents. For example, teachers can create portfolios, scrap books, and other collection of children’s experience in the classroom for parents to look at whenever they visit the classroom
In conclusion, parental or family involvement in early childhood education is extremely important for the child development. This is because; children will feel secure and protected with the involvement of family in preschool curriculum. Family involvement in preschool setting may give the parents a change to know more about how their children a developing academically than parents that are not involved. As said, a parent who shares their time and talents enriches the preschool experiences for her own child and for the other students. Parents that give most of their time to their children will develop a healthy and happy living lifestyle.
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