Everyday is an opportunity to nurture the relationship between families and child care programs. Drop off and pick up are opportunities to determine how a child is doing at home, how families are doing and to provide families with information about the care you provide. While a newsletter, bulletin board or photos posted around the room are always nice to see, sometimes we forget that just a short little conversation that starts with a smile can really make someone’s day.
During Drop Off
Families leave their most precious little, loved ones in child care every day and making them feel welcome and comfortable begins with their greeting. When a parent is there to drop off their child, they should enter your child care program to sign in. Make sure they know it is okay to stay a few minutes.
- Take the time to greet each parent and child. A simple "Good Morning" is a great way for them to know you know they are there.
- Ask how the child's morning has been. This may include how they slept the night before, what time they woke up, and if they have had anything to eat. This allows the parent to share any other information they may feel you need to know while also giving you a chance to asses whether the child is feeling alright and is okay to stay for the day.
- If the child is an infant, be sure to note their last feeding and diaper change. You may have a form for the parent to fill out with this information that you continue to complete during the day as additional feedings and diaper changes take place.
At the end of the day, you can give this form to the parent so they are aware of how their baby's day was.
During Pick Up
At the end of the day, greet the parent once again as the parent comes in to sign out their child. Share something that their child did that day. Parents appreciate knowing how their child's day went.
- Sharing how the child napped and ate will tell the parent if the child will be tired or hungry earlier or later that night.
- If the child is an infant, giving the parent a written record of the day is a best practice. The written record can also be a way to let the parent know if additional supplies are needed (diapers, wipes, formula, etc).
In addition to having a warm and inviting program where greeting and departure are done well, consider providing feedback through email, telephone calls, conferences and/or a newsletter. You may want to create a closed Facebook page where you can share photos only with enrolled families so they can see what the children are doing during their time in your program. The daily interactions and more formal communication will help foster your relationship and keep the lines of communication open.