Part of my Continuous Professional Learning journey this year has been to keep developing a sense of belonging and inclusiveness in my program. I found an article while doing some research tonight and wanted to share it as I feel it would be a beneficial read for any child care provider.
A sense of belonging isn't just important for children, but also for families as a whole; this portion of the article especially spoke to me and my goals to continue to build strong partnerships with families:
"Working together to care for children is the best way for early childhood services and families to support children’s mental health. Families and staff can help to create a bridge between home and early childhood services. When the adults responsible for children take a positive interest in what happens at their service, it helps children feel more at home when they are there. It also makes it easier to pick up any concerns early when they are easiest to resolve."
I'm really proud of the welcoming program I have created and the way that it embraces each family, regardless of differences. Creating connectedness with parents supports a positive partnership in the early learning environment which is so important for children's education and social/emotional well being.
I have created a digital space (a Facebook group) for the caregivers to interact, connect, and share with me and eachother each day. I will be working on creating more opportunities for families to interact in a casual space (I'm currently scouting out The Children's Art Factory for a daycare playdate), and also to participate in our classroom by sharing their skills or time with the children when they are able. For families that cannot participate in the class during the day I'm hoping to include them by creating a space in the classroom where they can share their hopes and dreams for their little ones.
Check out the article Belonging and Connectedness