Without a doubt, families are an essential part of children’s learning and educational journey - starting at birth. “Engaging families as partners early in the educational journey allows parents to establish strong home-school connections that support their children’s achievement long-term “(Start Early, September 25, 2019). So, it is not surprising that “family engagement” is a frequent and important theme of discussions and planning in child care programs.
Springtime for Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies typically brings a multitude of outreach events with many opportunities to engage families and child care professionals. The pandemic has changed how CCR&R agencies provide services and outreach. CCR&Rs have quickly responded to the ever-changing health crisis and the uncertainty within the child care field, and have found innovative ways to engage families and educators.
By Marie Treichel, Provider Services Manager
Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas has been providing referral services to families for over forty years, and in 1992 began providing direct coaching services to early educators.
National Tell a Story Day is Monday, April 27th. Help Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) encourage families to share the joy and value of telling stories to their children. People have been sharing stories to communicate information and connect with others for thousands of years through visual drawings, word of mouth and written words.
Together, let’s celebrate child care providers on National Provider Appreciation Day® — Friday, May 8, 2020. Whether you are part of a Child Care Resource and Referral agency (CCR&R), a business, a non-profit organization or a family who has relied on a child care provider, you recognize the important role providers have in caring for our nation’s children. They nurture and educate our youngest citizens while supporting parents who want or need to be part of our nation’s workforce.
Honoring child care providers will take on a more profound meaning for many this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care programs have been faced with many challenges: making difficult decisions about whether to close their doors or remain open to provide emergency care for essential workers, dealing with financial uncertainty, keeping informed on rapidly changing protocols, navigating financial relief programs and much more. Despite the challenges, child care providers continue to take steps to do what is best for children and families. Providers are among this country’s unsung heroes.
COVID-19 has changed the day-to-day lives of many families with babies and young children. Some parents are seeking ideas for additional ways to interact with their children because they are now working from home or spending more time at home because of social distancing. On the other hand, some parents may have less time with their children because they are working on the front lines of the pandemic: health care professionals, emergency responders or other workers in essential businesses or services. For all families, everyday routines such as mealtime, playtime or bedtime – or even diaper changing – offer opportunities to connect with children and build their developing brains. Vroom®, a global early childhood initiative, offers free tips to parents on how to add learning to daily routines.