Most people who send their kids to day care work full-time and don’t have the time to volunteer in the classroom. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help out in some way. Parental support helps the day care run better.
It may seem like you pay a lot for child care, but many child care providers work on a very limited budget for supplies and activities. Check with your day care center to see if they have a wish list for supplies. If not, ask your child’s day care teacher if she needs anything specific for the program. This might include art supplies, cleaner or snacks.
You might also donate a larger gift for the day care. For example, you might pick out a few books to add to the day care library or toys for the shelves.
Some day care centers might host special events for families in the evening. An open house is one example. The teachers might open up the center so parents can get a glimpse of what their kids do all day. Other day care centers have musical programs for the families. Who can resist their child all dressed up and singing cute songs. Make it a point to attend these special events to stay connected with your child’s day care.
Day care centers often ask parents to get involved by sitting on committees. This is your chance to shape how the center is run. The committee gives you a chance to voice your opinion about the center as a whole and on specific issues. You might also get the chance to weigh in on potential changes the center is considering.
You might not be able to stay long, but occasional visits during the day help you connect with your child and her day care providers. You get to see what type of activities your child does at day care. You can also get to know some of the other kids and assistants who spend their day with your child.
Occasionally your day care provider might take the kids on a field trip or plan a special activity, such as a holiday party. Even if you can’t volunteer on a regular basis, you might be able to sneak away from work to help out for those special activities. This gives the child care provider an extra hand during these busy events. It also gives you a chance to bond with your child.
A simple way to stay involved is to stay in contact with the day care center. You can support your child’s provider when you stay up to date on what is happening. Communication also allows the day care to better care for your child. For example, if you are going through a difficult time at home, telling your child’s day care gives them the heads up if the home issues cause a change in your child.