Parents are always welcome participants in the program. Parents are invited to visit or observe their child’s classroom at any time or to use the monitor room in order to observe without their child being aware of their presence. Parents are also encouraged to participate in your child’s classroom. We love to have families share their talents. In the past, parents have worked with the children by planting the Center garden or by bringing in the family pet for a visit. Others have shared their interests in art or music with the children. The possibilities and opportunities are endless. Parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s teacher or the director about ways to be involved.
Parent Task Force
Another opportunity for parents to become active is the Parent Task Force. The Parent Task Force is responsible for advising and supporting the Center for Child Studies through volunteerism, parent education and family involvement. All parents are considered members and are encouraged to participate as active members and in activities sponsored by the Task Force. Information about the Parent Task Force is available at all parent meetings or by contacting the Center office.
The teachers and staff at the Center partner with families to support positive development and learning. As part of this partnership, family communication is a priority. There are many ways in which we seek to communicate with families.
Teachers are available to talk to parents informally at the beginning and end of each day. Please take advantage of this time to share information, concerns or to ask questions about your child.
Family meetings are held throughout the semester. An orientation meeting at the beginning of school allows families to become acquainted with classroom routines and Center operations. Other parent meetings are held throughout the year and usually address a specific topic (e.g., preparing for kindergarten, toilet training).
A Center newsletter and other communication from your child’s teacher will be sent home throughout the school year. Information for parents will be placed in either the parent mailbags or your child’s cubby. Information will also be sent by e-mail, so be sure that your e-mail address is current with the office.
Parent Bulletin Board
Throughout the Center parents will notice parent bulletin boards. Menus, curriculum outlines and other information about your child’s classroom and the program can be found on parent bulletin boards.
Conferences between parents and teachers lead to a better understanding between school and home. A conference with parents is scheduled at the end of each semester. Additional conferences may be scheduled upon request.
Teachers regularly document a child’s learning experience at the Center with artwork, pictures or journaling. This information is often displayed on the walls. Parents are encouraged to stop and review these displays with their children.
Our menu and food policies are developed in cooperation with a member of the dietetics faculty, and a graduate assistant in Dietetics supervises our food program. We work closely with families when children have food allergies or special food needs.
We seek to model healthy eating habits for the children at the Center for Child Studies. A snack is provided in every classroom. The snack menu is posted on each classroom bulletin board and follows a four-week rotation pattern. A copy of the menu is also sent home with parents each semester. The Center for Child Studies follows the licensing rules for food and nutrition suggested by the Division of Family Services in planning snack menus. Snacks contain items from at least two of the basic food groups each day.
The Center for Child Studies operates an observation room that allows for live observation of the classrooms through a closed video system. This monitor room is located in Room 226C. Parents are welcome to observe at any time. The observation room is also available to University students, researchers and other authorized visitors.
The University allows Center parents to have a temporary parking permit at no cost. A new permit must be obtained from the Center office at the beginning of each semester and expires at the end of the semester. The permit will only be legal for the designated Center for Child Studies parking areas. If you should receive a ticket when you are parked in a designated space, turn the ticket in to the office secretary, and you will not be charged.
The Center for Child Studies has an “open door” policy for parents and other authorized visitors. Parents and guardians are always welcome to observe and participate in their child’s day at the Center. Visitors conducting approved observations or participating in field experiences must sign the guest book in the office, obtain a visitor’s badge and be escorted to the classroom or monitor room.
Children’s Special Needs
The Center for Child Studies recognizes that all children are different and strives to meet these needs. We welcome children with special needs as part of our missions to serve the community and to educate university students to work with children in an inclusive environment.
As partners with parents in supporting children’s development, teachers work closely with parents to meet all the needs of the child. If a teacher believes that a child might need additional assistance outside of the realm of the Center program, parents will be contacted and a dialogue established to discuss concerns and strategies. Parents will be referred to community resources as needed. The teachers at the Center are experienced in working with special education professionals and, at the parents request, will attend and assist with Individualized Education Plan meetings. We also welcome into our classrooms other professionals who are providing services to our children who have special needs and who would like to provide services in the classroom setting.