Positive communication comes in both short and long conversations. Many times, a few words here and there will make all the difference.
General guidelines for verbal communication with parents and co-workers:
Successful communication goes both ways. Parents want to feel their input and comments are welcomed and heard. Co-workers want to feel respected and collaborated with. Both parents and coworkers have valuable insights that deserve your attention.
Think through the best place and time to communicate your message. Ensure that you create a space where open communication can take place.
Communication is a two-way street and requires you to listen as well as talk. Signal that you’re listening with visual cues such as nodding and eye contact. Listen with respect by not interrupting, fidgeting, or pacing.
If your arms are crossed and shoulders hunched, communication can be hindered by body language that tells people you don’t want to talk or listen.
All formal conversations with First Circle administration that do not take place at a staff meeting are confidential. By EEC regulations, all information contained in a child’s personal file is confidential.
If anyone at First Circle—a co-worker, an Admin member, or a parent—is speaking to you in a manner that feels discourteous or disrespectful, politely let them know. We can all learn from each other.
Dropoff is a great opportunity to check in with families and find out any issues that may impact the child’s day. It’s also a great time to briefly tell parents what’s planned for that day [see Daily Program Management].
Greet the parent with a smile at pickup. Provide them with a brief summary or “snapshot” of their child’s day. Keep them informed about their child’s developmental progress and provide them with a sense of security that you are supporting their child in all aspects of personal and educational growth [see Daily Program Management].
Parent-teacher meetings are scheduled on an as-needed basis (meeting request forms are on the website). Types of meetings include progress reports, transitions, and/or concerns or issues identified by parents or educators.
Each classroom will have a phone to enable you to communicate with parents during the day. First Circle does not allow personal cell phone use to communicate with parents unless it is an emergency. Guidelines for classroom telephones:
Accidents and injuries occur daily in early childhood programs. If a child has a head injury, bleeding, or bruising, notify the parent right away so you are not approaching parents with bad news at pickup. When you communicate injuries to parents, be calm and factual. Communicate the nature of the injury and what was done to treat it and to comfort the child. Notify parents by phone of any injury that happens to the head (bump, scratch, scrape, bite), whether it breaks the skin or not.
Biting is a typical behavior among infants, toddlers, and 2-year-olds. As children mature, gain self-control, and develop problem-solving skills, they usually outgrow it.
Biting upsets people more than any other behavior in childcare programs. Because it is upsetting and potentially dangerous, it is important that you communicate quickly and sensitively with the parents of both the child who bites and the child who is bitten.
When a child bites another child, notify the parents of all children involved. Let them know what happened but do not name or label the child who bit. Reassure them by telling how you handled the incident, and involve the parents in planning how to prevent and handle future biting. If a child bites repeatedly, develop a plan with the director [see CURRICULUM: Child Guidance section].