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Children sit next to each other on a classroom carpet. One child has her hand extended, thumb raised.


Amanda Gooch

Amanda Gooch

July 1, 2023

While you are all in a preplanning mode as we round out the end of an incredible summer, lets revisit what we learned during one of our past professional development workshops. During this particular workshop, we focused on parent engagement with Rhonda Meyers of Heartfelt Impressions Learning Centers. She helped us to really focus as a teacher or school in making outreach decisions to increase parent engagement. Here are just a few simple ways to promote parent engagement in early childhood education:

  1. 1. Educators can invite families to participate in activities such as accompanying the class with a hands on project or speaking at a "show and tell."

  2. 2. Other ideas include inviting family members to share special talents or visit the classroom at any time.

  3. 3. Educators can also offer getting-to-know-you meetings, make relationship-building home visits, and create welcoming spaces in the program and schools.

  4. 4. Hosting an open house, creating a parent board, and planning special parent engagement projects are other ways to involve parents (Popsicles on the Playground, Muffins with Mom, and Donuts with Dad etc.).

To learn more about how to get parents involved in preschool activities, click on this link to One Perfectly Imperfect Mom.

When we get parents involved in preschool activities we are providing an opportunity for simple interactions that are both meaningful and important in early childhood development for their children. We first learned about simple interactions from Dr. Dana Winters from the Fred Rogers Institute during our February professional development workshop. To recap, simple interactions are playful, respectful, enjoyable and rewarding interactions and experiences for young children.

Simple interactions with children are an important aspect of early childhood education and are a building block for many skills including problem solving, social and emotional intelligence and self-regulation. Simple interactions provide opportunities for children to safely explore, test out, and try new things. By establishing these simple interactions through connection, reciprocity, and inclusion, we are developing positive relationships with young children and an opportunity for them to grow and thrive.

Four children and a woman sit at a table in a preschool classroom.
The Simple Interactions tool
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