Frequent, two-way communication between teachers and parents creates an environment that welcomes families. The teacher-parent relationship is vital. Parents need caregivers for reassurance and emotional support. Caregivers need to learn from family members to create an environment that reflects the children's home experience. To do this, they need to learn the parenting beliefs and culture of the family. This can only occur by building partnerships between child care professionals and parents.
Parent involvement refers to patterns of participation in educational programs by parents. There is no one model of parent-program interaction. Parent involvement activities may include assisting in the classroom helping with fund-raising activities, home teaching, supplying classroom resources, and attending parent education classes. Parent involvement can be the key factor in the success of a program.
The relationship between parents and teachers needs to be one of mutual support and learning. Often, teachers are surprised to learn that parents want unhurried time to experience relating with them. Parents want to learn more about their children's experiences, interests, and development. They may also want advice on how to work with their children at home. To provide this support, teachers and parents need to become partners in teaching young children.
Parent involvement can be encouraged using several methods. Some of these include written communication, class videos, parent-teacher conferences, and discussion groups. When parents see how their involvement can benefit their children, they are more likely to participate.