Importance of Parent Involvement in Early Childhood
Preschool children soak up bits of knowledge from everyday interactions, both at home and at school. Her teacher provides learning opportunities for her, but your involvement supports her development in many areas. As a parent, your involvement ranges from playing learning games at home to communicating with her teacher and volunteering at preschool.
Your involvement early in your child's life sets her on course to succeed academically. Your interest in her learning shows her that you value education. Staying connected with the classroom gives you ideas of how to expand what she learns at school. If she learns about animals, you might take her to the zoo, read animal books or do animal art projects at home. Reading with your young child is another way to set her up for academic success. She needs strong literacy skills for all academic areas. Her teacher may offer suggestions for activities at home or areas of improvement for your child.
Quality of Care
When you get involved in your preschooler's education, you get a better sense of what goes on in the program. Parent committees and boards allow you to share input and make decisions that affect the early childhood program. A parent who shares her time and talents enriches the preschool experience for her own child and for the other students. Communicating with the early childhood teacher allows you to share information about your child to benefit both parties. Your teacher may have suggestions for handling negative behaviors, and you may give the teacher insight into handling your child.
An involved parent has a better understanding of her child's development and abilities than a parent who is not involved. If a delay exists, an involved parent may notice the issue early. Staying on top of the routine early-childhood doctor visits enables you to work with her physician to diagnose a delay, if one exists. The diagnosis opens the path for early intervention services with specialists and therapists. Being involved enables you to pursue those interventions, and to follow up with the physicians and specialists to help your child overcome the delays.
Parents who are involved at the early childhood level are more likely to stay involved in the elementary years, according to the Harvard Family Research Project 1. Interviews conducted through the organization showed that involved preschool parents were more likely to visit the kindergarten classroom and build relationships with other school parents. Early involvement may help prep parents for the transition to elementary school by teaching them how to work with the school. Seeing how involvement benefits the child in preschool may encourage continued involvement.
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