As a leader in the ECE field, part of your role includes supporting families in working to meet children’s basic needs. Reflect on the practices that your program currently used to help families meet the needs of their children. Make sure that every opportunity to support families is being taken advantage of. This might include any of the following efforts:
- Providing connections to community resources. It is imperative that your program have information about community resources on hand to share with families.
- Create a team that will work to create a community resource binder that can be shared with families
- Include community resource information in your enrollment packets
- Host community resource fairs or information sessions at your location
- Create relationships with local homeless shelters, food pantries, and health centers so that you can support families in accessing these services
- Model best practices and strategies for meeting children’s basic and emotional needs.
- Share recipes for nutritious meals and snacks
- Practice serve and return in front of families and explain how it helps builds relationships and promotes development
- Use growth mindset language when communicating about children to their families
- Ensure teachers are using arrival and departure routines to model ways to meet children’s needs
- Conduct various forms of family education sessions
- Share articles from ECE experts or write your own articles about meeting children’s basic and emotional needs for your program newsletter
- Share information about toxic stress and stress reducing strategies with families.
- Encourage families to participate in their children’s classrooms as often as possible, even if it is for only a few minutes at a time. Promote families spending time in the classroom, to learn with their children, and build trusting relationships with teachers.
- Invite speakers to present information about meeting children’s needs to both families and teachers. Send home a summary of the event to all families so even those who were unable to attend have access to the information.
- Create “homework” assignments related to meeting children’s needs that families can choose at random from a community board or display. Be sure to include a detailed description of the strategy and an explanation of why it is so important to child development.
Work with your staff to identify the needs of the children and families enrolled in the program. Determine how you can enhance your program to ensure that you are doing all you can to support families as they work to meet their children’s needs after they leave your care each day.
For the main article on Meeting Children’s Most Basic Needs, CLICK HERE
For the article on Children and Toxic Stress, CLICK HERE
For the article on Taking Steps to Meet Children’s Basic Needs, CLICK HERE
For the article on Taking Steps to Meet Children’s Emotional Needs, CLICK HERE