Working With Families

Who are the parents at the ASCDL?

  • Many of our parents are college students. Others are professionals working in our community.
  • ASCDL families represent a variety of family constellations and living arrangements.
  • In order to provide a healthy and enriching life for their children, most parents are pursing education or employment at the University.
  • The ASCDL program has four classrooms. The infant room serves infants and toddlers. The other three classrooms have children ranging between 20 months to age 5.
  • Parents are viewed as partners of the ASCDL staff with a goal of collaborative relationships.
  • Parents are viewed as partners of the ASCDL staff with a goal of collaborative relationships.

How do parents participate in the ASCDL?

  • Parents are expected to be involved in their child’s ASCDL experience and their help is essential to the program. Benefits of parent involvement include a shared workload between parents and staff, social opportunities for parents of similar aged children, and a positive connection to the ASCDL.
  • Parents are expected to attend at least one parent meeting each semester.
  • Parents are expected to participate in a parent workday each semester cleaning, gardening, organizing, and maintaining classrooms, play yards and materials.
  • Parents each have a parent participation responsibility. There is an attempt to match parent skills and interests with the needs of the ASCDL program when parent participation responsibilities are determined. Examples of parent participation responsibilities include serving on the Parent Advisory Board, Board of Directors, or fundraising committee, doing the classroom laundry each week, making weekly playdough, cutting out curriculum projects, gardening, computer work, or volunteering weekly in the classroom. Some parents take on larger projects, such as making cot sheets, and refinishing wooden furniture.

Role of staff and volunteers with parents

  • It is very important to be friendly with parents, but do not talk about their children or other children with them.  If they confide in you, whether it be in the classroom, the staff lounge, in a college class that you share, or outside of the University, simply listen but do not comment.  If they ask you, “How is my child doing in the classroom?” say:  “Smile and say something like, “I think that’s a great question for one of the lead teachers. They spend much more time with your child and because of this, they are better equipped to answer you.”
  • It is particularly important to not carry on conversations regarding children or adults who participate in the ASCDL outside of the context of the program. The ASCDL policy regarding confidentiality can be found in the staff handbook. An excerpt from that handbook states that “As a general policy, all information concerning children, families and staff participating in the Children’s Center Program is regarded as personal and confidential.” Strict professionalism and ethical behavior concerning the discussion of confidential information is required from all staff members and volunteers. Discussion of information regarding individual children and their families, between career staff members and paid student aides, will occur only when such discussion is conducive to meeting the needs of the child.  It is crucial to refrain from talking about ASCDL families and children when you are out in public..
  • A helpful visual is the Triangle of Trust. This represents the trust between parent, teacher, and program director. The child is in the center as the focus of all involved; all have the child’s best interest in mind. If a rapport is developed with each family, chances are that parents trust the program staff and will approach them with their fears, concerns, and challenges with their children and any questions about the program.