The Importance of Building Trusting Relationships with Families
I was doing a spring clean of my office this weekend and came across an article from 2007 by Sarah Wise ‘Building relationships between parents and carers in early childhood’. Although the article was written some time ago, much of it was still relevant.
The main point of the article was the importance of communication between families and childcare services to ensure consistency between the way families and educators care for children.
The consequences of inconsistencies in childcare practices were reported as being serious. Children may feel insecure, frustrated, and overwhelmed. In contrast, when there was consistency, children were more likely to experience healthy development and there was a positive impact on achievement of educational outcomes.
In an ideal world, we would have time to chat with families every time they drop off and collect their children. However, we do not live in an ideal world. Families are often in a hurry. And the main educator’s shift may have finished by the time the family collects the child. And, with Covid-19, families may have restricted access, collecting their child from the front desk.
In OSHC services the pickup process may be even more rushed, particularly when families’ work hours result in a rush to make it to the OSHC before closing time.
So how can we develop and nurture trusting relationships and develop consistency of care with limited face to face communication? That is where EarlyWorks comes in (you knew that’s what I was getting to 😊) EarlyWorks allows educators and families to communicate openly on any device, at any time, from anywhere.
Educators can begin a conversation with families by sharing comments and where appropriate, attaching images. Families can then reply to those comments, continuing the conversation.
Educators can share Observations and Journals with families. Families can then add comments, making links between the learning at the service, and the learning at home.
Families can also begin conversations by adding comments at any time. An effective way to let educators know of any changes they would like made to feeding, sleep or toileting routines.
Educators can use Daily Communications to share feeding, toileting, sleep, menu, and sunscreen information with families. Extra notes can also be added to follow up on information provided by families, ensuring continuity and consistency of care between the service and home.
EarlyWorks makes it easy to reach out to families, contributing to the health and well-being of every child in our service.