Your center offers children and their families incredible care and a great foundation for academic success. You’re constantly looking for ways to expand your curriculum and involve parents and grandparents. Partnering with other local businesses and community organizations can benefit both the kids you serve and your center!
The Benefits of Community Partnerships
Kids of all ages can enjoy the benefits of experiential learning and cross-generation relationships through school-community partnerships. These experiential lessons can be shared with parents, who may not often have the opportunity to learn alongside their children. This can also help parents and guardians support kids at home. Setting a model for family and community involvement in schools may even help your center’s children reach higher achievement in school.
Partnering with businesses and organizations from within your community can help families at your center learn about resources in your city they may want or need. When you invite parents to be involved, it encourages conversation and respect among parents.
Collaborations are great for your child care business too. Incorporating the community into your curriculum builds a better sense of comradery among staff. Events, volunteer work and other community or business partnerships are good opportunities for publicity. A strong community partnership program could also set you apart from other child care centers in your area.
Encouraging School-Community Relationships
There are many ways to partner with businesses and organizations throughout your community. Start by networking with your current and past families. A family member may own a business or be part of a community group that is a good fit for your daycare.
You can also plan to add more community involvement to the activities your center is already planning. Older classes could walk to local field trips, giving you an opportunity to talk about the different types of businesses and buildings you pass. Invite senior citizens to take part in a holiday celebration. Add a garden to your center and ask neighbors to care for it on the weekends. Celebrate your harvest with a community-wide meal.
Find ways to include family and community involvement in everyday activities as well. Complement lesson plans with speakers who have real-life experience, such as a volunteer firefighter during Fire Prevention Month. You can also ask community leaders to talk about why their job is important to your city.
Instead of inviting businesses and organizations into your center, create opportunities for families to enjoy community events. Commit to volunteering at a city-wide event and ask parents and kids to help. If your community offers new residents a welcome guide, ask how you can become a part of it. Sponsor a list of family-friendly activities or work with other organizations to offer a guide to resources children and parents may be looking for.
Successful Center-Community Partnerships
Child care centers have a unique opportunity for long-term relationships between kids and community members because families often stay at your center for longer than they will stay at a single school. Community involvement looks different at every center because every neighborhood and daycare is unique. To take full advantage of the benefits of community partnerships, create a plan that works for everyone involved and hold every partner accountable.