This page may contain affiliate links. Learn More.
An important part of running a home daycare is relationships with families. There is no better way to build those than with family engagement activities for preschool. It will make such a huge difference in your business!
Family engagement activities
Many times families don’t place the importance on daycare that they do on school, but birth to 5 is the most critical time in a child’s development and most of that happens before children enter a school setting. The home daycare activities we do with our kids make a world of impact. But it’s up to us to teach parents how much it matters.
Family engagement is important in a daycare setting because it helps build a strong sense of community and support for the children in your care. Here are some family engagement ideas for daycare providers:
Family engagement ideas for daycare
Family Nights: Host family nights or potluck dinners where parents and children can come together to socialize and have fun. These family engagement activities strengthen the bond between families and the daycare. We LOVE these.
We do a Mom’s Night Out every spring for moms only. We do a family Easter Egg Hunt on a Saturday with a pot luck meal and Easter story. And we have a Gingerbread Decorating Party every Christmas. I love seeing my families get to know each other at these events. It’s so much fun. And it’s fun for the kids to come and show their parents and siblings their space as well. We do other events occasionally such as a garden open house to show what we are growing, or an art exhibition to showcase the children’s art.
Welcome Meetings: Host regular welcome meetings or orientations for new families to introduce them to the daycare program, policies, and staff. This is an opportunity to build a positive rapport from the start.
Parent-Teacher Conferences: Schedule regular conferences to discuss children’s progress, development, and any concerns with parents or guardians. Provide written progress reports or portfolios to showcase their child’s achievements.
Open House Events: Organize open house family engagement activities where parents and families can visit the daycare, meet the staff, and see their children’s daily routines. This can also be a time for parents to connect with each other.
Parent Workshops: Offer workshops on topics of interest to parents, such as child development, positive discipline, or nutrition. These workshops can provide valuable information and build a sense of community.
Volunteer Opportunities: Invite parents to volunteer in the classroom or at special events. Their involvement can enhance the learning experience and make them feel like active participants in their child’s education.
Daily Communication: Maintain open and regular communication with parents through daily reports, newsletters, or a communication app. Share highlights of the day and important updates.
Parent-Child Activities: Plan activities that involve both parents and children, such as art projects, gardening, or nature walks. These activities can strengthen the parent-child bond and create lasting memories.
You can have parents send snacks for your special daycare parties and it makes them feel more a part of the event even though they are at work. You can also ask for them to send ingredients for the kids to use. I ask for apples when we study apples so we have all different kinds of apples to explore. I also ask them to send a vegetable for stone soup when we do a friendship activity like that.
Family Celebrations: Celebrate special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and cultural events with the involvement of parents. It’s a great opportunity to showcase diversity and cultural traditions.
Parent Surveys: Conduct regular surveys to gather feedback from parents about their experiences and suggestions for improvement. This demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement.
Parent Portfolios: Create portfolios for each child that showcase their work and progress throughout the year. Share these portfolios with parents during conferences or special events.
Storytelling Time: Invite parents to visit the daycare and share stories from their own lives or cultural backgrounds. This can promote cultural understanding and appreciation. This is one of my favorite ways for parents to contribute to the learning of all the children. You could also do a career day or some other day that showcases different things parents do.
Field Trips: Organize occasional field trips and encourage parents to join when possible. This allows parents to be a part of their child’s learning experiences outside of the daycare. When I used to keep 5 children instead of 7, we used to take tons of field trips.
We loved going to McDonald’s to the play place, the park, the library story time and more. We would take bigger field trips such as to the nature center at the lake, the animal safari in the next state over, the children’s science museum, the fire station, the police station, and anywhere else we could think of. We have done some local museums as well.
Now we try to bring things like that to the daycare. We don’t have access to a big enough vehicle to travel with 7 kids and I would have a hard time doing that without a helper anyway. When we took short trips into town, I would meet other providers and their kids and stay-at-home moms so we had support and safety in numbers. When we did the bigger trips out of town, we would go with family. We even still do those sometimes on Saturdays and just meet together instead of me driving anyone’s kids. I just plan a time and place and invite all the families to come.
We also do events such as celebrations of daycare milestones. I have done a 15-year anniversary party, a 20 year and a 25 year. I did an accreditation celebration when I got nationally accredited. And I had a 5-star party when I achieved the highest ranking in Oklahoma for my childcare facility. I love to celebrate. I usually rent a place, get some food, and invite everyone to come and have a good time.
There are so many ways to involve parents in your childcare setting. It helps build bonds and connections for life with your families. And it’s great for the kids to see their families enjoying activities with the other kid’s families and you!