Families and Partnerships
All communication between centers and families is based on the concept that parents are the principle influence in children’s lives. Parents are well informed about and welcomed as observers and contributors to the program. We believe in empowering parents by involving them in ongoing relationships as full partners with teachers in supporting their child’s development. Parents are given written information about what to expect from the program and the program’s expectations of them through a parent handbook, newsletters, bulletin boards, suggested home activities and other similar methods.
Parents have opportunities to communicate with the staff about their individual child’s needs and progress through notes, phone calls, conferences and face-to-face conversations at arrival and pick up. Parents are welcome in the center at all times and are encouraged to participate in a variety of ways such as eating lunch with the children, observing during the day, volunteering to help, and attending parent meetings and educational classes.
Parenting: We share information with families about early childhood development and parenting and child rearing strategies.
Communicating: We keep families up to date on programs and progress through effective center-to-home and home-to-center communications.
Learning at home: We offer suggestions of activities and techniques to involve families in learning activities with their children at home.
Parent Involvement Committees
One of the greatest assets of Joyful Noise Child Development Center is the level of parent involvement and the opportunity parents have to directly influence the quality of their child’s care. We encourage parents to become involved by joining parent committees, as well as participating on-site in our centers. Committee members work with the Executive and Center Directors to identify and develop means to enrich the experience of children participating in the program. This work is accomplished by planning events and activities to foster an engaged parent community and by raising funds to enhance the activities which contribute so much to the lives of our children. Parent opportunities include:
Tuition Assistance Program Committee
Castles and Bears, Inc (CBI) is a non-profit corporation. Originally, CASTLES represented the Corp of Engineers and BEARS stood for the Forest Service from the once stand-alone Joyful Noise-Downtown federal center. Now, the active members are parent volunteers from each of the four centers. Providing financial assistance to those in need is a basic requirement and a high priority. CBI has provided thousands of dollars to the tuition assistance program through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), United Way and City of Portland Charitable Campaign donations. The tuition assistance program has enabled admission to many children whose parents otherwise could not afford to enroll their child at Joyful Noise and helps current families continue to afford tuition, as needed. This committee reviews and approves tuition assistance for families whose income qualifies.
Teacher Appreciation Committee
Parents recognize and show appreciation for staff throughout the year. Ideas include recognition for exceptional services, staff birthdays, anniversaries and significant events in their lives. In addition, the committee recruits people to bake or deliver treats monthly to the staff, find people to donate items such as event tickets from their line of business and help with donations toward year-end holiday bonuses.
Parent representatives find out from other parents what else they would like from their experience here at Joyful Noise. This might include the desire for brown bag education workshops and social events such as potlucks or play groups outside of the center. A parent rep may help organize fieldtrip volunteers or assist in the creation of a classroom family directory. The parent representative helps identify action items and then works with the classroom teacher and/or center director to make those things happen.
We encourage all parents to participate and bring their interests, skills, talents and family culture to the center. Getting to know each other helps build stronger family-teacher child raising teams. Parents understand more about their child’s school experience and development when they are involved in classroom life. Classrooms become more inclusive of each family’s culture, creating a more familiar, respectful and home-like setting for children.