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parents at preschool parties

  • 1.  parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-15-2018 04:20 PM
    I am a director at a preschool with a mix of working parents and stay-at-home parents. In the past, our classroom parties have created problems for working parents who feel guilty if they can't come, or terrible if they come and then their child cries and grabs their leg as they try to go back to work. In some rooms, almost all the parents come, and then one or two kids feel left out, wondering where their mom is. Many children get overwhelmed when their classroom is filled with adults, and their routine is out the window. So, I tried scaling back this year, but some parents really miss the opportunity to meet others and make connections. Am wondering what policies you all have for parties at preschool, and whether or not parents attend.

    Nina Burrows
    Preschool Director
    FUMC Preschool
    Fort Worth TX

  • 2.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-16-2018 12:15 AM
    What we do at our center is host all center gathering from 4 to 6 or 4:30 to 7 on Fridays. This way both working and non-working parents can make it. There will be activities in the different rooms (both classroom and shared spaces) so those children whose parents come later can still do things well waiting for their parents. Parents also know at least two to three weeks in advance when they are happening so they can rearrange their schedules if needed.

    Ashley Thompson
    Lead Teacher
    Bright Horizons
    Covington WA

  • 3.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-16-2018 08:29 AM
    We hold parties and invite parents as well.  I am wondering if it is possible for you to schedule the class parties for the last hour of the day so that it may be easier for working parents to leave work earlier (with plenty of advanced notice) and they don't have to leave their child at school again after returning for the party.

    Sherrie Rose Mayle
    Campbell Parents' Participation Preschool
    Campbell, CA

  • 4.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-16-2018 09:17 AM
    Good Morning Nina,
     We also have a mix of working and non working parents. At our school we have scaled back a lot with parties. We have a party at Christmas where the parents contribute but do not attend. The other holidays we do something special with the children. For Thanksgiving each child has a cup of goodies to put into a communal bowl for trail mix, we sing "We Are Thankful," and then each get a cup of goodies. Of course we have non allergenic goodies so everyone can participate. At Valentine's Day we bake cookies with the children and then they get to decorate them. We also have a VIP Day once a year and the children can bring someone special with them for a half hour of fun and a snack that the children made themselves. On the last day of school we have an ice cream party and the parents are invited to come at the end of our day, when the parents leave they take their child with them, everyone is happy! I hope this helps.

    Tami Coleman
    Mira Mesa Presbyterian Preschool
    San Diego, Ca

    Tami Coleman
    Mira Mesa Presbyterian Preschool
    San Diego CA

  • 5.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-25-2018 02:15 PM
    At my center we actually don't have parties for holidays or special occasions, we provide other opportunities for families to get to know each other.  We have family field trips through out the year, we don't transport the children to the field trips, their parent or guardian has to pick them up from school and everyone meets at the field trip site. This makes it more of a family outing because all of the children have at least one family member with them.  We also have our literacy room open from 2:00-close for parents to come in with the children and participate in activities and this gives then a chance to meet other families as well.  In the past we have had family nights where the families are invited to come in after school hours and have a get to together with the teachers and other families.

    Ashley Byers
    Flint MI

  • 6.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-26-2018 03:05 PM
    In your post about parents at preschool parties, you noted, "We also have our literacy room open from 2:00-close for parents to come in with the children and participate in activities and this gives then a chance to meet other families as well."  Could you say more about this and what it looks like at your center?  Thanks!

    Kerry Holmes
    Education & Disabilities Consultant
    Head Start of Lane County
    Eugene OR

  • 7.  RE: parents at preschool parties

    Posted 11-30-2018 01:01 AM
    Hi Nina,

    In my experience, I've had some success with having parents RSVP to the event ahead of time to the best of their ability. From there, I partner children up with a friend they will be able to join during the party. I've had a great response from the parents that are able to attend to have a friend or two sit with them so they do not feel excluded. I also verbalize this to the families that are unable to make it, so that they are aware that their child will not be alone during the time, it seems to help with the guilt.
    Additionally, I have tried to provide a variety of activities throughout the year during different days and times to provide more of an opportunity to work with families schedules. It may also be worth considering planning these parties well in advance, if you aren't already, so that parents might have a greater chance of taking some time off of work, even if it's just the afternoon.
    Once, I even had an outdoor family picnic where most of the families were going to make it. They supported one another so that families that were unable to make it knew their child was going to be with another family (after all, we were one big classroom family!) and one parent chose to send their child with a "my size" Captain America stuffed toy and a picnic blanket so he could chose whether he wanted to picnic with Captain America or a friend!

    I suppose my point is just keep trying! Family engagement can be so exciting while also being a challenge.

    Best of luck!

    Jacquelyn Chasteen
    Training and Development Consultant
    Albuquerque, NM