When the Loyola Early Learning Center in Baltimore opened its doors on Sept. 12, 2017, the Center included a quality preschool program for 2-year-olds as well as an interesting and informative program for their families and caregivers. Our school philosophy focuses on the whole family, so we recognized the need for parents to be engaged and active in their child’s development and learning.
That’s why we offer monthly parent classes on Saturday mornings, which include a variety of topics of interest to families. Our parent classes also meet Goal Two of the Maryland Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework: Family Engagement Initiatives Should Promote Positive Parent-Child Relationships, and Goal Three: Family Engagement Initiatives Should Support Families as Lifelong Educators of Their Children.
During the past year, parents attended classes on topics such as “Transition to Preschool” and “Keeping your Toddler Healthy.” In our health class, a Johns Hopkins pediatrician presented a lively discussion about typical childhood illnesses and answered questions from the parents. For wellness and prevention, we invited the University of Maryland School of Dentistry and a dentist to explain the importance of good dental care for young children. The Loyola Clinical Centers presented “Positive Parenting,” which helped parents learn different techniques to keep toddlers happy and healthy.
To start the new year with positive financial resolutions, we invited a representative from PNC Bank, who provided useful tips on money management. A frequent volunteer at our center, who is also a registered nurse, was invited to speak with parents about mindfulness. This class provided parents and children with useful tips on how to stop, breathe, and think.
We are constantly encouraging families to attend our Saturday classes. As an added incentive, we offer a light breakfast with coffee and juice. In addition, we give parents an opportunity to suggest topics for upcoming classes. In fact, we are already scheduling classes for the upcoming school year, including nutrition and language milestones. We look forward to another positive year in which we can engage parents while they learn meaningful ways to become more involved in their children’s education.
- The Early Childhood Family Engagement Framework Toolkit: Maryland’s Vision for Engaging Families with Young Children
- Understanding Transitions
- Brush Up on Oral Health: Talking with Children About Dental Visits
- Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Child Development: Toddlers (1-2 years)
- Positive Parenting Tips for Healthy Child Development: Toddlers (2-3 years)