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 activites 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(ren)’s care. Castles and Bears, Incorporated (CBI) is a non-profit board whose members are the parents of the centers. Originally, CASTLES represented the Corp of Engineers and BEARS stood for the Forest Service. The group’s purpose was to oversee the contract between Joyful Noise and the downtown federal center. Over the years, the role of this parent group has changed and now includes all families in the four centers.
We encourage parents to become involved through the Board’s parent involvement committees. 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.
Current committees include:
Tuition Assistance Program Committee
CBI and Joyful Noise are both non-profit organizations, so providing financial assistance is a basic requirement and a high priority. CBI has provided thousands of dollars to the tuition assistance program through Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and United Way 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 partial tuition assistance for families whose income qualifies.
Community Events and Projects Committee
This committee plans and organizes activities to promote family involvement in the center, such as socials (picnics, open-houses), work parties for center projects, berry picking and freezing for use in winter time menus, community outreach at the Food Bank, and organizing volunteers in the classrooms.
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, we recruit people to bake or deliver treats monthly to the staff, find people to donate items like event tickets from their line of business, and help with donations toward year-end holiday bonuses.
Grant Writing and Annual Event Committees
These important committees help research and write grants and/or plan our annual fundraising event to raise money to increase teacher salaries, among other things. It is not an easy area to fund, but we are determined to be creative and make headway for two main reasons:
The ability to attract and retain wonderful, highly qualified teachers to care for and educate our young children is critical to our kids’ success.
Childcare worker wages are historically low and shouldn’t be. There has always been a trade-off between higher wages and lower costs for families because pre-school and childcare is not subsidized like public education, except for programs like Head Start which target a very low-income population.