The Iowa Western Early Childhood Education (ECE) Center maintains an open-door policy for families. You are welcome to visit the Center at any time. We ask only that you consider your child’s temperament and stage of development before visiting him/her. Sometimes children can separate easily from a parent once a day; sometimes twice may be more difficult.
The observation room is open to parents during Center hours: 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. This room can also be used while waiting for your child to finish meals, snacks, or group time. The observation room is a valuable teaching tool for students enrolled in the program. The room is used by students, staff, and visitors and it allows us to get a realistic view of children’s activities as they continue to play without interruptions.
The Early Childhood Resource Library, located in the Early Childhood Program, contains activity packs for families to do at home which are both fun and educational. Books, pamphlets, and video/audio tapes addressing parenting and discipline techniques are also included. Credit and non-credit parenting classes are offered at IWCC for parents who would like support in parenting or seek additional information and experience regarding the guidance and discipline techniques used in the child care center. The center sponsors at least one parent education workshop each year.
Monthly newsletters will be sent home. Parents should regularly check mailboxes and bulletin boards for information about program events. Each classroom maintains a bulletin board with information specific to that room. Each child has a mailbox in his/her classroom for the distribution of newsletters, important notices, and monthly billing statements.
We believe that children benefit from a supportive partnership between center and family. We invite parent input, concerns, and suggestions through our Family Advisory Board. If you have any concerns, please discuss them with the staff and/or director.
Families are also encouraged to complete the Parent Participation by Staff questionnaire upon enrollment. This information will be used by staff for family involvement in the program.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Formal parent-teacher conferences regarding children’s development and activities at the center will be offered at least once each semester parents and/or teachers may request a conference at any time to discuss concerns or observations about their child.
Center staff will utilize anecdotal records and other observation techniques to chart children’s development, learning and interests. This information is used to plan activities and curriculum in the center. This information in the anecdotal records will be shared with parents at parent-teacher conferences or daily as needed.
Each area of development: social, emotional, cognitive, and physical, is considered through planned activities that allow each individual child to develop these skills. Each child will be assessed by collecting anecdotal notes on these developmental areas. These assessments will be shared with parents at conferences and on an as needed basis. The Developmental Milestones Collection form will be used as a tool to collect the data to be shared with the parent/ parents.
Family Advisory Board
The Family Advisory Board consists of parents of children enrolled in the center. The Board offers ideas and suggestions on the center policy. The Board also organizes family get together for the center. Membership is open to any parent/guardian of an enrolled child. The director of the center and college lab faculty are ex-officio members. The Family Advisory Board meets once a semester during the fall and spring.
The records kept on families enrolled at the center are confidential. Staff may not share information on file with others without written permission from a parent or guardian. Information received while in the performance of duties, either written or verbal, shall also be considered confidential and shall be treated the same as written information contained in the child’s file. Staff is reminded that information regarding a child cannot be shared with other agencies such as AEA without the written consent of the child’s parent or guardian. Staff members who do not maintain the confidentiality of children’s information can be dismissed from employment.