The path to national accreditation is long and filled with opportunities for center staff to learn about areas where they succeed and areas in which they could improve. After sending out parent surveys last fall as part of the National Accreditation Commission (NAC) accreditation process, Jennifer Nagy and her staff learned their center parents wanted to be even more involved in center activities. They wanted to create something similar to a Parent Teacher Association group. Thus the VIP Parent Committee was born.
The group helps out with center activities and social events.
“They help us with anything we need,” said Jennifer, center director of the Addison, Texas, KinderCare. She explained she’s able to rely on the parent committee not only to assist her with projects planning and event set up, but also to help her add that extra special touch to events. The committee gives parents a way to contribute to their child’s school and an outlet in which to utilize their unique talents.
The committee meets every other month and one of the first requests they had was for a parent education series. They wanted to learn more about topics like breastfeeding, social development, and introducing their child to technology. Jennifer heard their request and began reaching out to find resources and subject matter experts within the Addison community.
Currently the parent education series is a quarterly workshop. The first class of 2015 featured a guest speaker from Brain Builders who gave parents tips about how to raise a well-rounded child in a technologically driven world. A representative from La Leche League will talk about the importance of breastfeeding at the next workshop. Jennifer said the workshop topics are parent-driven: the committee gathers ideas and she arranges for guest speakers and workshop space within the center.
“Parents wanted opportunities for involvement and education,” she said and the parent committee provides both of those while the parent education series helps her center become more than a building: it’s a central part of her community.