It feels like as soon as we’ve got everything figured out, things change, and we are back to square one. This is never more true than with kids. They say, “The bigger the kid, the bigger the problem,” and the first time most really feel this is when the baby transitions from being an infant to being a preschooler.
The conversations with the daycare teacher seem to change from talking about bottles and nap duration to many parents not knowing what exactly they should be asking. You may feel like you’re missing things because you don’t know what to talk about and feel like you are imposing on their time during the pickup/drop-off rush and just need to get out. Well, don’t worry! We’ve compiled this list of questions you should be asking your kid’s daycare teacher to help you navigate the transition.
3 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Preschool Teacher
- Physical development
- Mental/social development
- Areas of interest
- Physical Development –
Preschoolers are still doing a lot of physical development, with it transitioning to include fine motor development, not just gross motor. What this means is it is not about if your child can walk, but if can they stack a block or turn a page in a book – skills that require a bit more finesse and the use of fine motor skills.
What you are looking for here is to get a stronger understanding of where your child is in their development and what you can do at home to continue to help them grow. This is also your opportunity to mention anything you see at home to make sure you and your daycare teacher agree on what is going well and if there is anything to monitor.
- Mental/Social Development – At this age, preschoolers primarily engage in parallel play, so they are not playing with another child. Rather they do the same activity in the same space, but individually.
For example, two or more preschoolers may play with blocks. They are each doing their own build with the same pile of blocks; however, you would not expect to see them collaboratively build the same tower
When you talk to the daycare teacher about your preschooler’s mental/social development, what you are looking for is how they engage with other children, if they pick up on verbal and non-verbal clues, if they are well adjusted, how well they engage with the teacher, and what their participation in group activities (do they share?) is like. Again, this is your chance to talk about anything you are seeing at home and discuss if there is anything that is worth monitoring.
- Areas of Interest – When you look at how long your child is in care versus the hours you have with them awake at home, you realize that daycare gets to know your child really well. Your preschooler’s teacher has a great idea of what your kid is into and can help you hone in on their favorite activities and toys.
Maybe they’re into they like blocks or trains or magnets or art – stuff you know about and have at home. However, it’s possible that they’re also into something you hadn’t considered. If they don’t have much space to retreat at home, you may not know that, when given a chance, your kid likes to grab a book and head to a quiet corner to read.
For these things, remember that your daycare teachers are your partners in your child’s development. You are still the parent, and it starts and ends with you, but they are superb assets that know a lot about your preschooler and can be there to help support you and your kid. They also have a wealth of experience and can really help you navigate that question that plagues all of us: “Is this normal?”
Daycare Teachers: Partners Parents Can Count On
So, when you go to talk to your preschooler’s daycare teachers, remember that they are your partners, and you are not an imposition. These three questions are great tools that can help you learn more about your child and their development to create a closer bond with them and aid them as they grow. You may need to book a call to accommodate the chaos of high-traffic times, but it is well worth the time to engage with them.