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Welcoming New Families to Your Program
Author: Giselle Goetze with Judith A. Myers-Walls, Ph.D., CFLE

Placing a child in a new childcare setting is a big change for families. For children, it can be hard to be in a new place with people they don’t know. For parents, it means trusting new people with their children. Both parents and children need to learn new rules and get used to new expectations. Parents usually have lots of questions at this time. This is especially true if it is their first time leaving their child in someone else’s care. Providers also have to adjust. As a provider, you need to get to know new children, their habits, and what they like and don’t like. It also means getting to know the new family.


What is the Welcome Packet?

PPP suggests you give new families a Welcome Packet to answer some of the parents’ questions. You can give the parents the packet right at the beginning, before there are any problems. The handouts you put in the Welcome Packet can deal with concerns they have when they start leaving their child in care. There are other handouts to include if specific problems or questions come up later.


How could providers use the Welcome Packet?
A number of parent pages are marked with the Welcome Packet symbol    . These pages can be printed and put together in a folder or envelope to make a Welcome Packet for the parents. They cover a variety of topics. Some handouts will be very useful to the parent right away. Two examples are Preparing Children for Childcare, and Understanding Childcare Contracts and Rules. Other handouts are for later. Parents may never need some of them– but they are there in case they do. An example of this is Talking to Providers about Childcare Quality.

It is important to include all the handouts, even if you think the parent won’t need them. Giving them all to parents lets them know you are willing to talk about these things with them. It gives them the message that you care about their concerns. It may help them learn to trust you.

We encourage you to include information about your specific childcare program with the handouts. A welcome letter from you is a good idea. Other things to include are a copy of the parent contract, a daily schedule, or your policies.

The Welcome Packet is easy to use. There is even a cover letter to include with the Welcome Packet. It explains to parents what the packet is and why you are giving it to them. Using the packet helps your program look professional and welcomes parents to a new childcare setting.


     Welcome


For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at jmyerswa@purdue.edu

Please feel free to link to, print off, redistribute, or reprint
  any of these materials as long as the original credits remain intact.

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