At Wonderschool we have the privilege of supporting some truly amazing and dedicated early education and child care professionals. It has never been more apparent than right now and seeing the ways that directors are showing up to support their families through this incredibly challenging time. Here are some examples of the ways that Wonderschool directors are going above and beyond for their families.
Camila Alvarez of Little Learners Spanish-immersion Child Care and Preschool in Playa Vista, CA has remained open, but has had low attendance. Camila started broadcasting circle time and group activities for her families over Zoom, but quickly realized that not everyone had the necessary materials. To solve this, she assembled packets for each child and then drove around and distributed them to families so they would have all of the necessary supplies to participate.
Kristina Gonzales of Little Robles Bilingual Preschool in San Francisco, CA has offered a variety of services for her families. On top of the daily virtual circle times she leads, she has also shared a calendar where families can sign up for a one-on-one session with her. She found that some kids wanted to be able to share more with her, and that was hard to do on a group call. These calls create an opportunity for individual attention. Kristina has also created new channels to support parents. She has weekly parent support calls so they can stay connected and she can offer help around any challenging behaviors that are coming up at home. She also created a slack channel for her parents, so they can be connected to each other, and she can share resources without bombarding them with emails.
Karen Kohler of Creative Journeys Preschool & Child Care in Tustin, CA started by sending home packets of resources for her parents. Her program is Reggio-inspired, so the resources she sent were in line with her philosophy. She quickly realized no one was using them because her parents are busy working. She has since scaled it back in an effort not to be intrusive. She has done some Zoom calls for all of the kids to connect and say hello. Parents have so much to manage right now, she doesn’t want to overwhelm them.
Kristen Langelier of Crayon Power Preschool in Brooklyn, NY quickly rolled out a website for parents (both in her program and beyond) to share and inspire learning activities in the home. In an effort to keep her kids feeling connected she took one of the beloved classroom toys (the train set, of course), ran it through the dishwasher, and then distributed one train car to each child to take care of during this time. She has heard from parents that their children are taking the responsibility very seriously, sometimes even sleeping with their train car at night. Check out her site here: http://playathomefamily.com/
Early childhood education has always been a full community effort, and that is all the more apparent right now. At Wonderschool we are so lucky to work with such thoughtful and talented individuals now and always.