Parent‘s engagement in kindergarten and school

Active parents in kindergarten

Family and child day care centers are especially formative for the development of the child. Therefore, parents and kindergarten should work closely together according to the child education law. Parent‘s engagement in kindergarten may be for parents to get actively involved in the parent‘s council, to participate in meetings, or discuss pedagogical concepts. Participation can also be hands-on, as when parents cook on events for the children or when they create or renovate a playground.

Participation also means, that parents are invited to introduce elements of their culture and every-day life in kindergarten and school. For example, it is possible to celebrate the Sugar Festival, the Chinese summer festival or a language themed project week.

Parent‘s engagement in school

The school law for the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia creates the framework for parents engagement, but also for school students. The law envisions certain forms of parent‘s engagement by which fathers and mothers participate on all levels of school life. This engagement starts with participating in parent-teacher conferences in the different classes to which invitations in a written form are sent or handed out.

These conferences of parents of all school students that belong to a class are called „Elternabend“ or „Klassenpflegschaft“. On the first parent-teacher conference at the beginning of a school year, an election decides about who will be the parents' representative. At the same time, a substitute for the parents' representative will be elected. The parents' representative of a school is the chair of all parents' spokespersons of the different classes. This parents' spokesperson of a school represents the interests of parents in the education work at school. The highest participation board of a school is the school conference. Part of it are selected representatives of the teachers, parents and students.

Moreover, participation beyond every single school also takes place. The interests of parents of children who get compulsory education are represented in the city‘s school board.

Teachers and parents exchange ideas and discuss matters

Every child has his or her own way of learning. Success in learning may depend on the language level, on the type of intelligence, the personal interests or the ability to concentrate of a child. In order to recognize these abilities and preconditions well, a regular exchange between parents and teachers is important. Learning advances can be supported better, when parents and school work together.

Parent‘s engagement in school can look like this among other ways:

  • Regular participation in parent-teacher meetings and parent-teacher conferences,
  • Engagement in the parent‘s board of the class, being parents' representative or in another board of the school (according to the school law).
  • Being in contact with other parents and participating in the regular parent‘s meetings (Elternstammtisch),
  • Supporting the teachers on excursions and school trips,
  • Helping to organize school festivals and events.

By engaging in school life and with their interest in class content, parents support the development of their children. Their participation and collaboration strengthen the social team spirit in the class and makes a contribution to children being happier in school.

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