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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET 30 Chapter 2 All of these feelings for children, parents, and teachers are natural, given their experiences. Working together to understand your own expe- riences and those of others will help you identify the sources of discomfort in your relationships, develop compassion for yourself and others, and communicate with each other in ways that build your relationships, your trust, and your mutual support. Supports for Family-Centered Care While obstacles to family-centered care exist, you have many strategies and solutions to re- move them and to build support for a new way of working with families. Some are readily ac- cessible—the kinds of things you can do when you go to work on Monday morning. Others will take more preparation, collaboration, and long- term planning to put into practice. when he is home?” “Who does Juli play with when she is at home?” “Are there any things you would like me to know about Sarah so that I can provide better care for her?” • Every day (if possible), give each child’s family information about their child’s day. Work with your coworkers to provide classroom coverage that allows each of you time to observe children and to share your observations with family members. • Arrange the classroom so there is room for families to visit. For example, provide a low, small couch or other comfortable seating arrangements for families. Strategies for Immediate Implementation Here are ideas that teachers can implement right away to build family-centered care: • Learn every significant family member’s name. You can post names in the class- room (bulletin board, class list, or cub- bies) so that you can refer to them when you are greeting family members. • Work to greet every family and child when they arrive. Then try to learn one significant thing about every family member (Grandpa likes to build model boats, Sister plays soccer, Dad writes poetry, Stepmom makes homemade lumpia). • At least once a week, ask each family for information about their child. Ask ques- tions like “What does Lucho like to do Long-Term Strategies Many of the changes to support family-centered care need to be made at the program level. Teachers and families can plan, advise, and ad- vocate for these changes, but vision, investment, and support on the part of the program admin- istration and board are essential to the success- ful implementation of these strategies. Here is a list of ideas for supporting partnerships at the programmatic level: COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL