Parent participation is fundamental to Explore and Discover. The Reggio Emilia Approach asserts that teachers, parents, and children are the “three protagonists” of learning, equal partners in creating an early education program that is truly a “community of learners”. In E&D’s cooperative structure, the three protagonists share responsibilities, develop lasting relationships, participate in all aspects of program development, and support each other through the joys and challenges of growth and learning.
All families of children enrolled are members of E&D’s cooperative. Families take on responsibilities, participate in parent education seminars, and connect with other families from the community.
- Choose a job. A family’s job may be as a member of the advisory board, cleaning the fish tank, yard maintenance, grocery shopping, to name a few. There are opportunities to change jobs during your time at E&D.
- Volunteer in the classroom. At least one family member volunteers once a month as a teacher assistant (TA). TA shifts are opportunities to get to know the other children and their parents, participate in classroom projects, and help families and children feel that E&D is an extension of home.
- Clean E&D. Cleaning shifts include vacuuming, mopping, and sanitizing E&D. Every family schedules one cleaning shift a month.
- Attend at least 4 of the 6 bi-monthly parent meetings.
- Participate in at least 3 fundraising events (i.e. acquiring items for a silent auction).
- Participate in both workdays. Each family sends at least one representative to Spring and Fall workdays to spend 2-3 hours on a Saturday improving E&D’s space (painting, yard maintenance, etc.).
E&D is committed to keeping our community safe. All parent and community volunteers must complete a fingerprint background check through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and a TRAILS child abuse and neglect background check through the Colorado Department of Human Services. Necessary forms and instructions are provided by E&D.
Continuity of Care
The bonds between young children and their caregivers take years to develop. In order to nurture and value these relationships, E&D uses continuity of care. E&D’s teachers stay with their group of children from the time they start at E&D until they leave, moving with the group when they are ready to change classrooms. This allows staff to not only maintain relationships with one group of children but also allows them to create strong relationships with families.