Tips for the Community
- It is important for children to take trips around town and to other towns so they can see, hear and experience new people and things. How can you enhance their visits to your business, shop or store?
- When children go on trips, even to the grocery store, they are watching and listening to the conversations and environmental sounds around them. Are you a good mentor?
- Children watch their parents to see how they talk with a store clerk, order food, use a checkbook, drive in traffic and all the other types of interactions adults make in the “outside” world. Parents and members of the community may not realize that the types of interactions (good or bad) they want children to have with others begin with the types of behaviors they display in public.
- Greet young children whenever you see them, and call them by name if you know their name.
- Get to know the children of your friends and coworkers.
- Use your body language to show children that you care about them. Make eye contact and lean toward them when they are talking. Smile!
- Volunteer to read books to children at a childcare center, school, or after-school program.
- Set up an area for young children in your business waiting rooms with a small table and chairs. Keep books, tablets, coloring books, crayons and washable markers available and restocked.
- Offer employees paid time off to volunteer at their children's schools or to attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Partner with other community businesses to provide resources needed by childcare centers for quality early childhood education.
- Partner with parks and recreation departments, libraries and other businesses to offer puppet shows in the park.
- Start an art project with children in childcare centers. Ask for holiday drawings, and hang them all over town in shops, dentists' offices, grocery stores, etc.
Sources for Early Learning Tips
Going to School: A Guide for Parents and Caregivers of School-Age Children, written by Dr. Cathy Grace and produced by Mississippi Public Broadcasting 2003
Mississippi State Extension Service