Welcome to Boise State University's Children's Center
The Center was established in November 1979 to provide a quality child care program for the children of full and part-time Boise State students, faculty and staff. To further advance campus and community relations, alumni and community parents may enroll their children if space is available.
Our professional staff provides a model educational program for all the families it serves. Students from University Academic and Technical school programs and students from the Colleges of Education and Health Sciences are assigned to the Center for internships, field methods, and volunteer work. We also serve as an observation site for University students fulfilling class requirements.
- how children develops literacy skills by having a “print-rich environment” with available paper and writing tools to practice creating their individual way of writing.
- how children learns one-to-one correspondence as they hand out plates for snack.
- how children learn about quantity and volume by experimenting at the sensory table.
- December 21, 2012- Last Day of Fall Semester
- December 24-31, 2012- Center closed- Christmas Break
- January 1, 2013- Center closed- New Years Eve
- January 2-18, 2013- BSU Student Families- January Session
- January 14, 2013- Parent Committee Meeting at 5:30 pm
- January 21, 2013- Center closes- Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- January 22, 2013- First Day of Spring Semester Care
- January 23, 2013- 100th Day of School Celebration
Early childhood programs should be known for their family partnerships. We understand that parents need to be involved in issues related to our daily routines. We know that parents are primary to each child, that they are their child’s first teacher, and that the center is there to help strengthen the parent-child relationship. Our role is to support, not displace the role of parents.
Partnerships with families are like beautifully woven fabric where every thread and every color contributes to the interwoven whole. Just as a masterful weaver artfully brings in all the parts, partnerships are carefully and gently woven relationships initiated by the child care program staff. These relationships grow with each morning greeting, each report at the end of the day, each family conference and most importantly with time and communication.
Family partnerships change as children get older. As a child moves from one room to another, the weaving may need to start afresh and with some hesitation from developing trust with that previous caregiver. With parents of infants, it is all about gaining trust and developing relationships. Most parents are hesitant to turn their precious baby over into someone else’s arms, no matter how competent that caregiver is. It takes time to earn a parent’s trust. That trust will be earned as we show our passions and knowledge in child development and gain competence that the partnership will become an extension of the home. Trust is earned as we respond to a parent’s questions as if this was the first time we ever heard those questions. That trust will be earned as we skillfully navigate minor crises – an inconsolable baby or a first bump or emotional upset like separation. And that trust will be earned as we treat this child like the precious human being he/she is.
With parents of toddlers, partnerships are fostered as we jointly weave our threads through the challenges of toddlerhood – moving from a cot to a crib; getting frustrated over a peer with your child’s favorite toy or developing self-regulation through our support with multiple emotions; learning to use the toilet; learning how to use words to communicate instead of body language. The grace and kindness with which these challenges are navigated will continue to weave the relationship we hope can be achieved through parent partnerships.
As children become preschoolers, some of the relationship may revolve around helping families understand how we are preparing their children for school. Events that are important to extend from school to home involve inviting families into the preschool room to participate in and observe:
These are all invaluable opportunities for partnership. Taking time to answer parents’ questions, and helping them understand how children learn in a classroom that may look much different than the ones they remember, is time well-spent.
Parenting is often not given the value that paid work is given, and yet we all know there is no job more important than raising a child. Early childhood teachers can help give the job value by sincerely validating parents for what we see them doing well. Our warmth and support in nurturing the parents of the children we care for is an important part of our role as educators.
Communication is key to successful family partnerships. It is always better to communicate than not to, even when messages are difficult to relay (“Your child was bitten today” or “Your daughter didn’t seem herself today. I am wondering if there are things you do at home that I could learn from?”) Without communication, our “weaving” will be very thin, and there will likely be holes.
None of us is ever listened to enough. Most of us appreciate a listening ear at the end of the day. While often it won’t be possible to hear everything that happened within the parents day or about their child’s daily routine, don’t underestimate the power of simply listening as those few minutes of our attention may make all the difference to the ride home.
Bernice Weissbourd (1981) talks about getting to know parents beyond their parental role. Obviously, we will need to interact with family members around their role as parents, but it is helpful if we can also learn something about them as human beings. What do they like to do when not at work? What are their passions? One teacher I supervised knew the names of the family pets of all the children in her classroom. She shared the passion of being an animal lover with those families, and it created an additional bond.
To be a master weaver of parent partnerships, we are required to nurture, build trust, communicate fully and openly, and listen thoroughly. That is a tall order, especially with new teachers that are learning the craft of teaching. Most of these skills require us to be confident and self-assured in our role as a teacher in order to nurture both children and parents
Early Childhood educators know that it is crucial to treat parents as competent people who know their children best. Partnerships can be wonderful, creative relationships with the goal of providing the most finely woven experience for each child and for their family.
Reference: Weissbourd, B. ((1981). Supporting Parents as People. In Infants: Their Social Environment. Weissbourd, B. & Musick, J. (Eds.) Washington, DC: NAEYC.
Posted Sep 26, 2012
A Parent’s Guide to Family-Friendly Child Care Centers: What makes a good center great!!
Posted Sep 26, 2012
Posted May 3, 2012
The Children’s Center is currently accepting applications for the Spring Semester. Applications can be found on our web site, or you can submit on online from the web site. There are limited openings for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children depending on schedule needs. Contact the Center at 208-426-4404 or vial email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted May 3, 2012