Logo for: Early Childhood Consultation Partnership Logo for: Early Childhood Consultation Partnership



Childcare programs can provide items and experiences that enhance children’s learning and families’ well-being without having a big impact on the budget.

1. Link Families to Services in the Community

Create a resource notebook of support services available. Contact local family childcare networks and resource and referral agencies that can provide needed services to families in health, nutrition, mental health, social services, parenting, and other areas of need.

2. Obtain Resources for the Classroom

Create a list of local businesses you can approach for free materials or visiting experiences to expand children’s learning. This can include parents’ place of employment. Ask families to donate items like paper, magnets, old business cards, or printed materials. Visits to local restaurants or businesses help children learn about their community.

3. Incorporate Recyclable Materials Into All Areas of the Curriculum

Plastic spoons, puzzle pieces and clothes pins in the art room can be made into puppets and creative creatures. Leftover party supplies and gardening material can be added to enhance children’s dramatic play. Crafts made from recycled materials are not only fun, but are a great way to save a little money.

4. Create a “Teachable Moments” Resource for Families

Help parents see how everyday activities such as shopping for groceries, cleaning up the yard or cooking a meal can be turned into a fun learning experience for their child. Include vocabulary words and identify objects by color, shape, or use. Remember to incorporate the use of the five senses (see, hear, feel, smell, and taste).

5. Encourage Parents to Be a Resource for Each Other

Support parent partnerships and networking. Start a tradition of holding regular family potluck gatherings. Parents can get together and share information and insights about child rearing, local resources, and can exchange things such as children’s toys, clothes, or store coupons.