Maryland EXCELS Toolkit  

Conference Schedule & Informing Families Statement

Daily communication is one way to build positive relationships with families, but family conferences help to strengthen those important connections. Conferences give you and families a chance to discuss a child’s development, progress, interests, background experiences, and other topics that support the child’s success.

woman looking over the shoulder of young child writing
Families as Partners

This section guides you through reviewing, revising, or creating a written statement that explains your program’s approach to family conferences. If you have a schedule of family conferences, you are well on your way to meeting the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Family Conferences: ADM 6.1. If you hold conferences at least once a year or more, your program may meet the requirements of higher levels.

Select the Requirements tab for information about the documentation you need to submit for your program type.

NOTE: There are no Family Conferences requirements for School-Age Only programs.

Requirements

The following interactive shows the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Family Conferences: ADM 6.1. Key requirements are marked by a bright dot. Select each dot for information about what to include in your documentation.

To view the specific requirements for ADM 6.1, select your program type:

NOTE: There are no Family Conferences requirements for School-Age Only programs.

 

  Child Care Center
ADM 6.1: Family Conferences Program conducts family conferences. Documentation to submit: Conference Schedule & Family Conference Statement

  Family Child Care
ADM 6.1: Family Conferences Provider conducts family conferences. Documentation to submit: Conference Schedule & Family Conference Statement

  School-Age Only
ADM 6.1: Family Communication There are no Family Communication requirements for School-Age Only programs at this level.

 

Instructions

To meet the requirements for Administrative Policies and Practices: Family Conferences: ADM 6.1, you will upload:

  • Conference Schedule (examples: fall / spring; two times per year; as requested)
  • Statement explaining:
    • How your program informs families about conferences
    • How families sign up for conferences

The Policy or Statement Builder provides a step-by-step guide for creating your statement.






Conference Schedule & Statement

Formal conferences are one way to make sure you and families set aside time for structured and focused discussions about their child. Conferences may be held at the same time each year (ex. fall and spring), when children move to a new program or classroom, as requested by families, or as needed.

 

What does the documentation look like?

You will upload a statement that explains how your program handles family conferences including:

  • When conferences are held
  • How families are informed about conferences
  • How families sign up to attend a conference

Your conference schedule may be in the form of written documents to families, a calendar, a newsletter describing when conferences are held, or within a handbook families receive when they enroll their child in your program.

 

How can you tell if you're on the right track?

Your statement clearly explains to families your program’s approach to conferences. If a family member read your statement, they should know:

  1. when conferences are held
  2. how they can expect to find out about conferences
  3. the process for signing up for a conference
 

Where can you learn more?

This tip sheet gives you some ideas to consider for your next round of conferences with families.

Family Conference – Tip Sheet

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Policy or Statement Builder

This interactive helps you write a statement that describes your program's approach to family conferences. You have the option of emailing your responses to yourself and editing your final statement before uploading it to the Maryland EXCELS System. Writing your responses in full sentences now gives you a head-start when you edit your statement later.

Build-A-Statement: Family Conferences

Final Touches

Check your Family Conference statement one more time as you prepare to upload it to the Maryland EXCELS System.

 

Check to be sure your documents includes:

Your program’s policies and practices for:

 
 
  • How families are informed of conferences
  • How families sign up for a conference
 

Save your document:

  • Use a file name that you can find easily when you upload it to the system. (example: family-conferences.docx)
  • Use any one of these formats:
    • Typed electronic version (examples: Microsoft Word, PDF)
    • Scanned version (examples: PDF, PNG, JPG)
    • Digital image / picture (examples: JPG, PNG, PDF)

Next Steps

Use the following guide to upload your documents, look ahead, and think about a plan for ongoing improvement.

 

Step 1: Prepare to Upload Your Document

  • Locate your username and password for logging into your Maryland EXCELS account
  • Locate the document you saved on the computer
 

Step 2: Look Ahead and Plan for Improvement

Look Ahead

If you offer conferences at least once a year, your statement might meet requirements for ADM 6.2 and ADM 6.3. If you offer conferences at least twice a year, your statement might meet requirements for ADM 6.4 and ADM 6.5.

Plan for Improvement

If you meet less often with families, set a goal to learn more about the benefits of conferencing with families. Or, explore tips for making the most of the conferences you offer to families.

 

Step 3: Upload Your Documentation (ADM 6.1)

Log in to the Maryland EXCELS System to upload your statement that describes your program’s approach to family conferences.

screenshot of Maryland EXCELS upload screen with a comment box
Upload Documentation