02.03.07 - Parent Fair

Parent Fair Policy Number and Last Update

Delegate programs should hold a parent fair for each site before opening, or within one week of opening, at a day and time when the majority of mothers and fathers are not working. The Parent Fair is an open house and orientation for parents that provides an opportunity for them to meet staff, other parents, and community service providers.


Serve a meal from the IMSHSP menus. Ask community service agencies, community colleges, banks, the public library, trade schools, Migrant Even-Start, and other agencies of interest to parents to send representatives (bilingual, if possible) and provide materials to introduce to parents.

Parent Committee Meeting

The staff may elect to hold the first Parent Committee meeting at this time. If so, child care must be provided in a separate area.

Parent Workshops

As time allows, present workshops and activities for mandated, parent-education topics with child care provided. The program can offer nutrition education for parents by serving a meal from the center menu, disseminating information about the nutritional needs of children, and discussing briefly how the IMSHSP meals provide for children's nutrition.

Another possibility is to set up classrooms with developmentally appropriate activities for parents, following the Creative Curriculum. Staff should explain what children learn from these activities, developmental milestones, stages of development, and disseminate written information on this topic. (This is not intended to be a make-it and take-it for crafts or pattern art). Activities do not have to relate to art, but can be math, reading, block play, water play, manipulative, or science exploration.

Other workshops, following IMSHSP guidelines, may be presented if there is time. It is preferable to hold workshops at the beginning of the fair. Possibilities for training sessions are: Emotional Health of Families (including characteristics of happy families, prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and substance abuse), Medical and Dental Health (including when to seek medical intervention, basic first aid, prevention of tooth decay, etc.).

Door Prizes

The program should obtain donations of door prizes to award at intervals throughout the time.