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Practice Guideline on Communication and Collaboration

Practice Guideline - Communication and Collaboration
Recognizing the importance of developing open, responsive and respectful relationships with families and colleagues, this resource is designed to help you reflect on and strengthen your approaches to communication and collaboration.

Use this guideline to help you learn about:

  • the importance of communication and collaboration for developing meaningful and responsive relationships;
  • elements of effective communication and using technology to communicate with families, colleagues and others in your community of practice;
  • strategies to support effective communication and collaboration with families, including how to best have challenging conversations;
  • strategies to strengthen communication with colleagues, including conflict resolution;
  • ways to collaborate with community partners and other professionals.

Guideline content


PG - CC - Section 1

Section 1 – the importance of communication and collaboration

Learn about the elements of effective communication, how to demonstrate professionalism and leadership in this area and how technology can enhance your efforts.

PG - CC - Section 2

Section 2 – communication and collaboration with families

Find out how you can develop strong partnerships, use technology effectively to connect and how to approach challenging conversations.

PG - CC - Section 3

Section 3 – communication and collaboration with colleagues (coming in December)

Learn how you can work together to provide the best for the children in your professional care. This section includes information on how you can use critical reflection, address communication challenges and resolve sources of conflict.

PG - CC - Section 4

Section 4 – communication and collaboration with community partners (coming in December)

Discover the importance of collaborating with community partners and other professionals in order to support improved care and programming for children and families.

About this publication
Practice guidelines communicate certain expectations of Registered Early Childhood Educators as outlined in the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Guidelines also highlight how those expectations may be applied in practice. They include recommendations and provide opportunities for self-reflection and professional learning. The Code and Standards, current research and related legislation should be consulted when considering practice guidelines. Practice guidelines support the College’s role to promote high standards and continuous professional learning and to govern the conduct of RECEs.
Suggestions for using the Practice Guideline
  • Take your time to review the material and additional resources.
  • Focus on areas that are most relevant to your current practice or sections that challenge you.
  • Engage in collaborative inquiry and critical reflection during a staff or team meeting, or share in a community of practice.
  • Actively engage in collaborative discussions to reflect on, challenge and question the complexities of practice.
  • Use this resource to support you with your related Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) portfolio goals and activities.
Guideline references

Abrams, J. (2016). 4 key questions to ask before having a hard conversation. McCormick Center for Early Childhood Education Leadership. https://mccormickcenter.nl.edu/library/4-key-questions-to-ask-before-having-a-hard-conversation/

Chandler, K. (2019). Administering for quality: Leading and collaborating Canadian early childhood education programs (6th ed.). Pearson Canada.

City of Toronto. (2018). Toronto action plan to confront anti-black racism. https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-109127.pdf

Clinton, J. (2014). Brain development: Quality of interactions. (Video recording). Ontario Ministry of Education. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx10YkEgxpA

College of Nurses of Ontario. (2018). Conflict prevention and management. https://www.cno.org/globalassets/docs/prac/47004_conflict_prev.pdf

Derman-Sparks, L., LeeKeenan, D., & Nimmo, J. (2015). Leading anti-bias early childhood programs: A guide for change. Teachers College Press.

Kaldor, T. (2015). Technology as a tool to strengthen the home-school connection. In C. Donohue (Eds.), Technology and digital media in the early years (pp. 199-201). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

NAEYC. (2020). Principles of effective family engagement. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/family-engagement/principles

NAEYC. (2020). 10X: Using technology to engage families. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/tyc/aug2016/10x-using-technology-engage-families

Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers. (2010). Practice notes: The inter-professional team – asset or encumbrance? https://www.ocswssw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Practice-Notes-The-Inter-Professional-Team-revised-20180629.pdf

Ontario College of Teachers. (2017). Professional advisory: Maintaining professionalism – use of electronic communication and social media. https://www.oct.ca/-/media/PDF/Advisory%20Social%20Media/ProfAdvSocMediaENPRINT.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2013). Think, feel, act: Lessons from research about young children. https://www.ontario.ca/page/think-feel-act-lessons-research-about-young-children

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2014a). An introduction to how does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years for leaders. https://files.ontario.ca/edu-1/edu-introduction-how-learning-happen-for-leaders-en-2021-03-10.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2014b). Collaborative inquiry in Ontario. https://thelearningexchange.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CBS_CollaborativeInquiry.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2014c). How does learning happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years. https://files.ontario.ca/edu-how-does-learning-happen-en-2021-03-23.pdf

Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). The kindergarten program 2016. https://www.ontario.ca/document/kindergarten-program-2016

Puerling, B., & Fowler, A. (2015). Technology tools for teachers and teaching: Innovative practices and emerging technologies. In C. Donohue (Eds.), Technology and digital media in the early years (pp. 183-199). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Wilson, L. (2014). Partnerships: Families and communities in early childhood (5th ed.). Nelson Education Ltd.

Zero to Three. (2020). How to communicate with parents. https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/92-how-to-communicate-with-parents

Pause and Reflect exercises from each section

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3

Section 4