Letting your children’s teachers and other key caregivers know about your diagnosis and treatment can be helpful as it gives the school/child care provider a heads-up about potential changes to your kids’ routine. It also provides another opportunity for emotional support for your kids, and may help in garnering some extra practical support for your family.

Here is a template that you may wish to use to inform your children’s school/child care provider about your situation. Every family is different so you can edit it to reflect your individual circumstances (don’t forget to take off the bold once you’ve filled in the relevant information).

 

Dear (insert name here),

I am writing to let you know that I have been diagnosed with (insert diagnosis here).

(Child’s name) knows that I (am sick/have cancer) and we have told (him/her) that (managing/curing) this will take some time and will involve (insert any relevant treatment details). At home we refer to my illness as (insert whatever words you use at home when speaking of your illness) and the treatment as (insert words used by the child when chatting about the treatment)

We are keeping a close eye on (child’s name) but would appreciate if you would do so also and get in touch if you have any concerns about a change in (child’s name)’s behaviour. (Partner’s name if applicable) and I would also love it if you would let us know if there is any curriculum content or school activities coming up that may be distressing to (child’s name) so we can work together, in advance, on a course of action to manage this.

My intention is to keep you up to date with my treatment progress on a regular basis to ensure that we continue to work to make this as easy as possible for (child’s name), the teaching team and our entire family. We (would prefer at this stage to keep the news of my diagnosis fairly quiet/we are comfortable if (child’s name)’s classmates and families know of my diagnosis).

I have mentioned to (child’s name) that I am sending this through to you and (he/she) has indicated that she is (happy for you to check in with him/her occasionally on how he/she is coping OR he/she would prefer school to be a place where she/he does not need to worry or focus on my health).

I am gathering that my treatment is going to be busy and challenging so I have asked (insert friend/family member’s name) to be the contact for those wanting to make contact and ask questions. He/she can be contacted on (insert email address). In addition, (insert name) has offered to field any offers of help that may come up from the school community. He/she can be contacted on (insert email address or phone number).

Thank you for all that you do for (child’s name) and please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or concerns you may have.

Yours sincerely,

(Parent’s name)