Having these early conferences helps us to inform the parents of what their child knows and what they are expected to know by the end of the first grading period. For many parents, this is their first realization that they need to spend time interacting with their child, reading stories, practicing counting and talking about letters and shapes.
Do these parent teacher conference guarantee a parent will all of a sudden take an academic interest in their child? No, not always. For others however, this may be their first child and they weren't aware of the increased academics in kindergarten. It is my job to educated the parents on ways they can help their child be successful and encourage them to become involved in the classroom and the school.
I take a quick assessment a day or two before the parent conference so that I have current data to refer to. I've included my assessment page below just click to download a copy.
Hope this helps, and good luck to you when you hold your conferences.