Once you've made your child care decision, your job is not over. Maintaining a good working relationship with your child care provider is vital! As a parent, you want the best possible care for your child and you want it to continue to be of the highest quality. In order to achieve this, it is extremely important to keep the lines of communication open. The following suggestions should help you build a successful child care partnership.
- Know the terms of your contract before you start care: the pick-up and drop-off time, when to pay and the fee amount, holidays, sick days, emergency procedures, where you should park your car, what door to enter, and where to put your child s belongings.
- Share information about your child's likes and dislikes and any specific routines.
- Make sure that your provider can always reach you or another familiar adult.
- Inform the provider about things that may be affecting your child s behavior or feelings (i.e. sickness, an upcoming trip, visits by relatives, sleepless nights, a sick pet, change in family status, etc.).
- Establish a regular time to talk besides during drop-off and pick-up times. Regular monthly or quarterly meetings/check-ins are a time for more detailed conversation about your child. Listen to your provider's feelings about your child. She or he may have important insight that you may find helpful. Set aside time and be specific about your concerns.
- Bring up any problems or concerns PROMPTLY but not in front of your child. Set aside time and be specific about your concerns.
- Get involved offer to help! Be available for special events, provide snacks, loan a toy, or drop-in on your lunch hour.
- Let your provider know that you appreciate the care your child is receiving.
- Remember, the most important factor in maintaining a positive relationship with your provider is communicating honestly and openly. When this occurs, everyone will benefit from the child care experience.