Families gain partners in the rearing of children by cultivating positive relationships with their child caregivers. Caregivers educate & keep children in a clean, safe and secure environment while you are away. They can support family values, provide unique experiences and offer special insights into your children’s strengths and needs.
Please initiate a variety of steps to develop positive relationships with all caregivers of your children based on trust and respect. Listed below are some starter suggestions.
1. Share important information. Caregivers need information to create the best environment for your children. By knowing more about your child’s personality, habits and preferences, your Caregiver can best meet their needs. Be encouraged to share updates about your children expeditiously. Caregivers will be able to support your parenting style and provide consistency through your sharing their positive growth patterns, new interest, significant changes at home, and behavioral challenges and how you have managed them. Make sharing information a habit. By offering a few words at drop-off time about how your children slept last night, about Grandma’s upcoming visit or a quick phone call to say that you loved the last class newsletter, you can let your childcare Caregiver know that you value him or her enough to take the time to communicate.
2. Be honest and open. If you have a request or concern, speak with your Caregiver as soon as possible. Inform them of achievements that need to be praised or of policies that bother you. In sharing this information we can encourage our children and find solutions together; permitting success stories to go unnoticed can delay progress and letting annoyances build may create tensions. By communicating, you are benefiting your child, all children in their care and Caregivers. Let’s continue to create a happy harmonious atmosphere for everyone.
3. Lead by example for our children and use respectful communication at all times. We should be consciously aware that our children are present and learning from our daily interaction with others. We can work together as a team to resolve possible issues and avoid many potential conflicts. Caregivers and parents/guardians tend to see each other during hurried times of the day and patience can be short; hectic beginning of the day or at the end of the day when everyone is tired. Practice respectful communication daily.
4. Respect personal boundaries. Caregivers vary in the intimacy primarily due to the number of children, size venue or type of caregiver (friend, relative, home care or center provider). Some may socialize on a more personal level with you and your family; others have a more formal relationship. Do not take it personal if they prefer to call you by your last name or assume that formal relationships are an indication of the warmth shared with your child.
5. Ensure that the relationship is in service to your child. Be open and understanding of all feedback received about your child and not let the personal relationships get in the way of what's important. It is easy for friendships between parents/guardians and caregivers to get in the way of the caregiver’s relationship with the child. For instance, a caregiver needs to be able to share bad news, such as a child’s misbehavior, without worrying about hurting the parents’ feelings.
• Keep in mind that Licensed Child Care Providers have to balance many parent/guardian requests while adhering to regulatory guidelines. What may seem like a simple request to you, such as wanting your child to come to the program on an extra day, 1 to 1 special attention, changing meal times or substitution & payment agreements; may need to be filtered through issues, including how this might affect other families. Please keep caregivers commitment to the growth, safety and welfare of all children in perspective, it will help you to avoid personalizing policies and rules.
By working to ensure a positive relationship with your child’s caregiver, you will help your child to have the best experience possible. Using open, respectful communication, working to solve conflicts and showing appreciation for your childcare Caregiver will allow you both to support each other in your hard and important role as parents/guardians and childcare Caregivers.