How to Communicate with Your Daycare Provider
You’ve done your research, left no stone unturned, and found a place that is in line with your parenting and your values. However, building a trusting relationship with your childcare provider does not happen overnight. Trust has to be earned and has to be mutual. Effective and productive communication is the absolute most important element in order to establish a trusting, collaborative partnership. Very often, when it comes to our children, the “Mama or Papa Bear” in each of us comes out, sometimes too quickly, and more often, unnecessarily. We are quick to accuse and judge and often jump to unwarranted conclusions. We don’t take the time to take a deep breath, stay calm, and understand that there is often a big picture that we may not see.
Below are a few tips from BabyFirst’s Early Childhood Expert, Jessica Kohn, to successfully communicate with your child’s caregiver:
Make sure you understand the center’s communication systems and protocols, and that you follow them.
Create a manageable check in plan, together with your caregiver, in the event that you need more information than the center’s communication provides. Just remember to be reasonable. You will not know everything, no matter how much you wish you could!
Approach any issues that may arise calmly and in a collaborative way, never in a judgmental way.
Schedule time to touch base with your child’s caregiver outside of hectic drop off and pick up times.
Understand that while you are the expert on your child at home, your child’s caregiver is the expert on what happens in daycare. In order to successfully communicate, both you and your caregiver must have a trusting partnership. Let your caregiver know that s/he should always feel comfortable asking you anything and everything in the “getting to know you process”. Make sure to be accessible and approachable to your childcare provider, be thankful for the questions that you are asked, and provide as much information as possible in setting both your child and the caregiver up for success. When caregivers take the time to ask questions to get to know you and your child, you are another step closer to building that trust.
Mutual respect is key! Let your childcare provider know how much you appreciate the love and care that is shown to your child. Partnerships and trusting relationships are built on personal connections and showing gratitude is an essential piece.
You should rest easy knowing that you have found a place where the caregivers really love your children and want them to learn, grow and thrive and be the best that they can be. They have a lot of experience and they are your partners in raising your children.