10 Things Your Child Care Provider Should Expect
From You the Parent
Whether your child is cared for in your home, by a family
child care provider
in their home, or in a child care center,
your provider should be able to expect certain things of you.
Open communication. Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for. Also,
provide updates on problems and progress that your child is making. Give the provider information about your child’s
routine, activities, and preferences. Good communication helps parents and providers work together in the best interest of
2. Agreement on terms or arrangements. You should fully understand the expectations of the provider
and what you as a parent are agreeing to. A written agreement between the provider and parents are usually helpful for both
3. Honesty and trust. This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working –
whether you and/or your child is happy with the provider. Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child,
you should still trust your childcare provider to do the best for your child. Show your trust by asking questions rather than
jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop.
4. Advance notice of and agreement to any changes. Providers
have to earn a living, too, so they deserve advance notice if you are going to stop using their services, take a vacation,
or change your hours. If, for example, you want the provider to start feeding your child breakfast, this request should be
discussed and agreed to, and an adjustment should be made in the rate of pay. Also, if you expect a month or six weeks' notice
in the event that the provider can no longer care for your child, you owe the provider similar notice.
5. Pick up
on time and follow through on all agreements. Providers have personal lives, too, and they should be able to expect that you
will pick up your child at the time agreed upon. If it takes you 15 minutes a night longer to get home than you expected,
or if you find it more convenient to stop at the grocery store before picking up your child – which makes you 30 minutes
late three times a week – you need to work out a new agreement with the provider or find a way to abide by the original
one. If you agree to provide diapers, formula, or other supplies, you should remember to bring them before they are needed.
6. Not to send sick, hungry, or overly tired kids. Agree with your child care provider in advance about when you can
and cannot bring a sick child. Never bring a child whom you know is not feeling well enough to be away from home and family.
Likewise, you shouldn’t expect your childcare provider to cope with a child who has not had breakfast or who went to
bed four hours late the night before.
7. Payment on time and no “rubber” checks. Child care providers
have to pay the rent and buy food, too, so make arrangements to see that they receive payment on time.
Realize that taking care of children is an important occupation and the childcare provider is a worker – often a working
parent – just as you are. Recognize also that this is not an easy job. A child care provider is not “just a babysitter."
She is your child’s first teacher and one of the most important people in their life, and in yours too.
jealousy. Try not to be jealous of your child’s attachment to childcare providers. Children who spend every day with
a childcare provider come to love that person. That love, though, doesn’t diminish the love the child feels for you.
Don't feel that you have to compete with your childcare provider for your child’s affection.
10. No surprises.
Your childcare provider shouldn’t learn on Friday that you have decided to take next week off from work so you won’t
need her or pay her either. Your provider shouldn’t learn that you now expect her to pick up your kindergartner after
school because the car pool you have been using has dissolved. Childcare providers don’t like surprises any better than
Thirty years ago she began teaching
Young children in their threes and fours;
didn't know much about children at first,
But over time learned more and more.
She gave them hugs and wiped their
And never left them alone;
She guided them through the small things,
Which often turned out to be milestones.
first students are all grown now,
And she waves to them when they pass;
There's a banker, a writer, a lawyer, an artist,
parents with children in her class.
To those who ask if she plays all day,
She says with a gleam in her eye
she teaches bankers to add and subtract,
And artists the color of the sky.
She teaches the alphabet to writers,
And lawyers what it means to be fair;
She teaches politicians to take their turn,
And executives how to share.
knows that what's learned in the sand-box
Will influence them for years to come;
It's the little things that shape them,
impressionable are the young.
If you to work with children,
And dance and sing and play,
Don't forget that you
shape the future
By whom you teach today!
I AM A PROFESSIONAL
I am a professional. I may have chosen this line of work because I love children and I enjoy my job, but this
is still my job/business. I have received specialized education and/or training to be a caregiver and educator for young children.
I AM NOT A BABYSITTER; I AM A PROFESSIONAL. I AM NOT GETTING RICH.
In many places childcare workers make less then
public sanitation workers, secretaries and other jobs that require a lot less education and experience.
I do get paid in smiles, hugs and recognition of appreciation from families. I need you to read all material
and notices. I am counting on you to know the information I send to you in writing. This includes newsletters, notes and contract
material. It is important that you communicate with me. Let me know in advance if there will be a change in your child’s
schedule, or the services you will need. If I ask you to bring in supplies for your child, please do. And make sure supplies
are replenished as needed. This may include extra clothes, occasional art supplies, diapers etc.
Remember your child is not the only child in my care. Although I do my best to provide individualized attention
at times, I am often unable to change polices or disrupt plans to accommodate the needs of one family. Please do not send
your child if they are ill. If they are too ill to participate in the day’s activities they are too ill to be in care.
I need to protect the health of other children as well. If your child is or WAS ill, please notify me.
I recognize that you are the most important person in your child’s life. I hope that we can work as a
partnership for what is best for your child. Please share with me any concerns or questions about your child’s care
and development. Work with me in helping your child learn, grow and develop.