No one can fill your shoes perfectly, but building a trusting relationship with your child's caregiver is key to quality care. A positive relationship between home and day care supports your child's learning by creating consistency in her care. Day care providers use a variety of methods to build relationships with parents, including in-person communication, email messages, newsletters and special events. Your participation and response to the caregiver's methods create a reciprocal exchange to improve your child's care.
Enter the relationship with an open mind and a positive attitude. Allow the caregiver to provide the necessary care for your child even if she doesn't do everything just the way you do at home. Judgments on either side of the relationship make building trust difficult.
Learn the policies at the day care center to ensure you're following the expectations. Failing to follow the policies can cause tension between home and day care, making it difficult to maintain a healthy relationship. Read all paperwork and notes sent home to keep yourself informed on changes or upcoming events.
Attend special events and activities at the day care when your schedule allows. Watch for activities such as open houses or family fun nights as a way to learn more about the program.
Share information with the caregiver about your child if it is relevant to her care. Letting the caregiver know you are moving gives her warning in case your child's behavior changes. If you're potty training or dealing with a medical issue, the caregiver discovers how to handle the situation through this communication.
Ask questions to encourage communication between day care and home. Find out what types of activities your child does at day care and what type of activities the class has coming up soon. Bring up concerns you have by asking questions about the situation. Keeping those lines of communication open helps build a relationship with the caregiver.
Respond to contact made by the caregiver, especially if she wants to discuss a problem. Avoiding the situation won't help resolve it and only hurts the relationship with the caregiver. Attend scheduled conferences or meetings about your child. Respond to email messages or notes sent home.
Visit the day care occasionally to see your child in the environment. Watch how she interacts with peers and the caregiver. Volunteering in the room is another way to stay informed on what's happening at day care.
Join the parent advisory board if the day care has one established. Offer to organize a group if the center doesn't have any type of parent involvement board. This type of group allows you to learn more about the happenings at the day care and help make changes to improve the center.
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