Talking With Your Child's Caregiver

Reviewed Mar 21, 2017

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Summary

  • Check daily announcements.
  • Don’t rush your departure.
  • Meet all staff members.
  • Schedule conferences to bring up concerns.

Studies show that a strong relationship between parents and their child’s care provider fosters the child’s emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. Frequent and quality communication is the key to such relationships—even when everything seems to be going great. Consider this advice for talking with your child’s care provider.

Daily communication

How did your child’s day go? Was he happy? Did he eat his lunch? Were there any problems? These types of questions typically can be answered by brief, informal dialogue with the caregiver. Your attitude and interest in being informed, however, can make an important difference in the quality of this communication:

  • Check out the place where announcements and the day’s agenda are posted every day.
  • Check your child’s cubby for special memos or a write-up of the day’s activities and events.
  • Don’t rush your departure. Instead, greet the provider and ask how the day went. Your willingness to talk may result in just a brief exchange like “everything’s going great,” or in the provider sharing “a first” for your child or something amusing that happened during the day. Use this opportunity to alert the provider to new behaviors or minor problems at home.
  • Be aware of how your body movement, voice inflection, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues can influence the quality of your communications.
  • Be considerate of the teacher’s time. If the provider is too busy to talk, a simple wave will do. Sometimes, your questions can be answered by leaving a note or through email or a quick phone call. (On the other hand, if poor staffing patterns are inhibiting your ability to communicate with your child’s primary care provider, take up the issue with the center’s administration. It is important for you to have daily contact with the person ultimately responsible for your child’s care.)
  • Make a point to meet all staff members, including food preparers, administration, and regular helpers—not just the primary caregiver.

Periodic conferences

Scheduling time for lengthier discussions also is important. The care provider can share your child’s progress, her likes and dislikes, learning patterns, and areas needing additional support from you. Kids often act differently at home than at school or day care. The provider can help you gain a new perspective.

Schedule conferences to bring up concerns—potty training, naptime issues, acting out, separation anxiety, scheduling issues, or dissatisfactions with the program or staff. Talking about your child’s home and family life with the provider also is important, especially when there are issues, such as marital problems, illness or an impending move, which may affect your child.

Here are some tips for a productive conference:

  • Schedule at least 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time that is convenient for both you and the provider.
  • If your child splits time between preschool and another care environment, consider including all primary caregivers in the conference.
  • List the items you want to discuss beforehand.
  • Begin the conversation by bringing up aspects of the program and provider that you are pleased with, which helps put everyone at ease.
  • Think before speaking. Know exactly what message you want to convey. Be aware of your unspoken language.
  • Be an active listener. Don’t interrupt or judge. Respect the provider’s professional opinion.
  • If you have a concern, keep your emotions in check. Don’t blame. Work with your child’s provider to come up with a solution to your concerns.
  • Make arrangements for follow-up if needed, either by phone or another meeting.
  • Offer your willingness to help and be involved.

Resources

Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone by Penelope Leach. Vintage, 2010.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
www.naeyc.org 

By Christine P. Martin
Source: Working with Professionals to Get the Best for Your Child edited by Susan Schneider. Time Life Books, 2000; The Preschool Handbook: Making the Most of Your Child’s Education by Barbara Brenner. Bank Street College, 1990; Child Development and Early Education: Infancy Through Preschool by Pauline H. Turner and Tommie J. Hammer. Allyn and Bacon, 1994; The Power of Positive Confrontation: The Skills You Need to Know to Handle Conflicts at Work, at Home, and in Life by Barbara Pachter. Marlowe, 2000.

Summary

  • Check daily announcements.
  • Don’t rush your departure.
  • Meet all staff members.
  • Schedule conferences to bring up concerns.

Studies show that a strong relationship between parents and their child’s care provider fosters the child’s emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. Frequent and quality communication is the key to such relationships—even when everything seems to be going great. Consider this advice for talking with your child’s care provider.

Daily communication

How did your child’s day go? Was he happy? Did he eat his lunch? Were there any problems? These types of questions typically can be answered by brief, informal dialogue with the caregiver. Your attitude and interest in being informed, however, can make an important difference in the quality of this communication:

  • Check out the place where announcements and the day’s agenda are posted every day.
  • Check your child’s cubby for special memos or a write-up of the day’s activities and events.
  • Don’t rush your departure. Instead, greet the provider and ask how the day went. Your willingness to talk may result in just a brief exchange like “everything’s going great,” or in the provider sharing “a first” for your child or something amusing that happened during the day. Use this opportunity to alert the provider to new behaviors or minor problems at home.
  • Be aware of how your body movement, voice inflection, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues can influence the quality of your communications.
  • Be considerate of the teacher’s time. If the provider is too busy to talk, a simple wave will do. Sometimes, your questions can be answered by leaving a note or through email or a quick phone call. (On the other hand, if poor staffing patterns are inhibiting your ability to communicate with your child’s primary care provider, take up the issue with the center’s administration. It is important for you to have daily contact with the person ultimately responsible for your child’s care.)
  • Make a point to meet all staff members, including food preparers, administration, and regular helpers—not just the primary caregiver.

Periodic conferences

Scheduling time for lengthier discussions also is important. The care provider can share your child’s progress, her likes and dislikes, learning patterns, and areas needing additional support from you. Kids often act differently at home than at school or day care. The provider can help you gain a new perspective.

Schedule conferences to bring up concerns—potty training, naptime issues, acting out, separation anxiety, scheduling issues, or dissatisfactions with the program or staff. Talking about your child’s home and family life with the provider also is important, especially when there are issues, such as marital problems, illness or an impending move, which may affect your child.

Here are some tips for a productive conference:

  • Schedule at least 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time that is convenient for both you and the provider.
  • If your child splits time between preschool and another care environment, consider including all primary caregivers in the conference.
  • List the items you want to discuss beforehand.
  • Begin the conversation by bringing up aspects of the program and provider that you are pleased with, which helps put everyone at ease.
  • Think before speaking. Know exactly what message you want to convey. Be aware of your unspoken language.
  • Be an active listener. Don’t interrupt or judge. Respect the provider’s professional opinion.
  • If you have a concern, keep your emotions in check. Don’t blame. Work with your child’s provider to come up with a solution to your concerns.
  • Make arrangements for follow-up if needed, either by phone or another meeting.
  • Offer your willingness to help and be involved.

Resources

Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone by Penelope Leach. Vintage, 2010.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
www.naeyc.org 

By Christine P. Martin
Source: Working with Professionals to Get the Best for Your Child edited by Susan Schneider. Time Life Books, 2000; The Preschool Handbook: Making the Most of Your Child’s Education by Barbara Brenner. Bank Street College, 1990; Child Development and Early Education: Infancy Through Preschool by Pauline H. Turner and Tommie J. Hammer. Allyn and Bacon, 1994; The Power of Positive Confrontation: The Skills You Need to Know to Handle Conflicts at Work, at Home, and in Life by Barbara Pachter. Marlowe, 2000.

Summary

  • Check daily announcements.
  • Don’t rush your departure.
  • Meet all staff members.
  • Schedule conferences to bring up concerns.

Studies show that a strong relationship between parents and their child’s care provider fosters the child’s emotional, cognitive, and physical growth. Frequent and quality communication is the key to such relationships—even when everything seems to be going great. Consider this advice for talking with your child’s care provider.

Daily communication

How did your child’s day go? Was he happy? Did he eat his lunch? Were there any problems? These types of questions typically can be answered by brief, informal dialogue with the caregiver. Your attitude and interest in being informed, however, can make an important difference in the quality of this communication:

  • Check out the place where announcements and the day’s agenda are posted every day.
  • Check your child’s cubby for special memos or a write-up of the day’s activities and events.
  • Don’t rush your departure. Instead, greet the provider and ask how the day went. Your willingness to talk may result in just a brief exchange like “everything’s going great,” or in the provider sharing “a first” for your child or something amusing that happened during the day. Use this opportunity to alert the provider to new behaviors or minor problems at home.
  • Be aware of how your body movement, voice inflection, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues can influence the quality of your communications.
  • Be considerate of the teacher’s time. If the provider is too busy to talk, a simple wave will do. Sometimes, your questions can be answered by leaving a note or through email or a quick phone call. (On the other hand, if poor staffing patterns are inhibiting your ability to communicate with your child’s primary care provider, take up the issue with the center’s administration. It is important for you to have daily contact with the person ultimately responsible for your child’s care.)
  • Make a point to meet all staff members, including food preparers, administration, and regular helpers—not just the primary caregiver.

Periodic conferences

Scheduling time for lengthier discussions also is important. The care provider can share your child’s progress, her likes and dislikes, learning patterns, and areas needing additional support from you. Kids often act differently at home than at school or day care. The provider can help you gain a new perspective.

Schedule conferences to bring up concerns—potty training, naptime issues, acting out, separation anxiety, scheduling issues, or dissatisfactions with the program or staff. Talking about your child’s home and family life with the provider also is important, especially when there are issues, such as marital problems, illness or an impending move, which may affect your child.

Here are some tips for a productive conference:

  • Schedule at least 30 minutes to an hour of uninterrupted time that is convenient for both you and the provider.
  • If your child splits time between preschool and another care environment, consider including all primary caregivers in the conference.
  • List the items you want to discuss beforehand.
  • Begin the conversation by bringing up aspects of the program and provider that you are pleased with, which helps put everyone at ease.
  • Think before speaking. Know exactly what message you want to convey. Be aware of your unspoken language.
  • Be an active listener. Don’t interrupt or judge. Respect the provider’s professional opinion.
  • If you have a concern, keep your emotions in check. Don’t blame. Work with your child’s provider to come up with a solution to your concerns.
  • Make arrangements for follow-up if needed, either by phone or another meeting.
  • Offer your willingness to help and be involved.

Resources

Child Care Today: Getting It Right for Everyone by Penelope Leach. Vintage, 2010.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
www.naeyc.org 

By Christine P. Martin
Source: Working with Professionals to Get the Best for Your Child edited by Susan Schneider. Time Life Books, 2000; The Preschool Handbook: Making the Most of Your Child’s Education by Barbara Brenner. Bank Street College, 1990; Child Development and Early Education: Infancy Through Preschool by Pauline H. Turner and Tommie J. Hammer. Allyn and Bacon, 1994; The Power of Positive Confrontation: The Skills You Need to Know to Handle Conflicts at Work, at Home, and in Life by Barbara Pachter. Marlowe, 2000.

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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