When most people think about children in childcare, the people they think about are probably the children and the provider. Another central person in this setting, however, is the parent—sometimes several parents, grandparents, or other guardians. Consistency and connection between those people and the childcare setting are very important. The parents or guardians and the childcare provider should understand each other. They should do similar things with the child and have similar goals.
Communication between parents and providers is not always easy or smooth, though. Parents may say some things that stop providers in their tracks.
• Why are the kids always playing? Why don’t you teach reading and math?
• My sister’s childcare provider takes the kids on field trips. When are you going to the museum?
• I noticed a bruise on Juan’s leg last night. What did you do to him yesterday?
As a provider, you
also may say things that make parents confused or angry.
Studies have shown that children do better when parents and childcare providers do similar things—that is, when they are consistent. And children’s well-being is the most important part of childcare. It is important for parents to choose settings that fit their childrearing practices. It is important for providers, on the other hand, to describe their practices clearly and to adjust to the parents’ goals at times. It is also important that parents have one special provider as a contact person to keep the lines of communication open.
relationships are also valuable for you and for the parents. If you get
along with them well, you will have an easier time talking about the problems
you are having with their child. Parents may be more willing to pay you
on time. A parent who likes you will be more comfortable with leaving
his or her child in your care. Then there may be fewer problems with crying
and clinging children.
New Families to Your Program
For more information, contact Judith A. Myers-Walls, PhD, CFLE at firstname.lastname@example.org
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