Dropping your child off at a daycare can be an anxiety-ridden experience. Your childcare provider will be spending just as much time as you do with your child. So, it is natural to have a lot of questions. But how do you effectively speak with your childcare provider without coming off pushy or demanding? We have some tips on how to communicate with your childcare provider that may help.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Childcare providers want to speak with you just as much as you want to speak with them. They are caring for and teaching your child daily, in most cases, and they want to keep you in the loop about their progress or any issues that may arise.
Be available for any meetings your provider wants to schedule. Providers like to show you what your child is doing on a daily basis. They don’t want to keep you in the dark, as they understand how important your child is. This is even more important now with COVID-19 as many daycares are not allowing parents to enter the building so keeping contact will require more effort than before. Some daycare providers will text or email parents daily or weekly. If this is something you would like, inquire before you choose a daycare facility. This way you will know before your child’s first day that those lines of communication are open.
Respect Their Time
Just like you, your childcare provider is very busy, as they are caring for a lot of children. If you are interested in speaking with them about your child, schedule a meeting. You don’t want to start an important conversation during drop-off or pickup, when things can be hectic.
By scheduling a meeting to communicate with your childcare provider, you are showing them you respect their time and, in turn, they will respect yours.
Treat Them Like Professionals
When communicating with your childcare provider, no matter how close you are with them, remember that they are professionals and should be treated that way. With technology, such as texting or emailing, it can be easy to fire off a message with ‘I would like to meet with you.’ But try to be specific. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, let them know ahead of time so they can be prepared. If you would just like to discuss your child’s progress, let them know this too.
Remember, just because you are friendly with them doesn’t mean you can take advantage when issues arise. Treat them with the same respect you would anyone you are doing business with.
Be Prepared to Listen
As parents, we may jump to conclusions when we don’t like something our child says. For example, if your child comes home from daycare and claims their caregiver was mean, don’t immediately place the blame on your provider. Take the time to explain to your provider what your child said, and listen to their response. Perhaps your child was misbehaving and his or her provider needed to discipline them. If this is something you are OK with, then speak with your child and explain that they need to respect the rules while at daycare and listen to their provider. If you are not OK with how the provider handled a situation, calmly explain your feelings and try to come up with a solution you can both agree on in future situations.
The last thing you want to be with your childcare provider is confrontational. Remember, your daycare provider works for you and wants what is best for your child. If something isn’t working, talk it through together. Childcare providers want both you and your child to be happy.
Something you also want to remember when figuring out how to communicate with your childcare provider is letting them know positive things about your child. Perhaps you only communicate with your childcare provider when there is an issue or concern. Try to remember to reach out and offer praise every once in a while. If your child has a particularly great day at daycare, shoot your provider a thank you email or mention it during drop-off the next day.
The key is letting them know they are doing a good job, and that they are valued.
Ultimately, it’s up to you to build a relationship and how you want to communicate with your childcare provider. Be involved and remember that your childcare provider wants to offer the best experience for your child. And only you can help make that happen since you know your child best!