A quality child care environment is vital to your child’s well being, safety, and development. Child care options outside of your home include group child care centres, family child care settings, or licensed preschool programs. The quality of care will be dependent on the partnership you as a parent develop with your child care provider. Parents and child care providers need to work together as a team to provide a healthy environment and to support the needs of one another. To have a positive partnership with a child care provider your responsibilities as a parent are to:
- Prepare your child for their child care experience by using a gradual entry procedure starting with a few hours at a time and building up to a full day. By doing this it gives your child time to adjust to the new setting and to the child care provider. Your child also learns that you will return to pick them up.
- Provide your child care with all the information needed by completing all the registration forms and the parent/caregiver agreement contract.
- Inform the child care of any changes in address, phone, employment or emergency information as soon as possible.
- Inform the child care provider of any changes in your family situation that could affect your child (separation, moving, death, additions to the family home, i.e. baby or grandparents)
- Ensure that your child is brought to the child care setting well rested, fed, healthy and clean.
- Pack a nutritious lunch and snack for your child (a well balanced lunch should contain at least one food from each of the four food groups and well balanced snacks contain items from at least two of the food groups listed in Canada’s Food Guide)
- Inform the child care provider if the child has a communicable disease, or has been in contact with a communicable/contagious disease.
- Keep your child at home if he/she is ill, or pick them up as soon as possible if they become ill while at the child care.
- Provide the name of an emergency backup person in the event that you are not able to pick up for child for any reason.
- Provide authorization for the child care provider to seek emergency medical care for your child if necessary.
- Ensure that your children are picked up and dropped off at agreed times.
- Inform the child care provider of any changes to your scheduled child care hours ( i.e. if you are going to be late in picking up your child or not attending child care on a regularly scheduled day).
- Sign in and out on the child care attendance sheet when dropping off or picking up your child.
- Respect the confidentiality and privacy of the other child care families.
- Provide sufficient and appropriate supplies (diapers and wipes), clothing (in case of accidents), and bedding as discussed with the child care provider.
- Respect that child care is a business and therefore you need to pay the fees or parent portion of child care subsidy at agreed upon times.
- Bring any concerns or complaints directly to the child care provider.
- Ensure you have read and understood the child care policies, have signed all the documents, and have a copy for your records.
It is important for you to give your child care provider feedback. Show your appreciation when they make a special effort for your child and family. On rare occasions and in spite of your best efforts the partnership may not work out as intended. Talk to your child care provider and clarify your concern. If you choose to leave the child care, prepare your child for the transition. Good communication is the essential component of building a positive relationship between you and your child care provider.
References: BCFCCA (2009). Good Beginnings: Professional Development for Family Child Care Providers: Participant Workbook.