The next few months are all about language and communication. We’ll cover how to communicate with the different people involved in your children’s lives and offer some suggestions on how to keep everyone on the same page. In addition to offering ways of modeling positive communication to your children, we’ll also cover strategies to help them develop their own language and communication skills.
Building a Relationship with Your Child’s Caregiver
You’ve gone through the process of completing tours and interviews and finally found a child care provider that you like and trust. The first most critical form of communication is a family handbook. This will ensure that you and your provider are clear on all business, mission, goals and policies of the child care program. A meeting to go over this before your child starts will go a long way to prevent miscommunication later. There should be a place for you and the provider to sign that both parties are in agreement. After the initial meeting and first few weeks with the new provider, it’s easy to fall intoa routine and out of communication. But it can’t stop there! Your provider plays a large role in your child’s growth and development. It’s very important that you keep your lines of communication open and stay on the same page regarding your child’s care.
Positive communication begins with establishing a strong, constructive relationship with your child’s caregiver. It’s important that the provider feels comfortable speaking with you so try to remain open and positive when you see one another. You want them to feel comfortable when bringing up child care related topics with you. It also doesn’t have to be all business, all the time. Show interest in your provider and let them know that you appreciate what they are doing!
Ways to Stay in Touch
Daily conversations-It’s important to take the time to talk with your child’s caregiver on a daily basis. Pick up and drop offs may be a stressful or hectic time for anything beyond small talk, so ask them the best way to make contact for deeper conversations. Your provider may have scheduled time for parent conferences or may offer “office hours” where you can talk about how your child is doing. Here are some things you may want to talk about…
- Did your child have a good day today?
- Were they acting a little “off” or did they act out at all?
- Is your child playing well with the other children?
- How did your child sleep last night?
- What is your child eating throughout the day? And how much? Did they try something new?
- Are there any major changes happening at home?
Written communication-Many providers will send home a daily or weekly communication sheet. If your child care provider doesn’t offer this, ask if they can provide one. This way you can keep track of your child’s daily routines- such as bathroom, eating, and nap schedule. They can also include what activities your child participated in that day. This is a good way to stay in touch with what’s going on and feel connected.
Photos-While your child is with their child care provider, you may feel that you are missing out on important times and milestones. One way to ease this feeling is by asking your provider to take photos throughout the day—especially if there is a performance or field trip that day. You could also consider giving the provider a family picture to comfort your child if they start to miss you during the day.
Attend Events and Activities- This is a great way to get to know your child care provider and for them to get to you know you. Pick up and drop offs can be short and to the point, but spending time together outside of daily interactions can go a long way! Field trips, parent events, birthday celebrationsand holiday parties are some activities and events that happen during the year. If you can, talk to the provider about volunteering or attending when possible!