Thursday, August 20, 2009

What a Parent Should Expect

I include the following in my enrollment packet, along with its counter part, What Your Provider Expects (which I will post in my next post). I dont' remember where I came across it, but I found it years ago when I was first starting my day care.

What a Parent Should Expect

When your child is cared for by a family child care provider in her home , you should be able to expect certain things.

1. Open communication. Providers should give you frequent and full updates on your child's progress and problems. They should welcome your questions and ask you questions about how they can help your child.

2. Open access to their home or center. Parents should be welcome to drop in any time. Providers should also allow parents to make a reasonable number of phone calls to check on their children's well being, in case of illness or if there's a special concern such as separation anxiety.

3. Safety for your child. Providers should take all possible precautions to keep children safe.

4. Honesty and confidence. Providers shouldn't make commitments that they can't or don't intend to keep. They shouldn't cover up problems or accidents that occur.

5. Acceptance of parent's wishes. Providers should abide by parent's wishes on matters such as discipline, TV watching and toilet training. If providers feel that they can't abide by parent's wishes, they need to tell parents before agreeing to care for the children and parents should look for other care.

6. Advance notice of any changes. Since it is often very difficult to find adequate care, providers should tell parents well in advance if they are going to change their hours or if they are going to stop or limit the time of caring for a child. Parents need adequate time if a provider is no longer going to care for a child. Parents should be given at least two weeks notice even if the provider won't be available for just one day, unless there is a personal emergency.

7. No interference in the child's family or family problems. Providers shouldn't talk to children about their family's problems, lifestyle or values. Likewise, the provider should be careful not to take sides in any family disputes, such as, custody battles.

8. No advice offered unless asked for and no judging of parenting practices. Providers shouldn't criticize or advise parents on child rearing unless their advice is asked for by parents. If the provider sees something that is seriously wrong with how parents are raising their children, such as abuse or signs of neglect, they should discuss the problem with the parents and, if needed, contact legal authorities.

9. Assurance that everyone in contact with the child is trustworthy and supervised. Providers must be responsible for everyone who enters & visits the home.

10. No surprises. This means that your family day care provider won't suddenly tell you that she is taking a job next week. Surprises are probably what parents fear most from their child care providers (and vice versa).

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