What Your Provider Expects
In the home of a family child care provider your provider should be able to expect certain things from you.
1. Open communication. Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for. Also provide updates on problems and progress that your child is making. Give the provider information about your child's routine, activities and preferences. Good communication helps parents and providers work together in the best interest of the children.
2. Agreement on terms or arrangements. You should fully understand the expectations of the provider and what you as a parent are agreeing to.
3. Honesty and trust. This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working, whether your child is happy with the provider and whether you are. Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should still trust your child care provider to do the best for your child.
4. Advance notice of and agreement to any changes. Providers have to earn a living too, so they deserve advance notice if you are going to stop using their services or take a vacation or leave that will affect their pay.
5. Pick up on time and follow through on all agreements. Providers have personal lives too, and they should be able to expect that you will pick up your child at the agreed upon time. If it takes you 15 minutes a day longer to get home than you expected or if you find it more convenient to stop at the grocery store before picking up your child which makes you 30 minutes late three times a week you need to work out a new agreement with the provider or find a way to abide by the original one.
6. Sick children. Agree with your child care provider in advance about when you can and cannot bring a sick child. Then abide by that agreement. My policy is if you do not call within 1/2 an hour of arrival time when your child is ill or going to be absent. You not only owe me the full day in pay. But also another 1/2 a days pay for not taking me into consideration. You must call of of work so I need you to please call me to call off your child.
7. Payment on time. Child care providers have to pay the rent and buy food, too, so make arrangements to see that they get their pay on time.
8. Respect. Realize that taking care of children is a job and the child care worker is a worker, just as you are. A child care provider is not "just a baby sitter." She is one of the most important people in your child's life and in yours, too.
9. Jealousy. Try not to be jealous of you child's attachment to child care providers. Children who spend hours every day with a day care worker come to love that person. That love, though, doesn't diminish the love your child feels for you. Don't feel that you have to compete with your child care provider for your child's affection. Be happy that they love and get loved in return.10. No surprises. Your child care provider shouldn't learn on Friday that you have decided to take next week off from work. This is her livelihood and changes in her income should be given advance notice. Child care providers don't like surprises any better than parents do.