Are you a parent looking for care? Or maybe you are thinking of becoming a home daycare provider? Either way it’s important that you think about the common things someone should expect from the person that they choose to care for their child. The relationship between parent and provider is an important one, parents want someone that they feel comfortable with and providers want someone that is going to support them and how they run their program.
Here’s a quick list of things to think about when starting a daycare or finding a new daycare provider.
10 Things Parents Should Expect From a Daycare Provider
10 Things Parents Should Expect From a Daycare Provider
1. Open Communication. Parents should feel that they can talk with their provider about any issues and know that their provider will come to them with any issues that she may have. A provider should be open and honest about a child’s behaviors, development, and anything else that happens in the daycare home. If you don’t feel you can talk to your provider about concerns or questions it may not be a good fit.
2. Clean & Safe Environment. Your provider should offer a clean and organized space for your child, both indoors and out. The space should provide ample room for your child to play and learn without a lot of non-child friendly items around. The environment needs to be safe, free of dangerous or broken furniture and toys. Homes should also be smoke free and everyone that has access to the home on a regular basis should have passed a background check.
3. Open Door Policy. Parents should be welcome in the providers home at any time during daycare hours. Most providers lock the doors during the day for safety reasons but unlock them during the usual pick up times. Parents shouldn’t have to knock and wait for the provider to let them in or call first before coming to pick up their child. A provider may ask that you let them know if you are going to pick your child up early, so that they can have them ready for you, but in general they should have an open door policy.
4. Respect. Your provider should respect your role as the parent and the decisions you make for your child. They shouldn’t offer unsolicited advice or critiques of your parenting skills, interfere or take sides in family issues, or impose religious views on a child in their care. If you and your provider don’t agree on parenting practices then it’s best to find another provider. Your provider should also respect your family’s privacy and not share personal information with any other persons.
5. Reliability. Parents should be able to count on their provider. They should be notified in advance of any scheduling changes, new staff, or daycare closures. Obviously there will be times when a provider gets sick and needs to close which makes the closure notification last minute but that shouldn’t happen that often and some providers have a back up plan for this. Parents should expect their provider to stick to the hours and terms of the child care agreement that you both have signed and agreed to.
6. Knowledgeable. You want a daycare provider that is knowledgeable on developmental stages and milestones of the children in their care. Someone who understands what children are capable and creates an age appropriate environment for them. If your provider is knowledgeable then you can also work with them to find solutions to any issues that you may be struggling with and you can turn to them for advice if needed.
7. Age Appropriate Environments. No matter what style program your provider offers (play-based, structured schedule, Montessori, or traditional preschool), there should be a variety of age appropriate learning tools and toys for each age group in her care. If your provider has preschoolers and infants then there should be space for and a variety of toys for each age group, not just toys for one age group. A provider doesn’t need to have wall to wall toys, but make sure there is a good variety and that they are age appropriate as well as in good condition.
8. Supervision. Your child care provider should be aware of all things that go on with the children in her home and know where every child is at all times. She should notice when children are behaving oddly or are not feeling well. If your provider is properly supervising your child then she will know things about your child, like what toys are their favorite and what interests them. While incidents and injuries do happen because kids are very active, providers that properly supervise children will have less incidents than those that offer less supervision.
9. Written Policies & Procedures. Parents should have a list of written policies and procedures from their provider. This assures that everyone knows what is expected from them and clearly defines what your roll is and what your provider expects from you. It also explains what is expected of the provider and how her business is run. Having a written policy protects you both.
10. Compassion for your child. Most importantly you want a provider that cares for your child in a loving and compassionate way. Your provider should make your child feel safe and happy. She should accept your child for who they are and find ways to encourage them to explore their interests and let their personality shine.
These 1o things help parents and providers work together to create the best environment possible for the children.
Learn more about starting and running a home based daycare today!
What do you expect from your daycare provider? What make your provider stand out?