Communicating Between Child Care Provider and Parent
Communication with day care parents is an important part of providing quality child care. The best of any relationship involves being able to talk, share ideas and concerns. As quoted by John Powell "Communication works for those who work at it". And thus this is also true with a relationship between a child care provider and the parents of the children she cares for.
The key to any relationship is respect.
A child care providers job is hard and tedious, and most important as they care to the needs of our future. A parent also deserves respect as they have the hard task of finding a child care provider that has the same moral standards as they do. They are leaving their child each day in the hands of someone else, and this can be stressful. Having respect between the child care provider and parent will help with the art of communication.
So we know that communication is important, so lets discuss what different forms of communication there is between a child care provider and parent.
Daily communication lets you share with parents how their child is doing, what activities their child did during the day and any concerns you wish to cover. Always talk with parents one on one, with no other parents around to make the talking is comfortable and private.
Talking during drop off and pick up each day keeps both the provider and parent informed on what is going on each day at child care and parents can let providers know of any new changes at home to help with the child's day. This could be from not sleeping good at night to a death in the family. Knowing what is going on at home can help a provider with the child's day at child care.
A fast and easy way to communicate. A provider can share pictures with parents at work - to show what activities their child is doing during the day, reminders of days off, or a quick e-mail to let them know what an awesome day their child is having. What a nice little surprise for parents and they will really appreciate that quick e-mail. Make sure to have all parents e-mail addresses at work or home.
Sending home monthly newsletters can keep parents informed of what will be going on at child care during the month. These can be one page to 3 pages. Keep your newsletter brief. Depends on your skill with doing newsletters, information you would like to share, and time you have to put one together.
Ideas for placing in newsletters:
Themes for the month
Calendar of important dates, closings, birthdays, celebrations
Touch on policies: use this section each month, pick a policy and touch on it as a gentle reminder to parents.
Children's artwork, cute comments
Highlight milestones and accomplishments of both children and staff.
Welcome new children and say good by to children leaving your child care.
Suggested book list
There is so much you can add to a newsletter, but again, keep it brief, keep it consistent each month and come up with a template you can use over and over again to make newsletter writing easier each month.
A fun way to share with parents what is going on in your program each day. Be sure to take plenty of pictures, but before posting any on your blog, have parents fill out a photo permission sheet and keep in your files. When doing up a permission sheet, include placing their child's picture in your newsletter, on the internet and any other place that would be a public venue.
Placing a bulletin board in your entrance is an easy way to communicate with parents on a daily basic with a visual form of communication.... Let parents know what the children eat each day by placing a weekly or daily menu on your bulletin board.
Hang up a sheet letting parent know what theme the children are doing for the week, what books they are reading, a list of days your program is closed, etc. What you would like parents to know - hang up on your bulletin board. Decorate and make it inviting to read each day.
Communication is key to running a successful child care business. Using the above ideas will only help and show your parents that you respect the need to communicate with them on a daily basis.