by Katie Brazerol
- Stay Consistent. Children thrive with set routines, so they tend to behave better when they know what to expect during the day. Create a daily schedule and stick to it. If you are going to be gone, ask that your substitute follow the same routine as much as possible. In addition, be clear how often you expect to be absent during the year so parents know what to expect.
- Build Rapport. Families and providers will communicate and respect each other if they know each other better. Get to know your child care families. Ask them how their weekend or day was. Share a few tidbits about yourself and your interests occasionally. It is possible to share a few personal aspects of your life while maintaining a professional relationship. This will help families see you as human as well!
- Communicate. Open communication can strengthen the bond between families and providers. Drop off and pick up times can often feel rushed, but both parents and providers will benefit from taking time to communicate about the children. Parents should mention any changes at home that mightaffect the child, and providers should mention any behavioral issues that occurred during the day. If there really is no time to talk, consider communicating through email or setting up time for a phone call to discuss any issues (or praise!) you may have. Another great way for child care providers to keep parents informed is with FunShine Express® parent note pads. These daily sheets will give parents a good summary of their child’s day.
- Maintain Boundaries. Many parents will ignore policies if boundaries aren’t established. Set specific guidelines and policies, and except in extenuating circumstances, enforce them. Whether you work in a home or a center, your job description and work day need to be clearly defined. If you state clear boundaries, families will be more likely to follow them.