As a child care provider, our first job is to keep the children we care for safe, loved and provided for in our care, I also believe our second job is to keep their parents comfortable, informed and involved. In order to do our first job well, we must be able to do our second job with just as much enthusiasm. Does the end result of child care change if the parent feels guilt or relief at leaving them at daycare? Our second job makes those emotions feel second to the love they have for their kids. They chose you to take care of the most precious gift they were ever given, their child.
In order to fulfill our second job to the best of our ability we must be able to communicate, be flexible and patient. We all need to ensure we are honest with each other about what we expect to be the end result of our contract. Are they expecting a certain number of crafts every week to feel their child is learning new things? Are you expecting them to participate in activities occasionally? When an expectation is placed on anyone, the parent, the child or the provider, those expectations have to be communicated. Make sure you talk to the parents monthly to see if their expectations are being met you could discuss any expectation modifications you all have as the child is growing and changing. As a provider, we learn to be flexible and patient with the children, and we need to be able to extend those attributes to the parents as well. There can be emergencies or changes in schedule, how are we going to work with them? If those changes affect the job you have, how will you help that family and yourself with the changes? Are you going to get mad at the parents for not taking your situation into their decisions or circumstances or would it be better to use our flexibility and patience that we use with their children to help offer solutions?
Are there things you could change about your communication skills with your parents to help foster an exceptional relationship with them and in turn their child? Instead of just handing them a sheet at the end of the day with their child’s stats for the last ten hours, can you spend five minutes talking to them about their child’s day? Open up to them about the joys and concerns you have shared with their little one. Make them feel involved in their child’s day by including their child in the conversation.
We can get so busy doing our first job that we can forget about our second job. As a care provider you have been offered an everlasting gift, the love of children; by fostering exceptional relationships with their parents you will always be able to share in that love, because even if the ‘contract’ ends, your relationship doesn’t need to.
Jessica Eginoire is a Professional Child Care Provider in Iowa, she has two children of her own, a son and a daughter and has been married for almost ten years. She has worked in the corporate world, banks, restaurants and dance studios, but has found her most rewarding career has been to follow her heart and start an In-Home Child Care. She has touched the lives of many little children, but they love they have shared with her is unexplainable.
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