Sure, you painstakingly interviewed caregivers and made sure they knew their Sesame Street from their Caillou, but you’re not done yet. Once you’ve entrusted your child with a nanny, daycare or other childcare facility, the real work begins. Keeping the lines of communication open between yourself and your caregiver means way more than chatting about the weather. Instead, make it count by understanding why you should be regularly meeting with your caregiver to discuss your child’s progress, care and any possible issues that may arise.
While a caregiver might not be solely responsible for your child’s ABCs and 1-2-3s, she should have a hand in overall progression. Whether it’s burgeoning verbal skills for a toddler or social skills for a preschool-aged child, good communication means you know exactly where your child is when it comes to development. You might also need this info when speaking with your child’s pediatrician, so make sure your caregiver can give you the low-down on development.
Is your child practicing his best vampire impression by chomping on the other children at daycare? You’ll need to know about it A.S.A.P. so you can start disciplinary tactics at home. By keeping the lines of communication between yourself and your caregiver open, you’ll be able to identify issues — some of which are only displayed when you’re absent — and work with your caregiver to come up with appropriate disciplinary tactics at home and when in daycare or with a nanny.
Policies and Procedures
Each caregiver is different when it comes to activities, policies and the various procedures used when your child is in her care. For instance, what’s the protocol for field trips? Will the caregiver call you when your child is in tantrum mode? Will your caregiver work if your child is sick? These are just a few of the things that you’ll need to nail down when it comes to proper communication. Without having clear answers, you could end up in a tangle, thanks to miscommunication between you both.
You might have done a stellar job vetting caregivers, but the real trust starts by developing a personal relationship with someone who is essentially your employee. As you get to know each other, understand the way she cares for your child and grow to respect your caregiver, you’ll start to feel more comfortable in allowing her to care for, discipline and eventually love your little one. It’s arguably the most important facet of the caregiver-parent relationship, so it wouldn’t hurt to get to know your childcare worker a little better.