May 072014
May is Child Care Month – celebrate a child-ca...

May is Child Care Month – celebrate a child-care provider! (Photo credit: BC Gov Photos)


Not long ago I was  talking with a new mom who is heading back to work a few hours each week.  She’s an awesome mother and has been struggling with how to do “this  parenting thing just right.”  She shared that she had found the right day care provider but was still worried.  “What if she doesn’t want to do things the way I want them done?”

No matter how wonderful your child care provider may be, there will be times you don’t understand one another 100%.  Even if you’ve managed to hire Mary Poppins, you may, at times, disagree or not understand the other’s choices.

So how can you be certain that and your child’s other care providers remain more compatible than not?


When it comes to our little ones, sometimes everything we know about calm, assertive communication goes right out the window.   Work-life balance can bring out the “tired-guilty-I-want-to-be-two-places-at-once-monster” in the best of us!

Whether your childcare provider is a family member, a friend or manages a licensed day care facility you’ll have plenty of opportunities to work on your communication skills.

Here are three tips that may make it easier for you:

  • Start with a positive.  Choose something you like about the relationship, the care your child gets or any of the communications that seem 100% clear.
  • Explain your concern simply and directly.  “It’s really important that we keep nap time consistent, yet when I got home the other day she slept almost an hour longer than usual.”
  • Ask for an explanation:  “If something happened and she went down later than usual I need to know that.  It helps me know if she is going through something that requires more sleep.”
Not sure what you’re supposed to ask about?  Many states provide a child care consumer information web sites or  phone lines. Here are sites from Vermont , Florida and Arkansas for example.
Like so many things, once you know what you want and have all  information you need, making  compromises and adjustments can get a little easier.

  11 Responses to “3 Steps to Better Caregiver Communication”

  1. Andrea, I am no mom, but I have worked in a Children’s Learning Academy for US military kids in Germany. And this truly is a difficult situation. We have friends that hit the jackpot when they found an elderly couple, like Oma und Opa, as we say in German, that started taking care of their kids. Good old fashioned tradition, faith, trust and communication worked wonders for them. It even healed ‘Opa’s’ cancer. :-)))

    • Nadia, even though I started writing for parents, I think a lot of these skills carry over to other parts of our lives. Love the story about Oma und Opa. Thanks!

  2. So simple. So clear. So respectful. So necessary! Ask and request what you want.

  3. Andrea, these are really great points, especially for a new parent! My kids are all past this age, but I remember it so well. 🙂

  4. Gold old-fashioned communication… It never goes out of style, even when we forget. I remember these kinds of situations when my daughter was little. It is such a challenge to do this effectively! Great tips that are applicable to so many situations in life.

    • Thanks, Laurie. I remember it being so much *harder* to do with daycare providers… as a young Mom, I was so nervous about offending them.

  5. Great article. The communication between parents and caregivers is very important. This is a good guideline to ensure the line is always open.

    • ….and between parents and parents, parents and grandparents, parents and teachers…. 😉 Thanks for taking time to share, Veronica.

  6. A good post to remind parents that communication is so important — especially in child care!

    • And there’s the added advantage of great role modeling. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback.

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