As of 2015, nearly 5 million children attend an organized daycare or preschool facility. Millions more are cared for during the day by non-relatives. While child care has always been important, the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to the forefront once more.
You probably depend on your child care provider more than you realize, but life would be harder without them if you have little ones at home. So, it’s never a bad idea to build a bond and form strong relationships with your providers.
Strong relationships will make communicating with your child care providers easier. You’ll be able to relay and receive information about your little one more effectively and help to set a precedent for your child’s wellbeing while you’re at work during the day.
There are so many additional benefits of forming strong relationships with your child care providers. Let’s take a look at a few of them so you can put in a bit of extra effort, and make the most of the care your child receives each day.
Relationships Build a Better Level of Communication
When you leave your child with someone during the day, it doesn’t mean you stop thinking about them. It’s normal to want to know what they’re doing and experiencing. When you’ve taken the time to build a relationship with their care provider, it’s easier to have consistent communication. Some child care providers even have apps or texting programs that allow them to contact parents throughout the day with things like:
- Accident reports
- What the child ate for lunch
- The child’s behaviors
Staying in close communication with your child care provider will also keep you “in the know” about their practices for keeping your child and their staff safe. COVID-19 has heightened that importance. For example, one survey found that 83% of child care providers have either gotten a COVID vaccine or intend to. Even though things are starting to get back to normal, having strong communication with your child care provider can give you peace of mind in knowing the kinds of precautions they’re continuing to take for your child’s safety. Even little things like knowing the provider’s policies on handwashing or staying hydrated on hot days can make you feel more comfortable leaving your child there.
Child Care Providers Are More Likely to Notice Changes
When you’re close to your child care provider, it typically means they know as much as possible about your little one. As a result, they can keep a close eye on any physical changes that might be impacting your child. For example, they might start to pick up on vision changes or warning signs that your child might be having eye troubles. Some of those signs include:
- A short attention span
- Rubbing their eyes
- Complaining of headaches
Child care providers can also notice behavioral changes that might seem out of the ordinary for your child. That even includes picking up on signs of ADHD, which impacts 388,000 children between the ages of 2-5.
It’s the job of any child care provider to notice these things, regardless of your relationship. But, if you’re communicating regularly and they have a lot of information about your child, it will be easier for them to notice changes quickly, rather than only sensing them when they’ve become obvious to everyone. When a provider is comfortable speaking openly with you, they can alert you to changes sooner, so you can get your child the care they need.
It’s Easier to Discuss Issues
Children who attend child care or even preschool often go through a lot of changes. It’s a period of life where they’re learning a lot and experiencing new things. That also comes with plenty of challenges for them to work through. It’s important to be on the same page as your provider when there are issues or problems with your child. Working as a united front can make those issues seem smaller.
If your child is going through some behavioral changes, having a “strategy” to work with your child care provider can help to maintain consistency in your child’s life, letting them know which behaviors aren’t appropriate. When they hear the same thing at home and daycare, they’ll likely learn what they should and shouldn’t do faster.
Other normal milestones, like potty training or weaning off naps, should also be discussed with your provider. They can be major changes for a little one, and making sure your provider is following the same “plan” you’re trying at home will make those changes easier for everyone.
It’s nice to be able to talk to your child care provider for a few minutes each day. It can provide a sense of comfort and make you feel good about where you’re leaving your little one. But, as you can see, the benefits go far beyond that. So, if you don’t already, consider reaching out more often to your child’s care provider, and try to build your bond for the betterment of your child.
Bio: Indiana Lee lives in the Pacific Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana also has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.