Selecting a daycare provider is a difficult process for new parents. In-home daycare providers care for children in a home as opposed to a daycare center. The care may be provided either in your home or in the daycare provider’s home depending on the arrangement. The daycare provider should be held to certain standards. Define your expectations for the in-home daycare provider before hiring her. A contract outlining the expectations will prevent misunderstandings.
Communication between the parent and the in-home daycare provider is crucial to maintaining a positive relationship and should be established immediately. In-home daycare providers should communicate everyday occurrences such as diaper changes, feedings, naps and activities. She should also communicate unusual behaviors displayed by the child. Develop a communication system with your daycare provider so you receive this information. Develop a simple daily communication sheet for your daycare provider to complete which will cover each aspect of your child’s day. Specifically describe the type of information you expect her to share with you before she begins caring for your children.
Schedules provide children with security and stability. An in-home daycare provider should follow a schedule appropriate for your child and his developmental needs. Discuss with your in home daycare provider your child’s current daily schedule. Express your desire for the schedule to contain a balance of active play time and quiet time, as well as regular meals and snacks. Ask your daycare provider to offer a general outline of the daily schedule she will follow with your children.
Developmentally appropriate activities should be provided by your in-home daycare provider. Children may spend the majority of their waking hours with the daycare provider so they need stimulation and educational opportunities. Ask your in-home daycare provider to plan activities that correspond to your values. If you prefer your child not watch television, make sure your daycare provider feels the same. Discuss the types of activities she usually plans for children under her care.
If your in-home daycare provider feeds your children, it;s reasonable to expect her to offer high quality, nutritionally sound food. A daycare provider watching your children in your home should be expected to prepare meals and snacks based on the food you provide. She should respect any restrictions you have established in the diet of your child.
If your in-home daycare provider watches your children in your own home, housework may be part of the expectations. This is a topic that should be agreed upon between you and the daycare provider. Light cleaning or cooking can be added to the agreement if this is important to you. You may choose to set the expectation of the daycare provider leaving the house in the same state she found it.
Discipline is often a source of conflict between parents and daycare providers. An in-home daycare provider should be expected to adhere to your requests in handling discipline issues. Before hiring a daycare provider, discuss discipline techniques to ensure you have a similar philosophy on the subject. A daycare provider should set behavior expectations for your children while they are under her care.
Compassion is a key ingredient in daycare. An in-home daycare provider should interact with your child in an engaging, compassionate manner. She should be expected to provide a feeling of safety and security for your child.
An in-home daycare provider should approach her job with professionalism. She should be expected to provide ample notice when she needs vacation time. Establish the expected amount of notice needed when she needs vacation time. She should serve as a positive role model for your children through her actions. Ask questions of your daycare provider that will give you a sense of her values. Make sure her values are in line with your own values since she will hold an influential role in your child’s life. She should approach her role as you daycare provider with a professional manner. Express to her your desire for her to maintain discretion and professionalism in regard to her care of your children.