Partners in Child Care - Respecting Your Child Care Provider
by Patrysha Korchinski

Parents lament the lack of quality childcare in this country. Complaints abound about the lack of suitable providers. Everyone has a daycare horror story to tell. There are nightmares on the other side of the fence too. Many wonderful, qualified people leave the childcare field every year due to stress and burnout. With most cases it's not the kids who drive them out, it's the parents. Help prevent the exodus from daycare by treating your childcare provider right. The most common complaints about parents that childcare providers have revolve around respect issues. Most people understand that it takes a rare breed of person to deal with young children all day long, but too many take their caregiver for granted. It is hard to understand how people can trust a person with their precious children, and yet not value or appreciate the job or the person doing it. It doesn't take much to acknowledge their contribution, just a bit of courtesy and respect. One way to exhibit respect is to refrain from the use of the term babysitter. Many professionals cringe at this term and what it implies. If you've chosen your provider well, you will know that she has never sat on a baby. Caregiver is a more respectful term and describes the job much better.

Respect is in more than what you call a person though. It is evident in how you treat her. You don't have to shower her with expensive gifts to express your appreciation. As in all relationships, it's the little things that mean so much. Keeping your commitments, paying on time, and acknowledging special occasions in her life will all make her feel respected and valued. Make it a priority to call your provider if you are going to be late, or if you are not going to be bringing your children to care. A phone call will save a lot of worry and aggravation. It shows that you value her time. It is essential to your provider that you pay on time. While it may seem like just another bill to pay, it is one of the most important ones to pay one time. Most providers have contracts that state when and how they require fees to be paid. If you can't meet the obligation for any reason, be sure to talk to your provider about it as soon as possible. This is important in both large daycares and family day homes, the money is budgeted for and it wreaks havoc on the finances when payments are delayed. Most providers won't mention it to parents, but it does grate on the nerves when parents grumble as they pay the bill. Good childcare does come at a price, but most providers are more than fair when putting together their pricing plans. If you are paying a substantially higher amount for childcare than others in your area, you can set up a meeting to negotiate. Otherwise it is best to bite your tongue about the costs of childcare in the presence of your childcare provider.

Special occasions to acknowledge might include her birthday, Christmas, Easter and Childcare Provider Appreciation Day. You don't have to spend a lot of money, or any money at all. Whether it's just saying happy birthday or getting her a card or having your kids make a homemade card. It truly is the thought that counts. Remembering these days will show that you value your provider as a person.

Courtesy is all it really takes to keep your childcare provider happy. By showing her respect in your actions, she will feel valued by you. It's simple enough to follow the golden rule, and it will make her day if every so often you remember to say "Thank You".

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