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A Good Parent-Childcare Provider Relationship

Parents should seek a solid relationship with a day-care provider from the start. Follow these tips from Amy Newmark, senior parent counselor, and Randi Schneider, corporate manager, of the Child Care Resource Center in Cambridge, MA.


Spend time on the front-end. Research potential day-care situations in depth. Talk to a provider’s references. Closely review each provider’s contract. Be sure late fees, sick-care policies, vacation days, holidays, contract termination and other issues are clearly spelled out. Many policies are required by the state for licensed providers.


Choose a provider who makes communication a priority. Look for providers who give regular, written progress reports on your child. To get a sense of how the provider communicates, ask his or her references this question: “When there was a difference in opinion, how did the caregiver respond?”


Make time for communication. Figure out when it will be easiest to talk with providers about issues at home or at day care. A daily sharing of information about naps, meals and the child’s mood is best.




Follow the chain of command if a serious problem develops. At a day-care center, talk with the child’s teacher first, then the director. At a family day care, talk with the provider, plan a specific course of action and time frame. If the provider does not respond, contact the Child Care Resource Center or another state child-care referral agency, including the Office for Children, for advice. If a violation of OFC regulations has occurred, the child-care referral agency is required to report it to the OFC for investigation. The parent’s identity remains anonymous.

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