You want to know how your child's day was while they were at daycare: who they played with, if they got to do activities they enjoy, their eating habits, any challenges they faced, any accidents they had, and who comforted them when they were upset. Let's explore WHAT your childcare provider should communicate with you and WHY choosing a childcare provider that prioritizes strong family partnerships and consistent communication is essential.
Why is communication important?
First and foremost, it is important to YOU! Being away from your little one is hard, and you want to know all the details of their day. Additionally, effective communication is crucial for your child's development and safety. Nearly 90% of your child's brain development occurs by age 5, and both you and your childcare provider have unique insights into your child's behavior, preferences, and learning styles. By consistently sharing observations and, your child's learning experience can better reflect their needs. Consistent communication between home and childcare promotes predictability and stability—essential elements for young children.
Your child, especially when they are under 3, has limited means to communicate. As a parent of an infant or toddler, you need all the details on various aspects, including feeding, diaper changes, naps, moods, and any new milestones they achieve, like clapping or standing.
What should communication look like?
Your childcare provider should have policies differentiating between immediate, daily, and ongoing communication. Immediate communication should cover topics such as medication administration, serious illness or injury, and center evacuation or lockdown situations. Some incidents don't require immediate communication but should be shared the same day, such as minor accidents, minor illness symptoms, infant and toddler feeding, diapering, and rest, as well as critical reminders for the following day.
Regular ongoing communication is typically conducted through apps like Remind, Class DoJo, Bright Wheel, Kid Reports, and more. These apps can be used to share pictures, a summary of daily activities, reminders, and invitations to events.
Beyond regular updates, your childcare provider should share information about your child's growth and development, their progress towards milestones, and identify any potential delays. These updates should be more formalized and pre-scheduled based on assessments and approach to learning. These typically look more like parent-teacher conferences.
Good communication is an important part of all relationships and is an essential part of any healthy partnership. The relationship and partnership that you have with your childcare provider is critical to your child’s health, development, and wellbeing and your piece of mind as a parent. Childcare providers play a pivotal role in shaping a child's formative years, and by collaborating with parents, they create a solid foundation for the child's growth and well-being. Recognizing the significance of strong parent-childcare provider relationships, let us continue to prioritize communication and work hand-in-hand to nurture and support the next generation.