Communication - With Teachers Tips

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How should I refer to our provider?

Showing respect

Most childcare providers and preschool teachers find it degrading to be referred to as babysitters. At this point in time many of them have acquired an education in their field and take pride in providing the children with a curriculum as well as tender loving care. To maintain a quality relationship with these very important people in your child's life, you may want to refer to them as preschool teachers, childcare providers or even daycare professional.

What sort of gifts should I give to my child´s providers?

Gift Giving

Instead of giving gifts individually, the best things to do is to give individual cards to show your appreciation to each provider, but give a single gift certifiate to the centre itself which can be used to buy something they really need. One such gift certificate was used by staff at a centre I know of to buy a battery powered light to go over the changing table in the toddler room, meaning they could change diapers without waking up the whole room which made it easier on the staff and benefitted the children. Daycare centres are often poorly funded and while clean, bright and even modern, tread a very fine financial line, so giving in this way is a real boost. I would suggest a gift certificate to someplace like Wal Mart or other variety discount store so they can have a wide choice over what to buy.

How can I improve the already good quality of care at my centre?

Organise a Parent's Group

Find out from your care provider if the parents have a regular group meeting. If not, consider organising a parent's group. The purpose of the group would be to communicate thoughts, ideas, and concerns relating to the care of your children, as well as a chance to get to know the families of the children your child is socialising with. Meetings could be held as infrequently as once a month, and often the centre is happy to sponsor the event. The level and quality of care can be positively influenced through such an action group, and can provide valuable insight to both parents and staff as to what is needed to improve the level of care. Just because the quality level is already good doesn't mean it can't use improvements.

What questions should I ask when evaluating a daycare?

Be Straightforward

When asking questions, be straightforward. The teachers should have some sort of communication log or daily report that is helpful. If not, suggest it. If they do, but it`s not enough for you, don`t be afraid to ask what you want to know. It`s their job to know and to let you know.

How do I get more involved with my child´s care?

Keeping an open dialogue with your provider

Communicating with your child's care provider is very important. It is much better to have an open and relaxed dialogue already open so that you can address any later serious concerns, and you also get the benefit of being directly involved in your child's care. Some suggested topics for regular communication are:

1. If your child did not sleep well the night before, or did not eat well, always let your carer know. It can affect your child's whole day and effect his behaviour.

2. To get an idea on what your child's current interests are, ask what their current favourite activity is. Is it reading? Is it the class pet? Theme play? The more you know, the more involved you can be with your child.

3. Ask about class needs. Perhaps the classroom is short on certain supplies or they are collecting for a needy child. You might be able to help. The more donated items, the less often administrative costs will go up.

4. Ask your child's provider regularly about your child's milestones. Are you concerned about her progress in an area? Find out if he is actually behind first.

5. Don't just take a look at your child's weekly learning schedule. Ask the teacher what they actually did for certain activities. For example, what did they do for music that week? The more you know, the more you can participate in your child's learning.

how can I show our deep appreciation for our provider´s work?

Showing Special Appreciation

When looking for a special way to thank your care provider for something they have done for you or your child, consider this poem.


Author Unknown

When a child's face is searching for

Someone to give comfort and more

You instinctively know what to do

When this little person is feeling blue

For you have healed many hurts and fears

By giving hugs and drying tears.

Security comes from knowing you care

When Mommy and Daddy can't be there.

Caring for children is an exhausting feat

With so many urgent needs to meet.

Only someone like you, with gifts from above

Is able to give such patience and love.

A special thank you is sent your way,

For giving so much, of yourself each day.

How do I talk to my son´s teacher?

Opening a Dialogue

It is very important to be on good speaking terms with your child's provider. This goes way beyond mere pleasantries. You should open a dialogue with your child's regular carer that shows both your interest in your child's progress and your confidence in them as a professional. This increases the liklihood that if any problems arise, you will have the earliest possible involvement in its solving, and your carer will be more confident with the knowledge that she has your full support. Beginning such a relationship is actually quite simple. Begin by always greeting your carer. Help your child make cards for his carer for holidays and birthdays. Take a few moments to read the class activities postings and chat for a few minutes about the activities. If you see your child's carer in a public place, say hello. They are providing you with a valuable and much needed service, and it never hurts to let someone know how much you value them. Not only will you benefit from having a good, open dialogue with your child's carer, but you will make the carer feel valued. A happy worker works harder and better than an unhappy and undervalued one, so your child and his carer will both benefit.

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Alexis Niki