Sharon E. Hirschy
The First Texas Council of Camp Fire
Your child no longer likes child care and cries when you leave. Is it part of normal growth and separation or something more? Maybe you don't like the way some things are done in your child's care program. You feel uneasy and that something isn't right about your child's care. Normal parent jitters or more? To find out think:
P Parenting check: Are there any changes at home or in your interactions with your child? Is the child's day too structured at home or school? Has the caregiver changed or the child's class or friends?
A Assist in the classroom! Let the teacher know you would like to help. You can reassure yourself by being involved!
R Request a conference with the teacher! Set an appointment to meet privately to discuss your concerns. State the child's behavior or your concerns positively, and ask if you can work together to find the cause and solution.
E Evaluate the situation by dropping in unannounced and observe one day or part of a day. Are the children generally involved and happy? Are there consistent caregivers that talk positively and play with the children?
N Notice your child's behavior and attitude. How does the child feel most of the time about child care, his/her caregiver and friends? Expect him/her to prefer being with you, but is he usually happy otherwise?
T Talk with the director if you have done everything above and still are concerned. Ask if together you both can meet with the teacher. If you feel there are severe problems with the program and they are not following local licensing laws, call the local licensing representative. If better standards are needed in the program ask yourself how you could encourage and assist in higher quality care in this setting? If you have done all of the above and are still dissatisfied explore other care options.
Remember, it is normal to be anxious about leaving your child. Next time you feel concerned about your child care try: PARENT!
Developed For The National Network for Child Care by The First Texas Council of Camp Fire
Sharon E. Hirschy, M.S., CFLE in cooperation with The Texas Agricultural Extension Service
Supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Cooperative Extension System's Children, Youth, and Family Network.
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