Here are a few tips to make the daycare experience more comfortable and enjoyable for everyone involved.
When you and your child arrive at daycare each morning, make your visit brief. Separation anxiety in children is normal. Tell your child good-bye and tell him/her that you will be picking him/her up that afternoon. Then leave. Don't make it an unpleasant experience. Don't keep telling your child goodbye with hugs and kisses until you have him/her upset. If your child cries, it won't last long once you leave. Don't sneak out while your child is not looking. This teaches your child that he/she cannot trust you. Be brief. Be firm. Be gone. If you are worried about your child not calming down, then it is okay to call me and make sure after you arrive at work.
Please dress your child appropriately. Listen to weather reports. If it's chilly in the morning but a warm afternoon is expected, then dress your child in layers. It is easy for them to remove outside layers when they get warm. Please make sure your children have coats and appropriate shoes. Remember your child will be doing a lot of playing and comfortable shoes are best. It is not fair for me to let one child remove a pair of uncomfortable shoes and tell the others they have to keep theirs on. I would rather children wear shoes at all times so that their feet are protected during outside play.
If your child is working on toilet training, please dress them in clothes that are easy to pull down. If an outfit is hard for a child to unbutton, unzip, or remove, they shouldn't wear it to daycare. Please send an adequate amount of clothing for children who occasionally have accidents or who are potty training. It is embarrassing for a child not to have an extra set of clothes when needed and it is not always convenient for me to throw them in the washing machine. Also, I encourage children to learn and use toileting hygiene practices. This is something they HAVE to know before kindergarten. Can you imagine a kindergarten teacher wiping 25 bottoms during the day? I realize that sometimes it is not always done to the perfection of parents but with some training and maybe some flushable wipes, this can be done quite easily by most children at 3 years of age.
Please read my policies occasionally and become familiar with my practices and procedures. Sometimes when parents have been with me a long time they don't bother reviewing policies or contracts and forget the obligations that they committed to. I require two weeks notice if you plan on removing your child from care and payment is due whether children are here or not. Please keep in mind that I schedule my summer the beginning of May and the fall the first of August. This is because most child care phone calls come at this time and I don't want to turn down phone calls and then on June 15th when school is out, find out that some of my kids won't be here for the summer. You should let me know ASAP of any schedule changes or if your child won't be in attendance. This gives me ample time to schedule children so that I can make the most of my income potential.
Please if you are not going to arrive at your regularly scheduled time, give me a phone call. Most likely we are waiting on you to start a special activity or sometimes we have a place we have to be at a certain time. Again, when taking care of ten children, its crucial to be on a schedule and one person being late and not calling might spoil an activity for the entire group.
Although your child REALLY wants that candy in the morning on the way to daycare, remember that I have five others here who would REALLY love candy too and it causes BIG problems when your child comes in with that sucker in his/her mouth. Please no gum. I have scraped it off my carpet too many times.
I run on a schedule. Please ask me or refer to my schedule to find out when snacks, meals and naptime is. Don't bring your child 30 minutes after mealtime and expect your child to be fed. Although, making another sandwich a half hour later might not seem like a big deal to you, remember that I prepare full meals based on USDA Food program recommendations. It takes a great deal of time to prepare lunch and an even bigger time for clean-up. I allow a certain amount of time for this and when it's over, I have other responsibilities like diapering, toileting, and getting children to nap. Also, I don't get paid from the Food Program for meals served late that means the cost of that meals comes out of my profits.
If possible, please do not telephone during naptime. If you bring your child during naptime, please keep your voices quiet as not to wake children who are sleeping and instruct your child to do the same. I will appreciate this! Please DO NOT ask me to keep your child up at rest time so that they might sleep on your trip to wherever! If you want them to sleep on your trip, then pick them up before naptime. Otherwise, they will be resting because that is my only break during the day and even then I've got bookkeeping and clean-up to do.
When you bring over-the counter medication, please do NOT put it in your child's cubbie. Hand it to me so that it can be placed in an area out of reach of the other children. I would prefer written instructions on dosage and times you want it to be given.
Last, but not least, is being timely in picking up your child. I have responsibilities after work just like you do. (Banking, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, school functions, ect.). My closing time is at 5:30 and I don't want to be here later than that. If I need to be somewhere earlier than that, I will let you know ahead of time. But I ALWAYS want to be done by 5:30. Sometimes I start my day as early as 5:45 AM. That is almost twelve hours with children and I'm TIRED by 5:30.
Please remember that I count on my paydays just like you do. My paycheck serves double duty. I not only help support my family and it's needs, I also pay for needed supplies for your child. I don't like having to ask for my paycheck anymore than you would and I shouldn't have to. If I don't see you on payday, it doesn't mean that it is not due. You should make sure you come by and pay me anyway.
Having a less stressful day, helps both the provider and your child to have an enjoyable daycare experience. I want to love, nurture, keep safe, and teach the children I care for and this should be my utmost concerns.