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How To Discuss Concerns You Have For Your Child

Last week we talked about how at Sensational Minds: Early Learning Academy LLC, we advocate for all of our children as much as we possibly can so that they can receive the best quality of care possible.

This week we want to talk to families about how to address their childcare center when they have concerns for their child. Just as sometimes we notice things about children that their parents may not always see, sometimes parents may start to see things that we do not see. It is very important to have an open line of communication with your childcare center so that they can address any of your needs or concerns as best as they possibly can. So here some ways to approach a childcare center with concerns that we have found to be very effective:

1. Express the goals you have for your child: Normally right before a child is enrolled and starts we have a great conversation with families about what their goals are and what they are hoping to get from our center. It could be anything from only childcare, to hoping the child improves in their social skills, growth academically, etc. However, after a few months or so these goals may change. Feel free to check in with your childcare center and express these goals. Maybe you're ready to start potty training and you are unsure where to start, or maybe you're seeing new behaviors at home that you've never seen before. Try to sit down and think about what goals you have for your child, and then bring these up with your childcare provider. It could be a fantastic way to open up a great conversation for both parties.

2.Communicate via voice whether on the phone or in person with your concerns: Any time we have had a miscommunication at the center, it's been because of misreading text tone and/or misunderstanding emails or messages. When you are able to verbally communicate about a topic, especially when there is a lot of explaining and a longer conversation required, it's much easier to listen to someone and interpret them. That way, you can also ensure that the person at the childcare center you are chatting with has your undivided attention and can truly listen to your concerns.

3. Have a list of strategies you've been using at home ready to talk about: One of the questions we will often ask parents/guardians is- "What are you doing at home to help with this?" Understand that when we ask this there is no accusatory tone behind it. We aren't blaming you for the behavior, we just want to know what you have tried so that we know what might work and what doesn't work so that we have a better place to start. We don't want to waste time doing something that you have already tried but it didn't work for your child. This is particularly important for aggressive behaviors, potty training, communication, sleep routines and/or difficulties with transitions.

4.Ask the center what their action plan will be in order to address these concerns and be prepared to follow-up: No matter what you tell the center, they should have an immediate plan. They may not be able to fix something right away, or at all, however they can at least let you know what their first step may be. For example, if you are concerned that your child keeps having accidents at school but they aren't at home, the center could say- "when they have accidents we will pay close attention to the details of what is happening when the child has the accident, write them down, and report back to you when it happens." They aren't saying how they will fix it, but they are saying, this is what we are going to do to start to figure out how. If you have a concern for your child, the center should respect your wishes and provide you with their next steps to help your child.

5. Be open to any feedback the center provides you with: Sometimes, when you bring concerns to the center we may think of things right away that could help you. During the conversation we may bring up strategies you could use, or ways to address it that you've never tried before. Sometimes these strategies may be major adjustments. For example, if a child is all of a sudden having meltdowns and aggressive behaviors, and you report that your child isn't sleeping well, we may suggest strategies to help maintain a consistent bedtime routine. Or if a child really struggles with drop off when they get there in the middle of breakfast, we may suggest dropping them off before breakfast, etc. Some of the strategies centers may suggest may also suggest change to your personal daily routine. We understand that this is not easy, but try to understand that when we make these suggestions we have the child's best interest involved. And we know that sometimes it won't work or isn't possible, but we often provide feedback from past experiences with other children who have had similar difficulties- because we promise you aren't the only parent who will experience the concerns you have with your child! Even if it feels that way. We are here to help!

Hopefully, that can help give you a basis of where to start when addressing concerns for your child with their daycare. Know that you deserve a conversation. If your childcare provider is unwilling to have a conversation about concerns you have about your child no matter how big or small that is not okay. If your childcare provider listens to your concerns and provides you with no feedback, that is not okay.

Sometimes their may be disagreements or differences in opinions, but it is never okay for a childcare provider to refuse to have the conversation and you and your child deserve that!

Has there ever been a time where you felt that you weren't heard by your daycare?

Comment Below!

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