Working as a child care provider can be fun, interesting, and rewarding. However, it can also be difficult, and it is important to always be striving to become a better provider. The children you care for deserve the very best, so keep the three tips listed below for becoming a better child care provider in mind to help you improve your approach.
1. Learn to be Flexible
It is important for children to have discipline and consistency in their schedules and activities. However, sometimes it is not possible to strictly adhere to a previously planned guideline. If you are not a flexible provider, things can be more difficult than they need to be. Allow for the unexpected, do your best to keep your cool, and try to use situations that are out of your control, such as inclement weather that interferes with an activity, as teaching opportunities. It also important to become more flexible in general; children can be unpredictable and sometimes you'll need to go with their moods rather than trying to force them to stick to the predetermined plan.
2. Communicate Regularly with Parents
Parents need to know what is happening in their child's life, regarding both positives and negatives. If the child accomplished something while the parent was away, discuss it with them, along with any problems that you have noticed. If you are unable to meet with parents face-to-face, try to communicate via notes, texts, or emails. Most parents worry a lot about their child(ren) when they are away, and the more you can do to keep them in the loop, the more they will trust you to care for their kids and recommend you to other parents.
3. Plan Ahead
This advice may seem to counter the first tip, being flexible. However, the more prepared you are, the more flexible you can be when things do not go according to plan. Try to prep as much as you can before the children arrive; have equipment for activities and snacks ready to go, and have a schedule established for what you want to accomplish that day. You should also plan not just for the next day, but for "emergencies" where the plan might not work out. It's always good to have extra activities handy in case what you had planned before just isn't working or can't be accomplished.
With the tips listed above, you can take your child care strategy to the next level. Parents will be lining up down the block for your help caring for their children. For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from The Cottage School.