12 Things That I Expect from the Parents
by Lucila A. Figuereo

1. Open communication: Explain clearly and carefully your wishes and expectations about how your child will be cared for. Also provide updates on problems and progress that your child is making. Give me information about your child's routine, activities and preferences. Good communication helps you and I to work together in the best interest of children. 

2. Agreement on terms or  arrangements: You should fully understand my expectations and what you as a parent are agreeing to. A written agreement between  me and the parents is usually helpful for both parties. 

3. Honesty and trust: This includes being honest about how you believe the arrangement is working, whether your child is happy with the provider and whether you are. Although you need to be vigilant in order to safeguard your child, you should still trust me to do the best for your child. Show your trust by asking questions rather than jumping to conclusions when apparent problems develop. 

4. Advance notice of and agreement to any changes: I have to earn a living too, so I deserve advance notice if you are going to stop using my services, take a vacation during which I will receive no pay or change your hours. If, for example, you want me to start feeding your child breakfast, then you should let me know. And if you expect a month or six weeks' notice in case I can no longer care for your child, you owe me
similar notice. 

5. Pick -up on time and follow through on all agreements: I have a personal life too and I expect that you will pick up your child at the agreed upon time. If it takes you 15 minutes a night longer to get home than you expected or if you find it more convenient to stop at the grocery store before picking up your child which makes you 30 minutes late three times a week, you need to work out a new agreement with me or find a way to abide by the original one. If you agree to provide diapers, formula or other supplies, you should bring them before they are needed. 

6. Not to send sick, hungry or overly tired kids: Agree with me in advance about  when you can and cannot bring a sick child. Never bring a child whom you know is not feeling well enough to be away from home and family. Likewise you shouldn't expect me to cope with a child who has not had breakfast or who went to bed four hours late last night. 

7. Payment on time: I have to pay the mortgage and buy food also, so make arrangements to see that I get my payment on time. 

8. Respect: Realize that taking care of children is a job and that I am a working parent, just as you are. Recognize also that this is not an easy job. I am not "just a baby sitter". I am one of the most important people in your child's life and in yours, too.  In most cases we are closer than the grandparents.

9. No jealousy: Try not to be jealous of your child's attachment to me. Children who spend hours every day with a child care provider or day care worker come to love that person. That love though, doesn't diminish the love the child feels for you. Don't feel that you have to compete with me for your child's affection. 

10. No surprises: I shouldn't learn on Friday that you have decided to take next week off from work so you won't need me or pay me, either. I shouldn't learn that you now expect me to pick up your kindergartner after school because the car pool you have been using has dissolved. I don't like surprises any better than parents do.

11. Parental Involvement: Obviously, you are not able to be present with your child the entire time that they are in my care. There are many ways that you can be involved in their program. You are welcome and encouraged to participate in any or all of the activities. Some ways that you can help are lending a talent or skill in free time, or helping out in other activities. You can also help out your child with their homework whenever it is assigned. Naturally, you are welcome to drop in and visit or observe any time that your child is in my care (remember that children act differently when parents are present). 

12. Individuals Authorized to Pick Up Child: Expect me to only release a child to the parents or legal guardian(s) of the child, or to individuals authorized to pick up the child whom the parent/guardian has listed on the Child Release Authorization and Custody Information Form. I require any person who arrives to pick up a child to show identification. The child can not be released to a minor. If only one parent has custody of
the child and the other is not authorized to pick up the child, the parent must instruct me of this fact, and must provide me with a certified copy of the court order confirming that one parent does not have visitation rights. If there is any change in the legal custody of the child while the child is in the care, you must notify me immediately and provide me with a copy of the court order confirming the change in custody. If an unauthorized person arrives at my home to pick up a child, I will attempt to notify you the parents and the appropriate authorities immediately.
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