Communication with Your Child Care Provider: What to Discuss Ahead of Time

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It’s really important to have an open line of communication with your childcare provider. This starts with a thorough discussion of important topics that need to be on the table upfront.

Here are some ways to open up communication with your childcare provider, and what to discuss ahead of time.


If you’ve lived with your child’s allergies for a long time, you may get so used to living with them that you’ll forget to mention them. But allergies can be scary or even life-threatening, depending on what your child is allergic to. So make sure you make a list of things your child is allergic to and post it in a prominent place after you’ve gone over it with your childcare provider.

Also, if your child has any medications – regular or for emergencies – make sure your childcare provider knows where they are and how and when to administer them.


This is a biggie. In fact, many articles could be (and have been) written on this issue alone! But it’s a key issue to discuss with any childcare provider, especially if he or she will be with your kids all day. Children quickly learn who’s lenient and who’s strict, and who will discipline like their parents and who won’t.

First, you have to be clear about what your own disciplinary approach will be. Then, write this out in clear and concise language so that your caregiver understands exactly what tools they can use in their disciplinary toolbox. It’s important for everyone to know the rules clearly, and what will happen if the rules aren’t followed.

Drop Off, Pick Up, Hours, and So Forth

Whether you are having an in-home caregiver or taking your child to a daycare facility, make sure you’re clear about what time to pick up and drop off your kids, or what time you expect your caregiver to arrive or be ready to be picked up. Be sure you know what time the facility closes, too, and what their policies are regarding snow days, holidays, etc.

In-home caregivers should also be upfront about days they want off, holidays, what provision to make in case of illness or car trouble, and so forth. Everyone involved needs to know these things ahead of time so they can plan their days and weeks, and so no child is left in a dangerous or tenuous situation.

What’s the Back-Up Plan?

Have a back-up plan and show it to your caregiver, or come up with one together. Back-up plans are essential in case of emergencies (such as a natural disaster or bad weather), illness, or transportation snafus.

While these tips can help as a guideline for what to discuss ahead of time, it’s important to keep those lines of communication open all the time. It’s not a bad idea to schedule regular talks with your provider to make sure everyone is still on the same page.

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