As a parent, it is essential that you are completely confident in the child care provider you choose to care for your children. The more communication you have with the person looking after your family, the better. If it is all a little overwhelming, here is our handy guide to the topics you need to be discussing.
1. Health Issues
Any existing health problems that your children might have should be discussed thoroughly. Remember to include things like allergies and food intolerances. All relevant health information should be posted somewhere it can be easily accessed. Include details of any doctors or other care providers that the child attends. If your child takes medication, then the information about dosage, how often they are to take it and any other information should be written down and kept with the medication so that the child care provider can check it before administering any medication.
If the child care provider is to have responsibility for choosing food for any children, it is important you discuss your preferences and any nutritional requirements. If there are foods you do not want your child to have, or you want to limit certain foods, then it is important you make your feelings clear.
This is a very important issue that must be discussed thoroughly. Children need a consistent approach to discipline, and this is true whether you consider yourself very strict or fairly lenient. In order to be able to set a consistent approach, you have to be clear about what your own disciplinary strategy is. It can really help to give the child care provider examples of what type of consequences should follow different types of behaviour. It is very important that you ask the person who will be caring for your child what their own approach to discipline is, so that you can decide if they are a compatible fit for your family.
There are lots of logistics involved in caring for children and it is important that your childcare provider understands what will be required. Make sure that you communicate drop-off and pick-up times, required hours and any clubs, activities or events your children will be attending. Good, regular communication is essential to keep things running smoothly; consider putting all of this information on a shared calendar that the childcare provider can easily refer to.
Discuss what the child care provider should do in the case of emergency. Talk about medical emergencies, people who should be contacted if there is anything wrong. Be very clear about when you want to be contacted.
Remember, it is also important that you listen to the child care provider’s requirements too; make sure you find out what their policies are regarding holidays and time off, as well as what will happen in case of illness or emergency. Having these things decided in advance can save a lot of time and frustration later on. Speak to the au pair association for further advice on the important issues you need to discuss with your child care provider.