Communication with childcare providers is probably one of the very most important tools in taking care of your children. Communication often leads to satisfaction, and satisfaction with your childcare provider is probably the key in being content as a working mom. Communication usually needs to happen daily. Communication is not just making sure that your requests were met. It is a dialogue. What worked, what didn’t work, what things your childcare provider tried that you might not have considered.
If you have a home daycare provider or daycare center, you may not have as much flexibility but that is why communication is so important. If things are truly not working, you need to be honest. If things just need a little tweaking, it is still important to speak up so that you are not rubbed the wrong way each day.
If you have a nanny, communication can make or break you. I have had nannies that write down 2 pages of information and I have had nannies ready to fly out the door with no more than “it was great!” The best tool I have used is a daily log with areas for milk intake, nap lenghts, diaper changes, and room for temperment and comments. Even if I forget to ask for a particular detail, it is written down. It makes me feel like I was there at times! Here is our current Daily Log. I will be glad to email you a copy if you are interested.
I also think you should do annual reviews, namely for nannies. They are with your child 1:1, and they should know that they are doing a great job or what they can do to improve. We also give a 3-5% annual raise or additional child raise. Keeping your childcare provider happy keeps you happy which keeps your kids happy! One of the beauties of childcare providers is that they are often very creative and many, if not all, of our childcare providers have come up with unique ideas and activities that I never imagined. Make sure they know that you are happy with them! Work with them when things aren’t perfect.
How do you communicate with your childcare provider, particularly when something isn’t working?