You, your child and the carer

To get the best from any childcare arrangement, you need to be able to communicate well with whoever's looking after your child.

It's good to talk
Talking to your child's carer will help her better understand your child's needs and make it easier for them both to form a close bond.

Sharing information will help the carer understand your child's behaviour. For example, if you know your toddler needs a sleep at 11am but only settles down after a warm drink, it's important to pass that information on.

Things to discuss
Your child's personality - if he's boisterous and loves mixing with other children, the carer may decide to take him to playgroups or lively group activities. A quieter child may need more encouragement to join in and feel happier looking at books or getting involved in more creative activities.

Your child's likes and dislikes - you'll save everyone a lot of trouble by letting your carer know if there are any absolute no-nos, which usually involve food.

Favourite toys - you may prefer to keep your child's favourite toys at home, but he may be comforted by something familiar while he's away from you.

Your expectations - you probably have strong feelings about some aspects of childcare, such as discipline, food or potty training. Talk these over with your child's carer. You may need to be flexible about some things. For example, if every other child at playgroup has a biscuit at break time, it's not really fair to expect the carer to deal with your child's tears when he can't have one.

Don't forget that while you want feedback on how your child's settling in, the caregiver wants to know how you think things are going, too. If you have concerns, let her know. If there's no improvement, ask for a more formal meeting to discuss the problem.

If your child's old enough to understand, talk to him about where you're going and what he'll be doing. And when you pick him up, ask what he enjoyed most during his day.

Source: BBC
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