Basic Daycare Discipline

Parents naturally worry about the type of discipline their child receives at the daycare centre, family dayhome, or in the hands of their nanny. Is their child being treated fairly? Is he or she being singled out? Does the caregiver hit their child, yell excessively at him/her or use force to get their child to do what the caregiver wants?

Even before a child is placed in any child care setting, it is best to talk with the caregiver at length about issues of discipline, and to visit the facility to ensure what you are told and what actually transpires correspond. So what does one look for in appropriate discipline practices in child care? Each province or state has their own guidelines as to what is and is not allowed when it comes to disciplining a child. You would be wise to contact your local licensing authority to learn about the rules in your area. It is up to you however to monitor your child care arrangements daily to ensure these rules are not being broken.

Help Children Behave

There are three factors involved in helping children behave:

    * Setting reasonable, clear rules
    * Dealing reasonably with broken rules, and
    * Being a good model for the children (acting in ways that you want the children to act).

There are three very simple rules that many providers use which are easy for the children to understand. These are:

    * You may not hurt yourself.
    * You may not hurt others (hurt can be emotional as well as physical).
    * You may not hurt things (toys, furniture, etc.).

Basic Rules

While rules and regulations vary from area to area, here are some widely-accepted basic rules concerning discipline:

    * No cruel, harsh, or unusual punishment is allowed.
    * Discipline shall not include profanity, negative remarks about a child or his family, or other verbal abuse.
    * Discipline shall not be used to humiliate, shame or frighten a child.
    * Discipline shall not include spanking, hitting, striking, biting or pinching.
    * No child shall be confined in an enclosed area, such as a locked room, box or closet.
    * Discipline shall not include preventing a child from eating, sleeping, or using the toilet.
    * No child shall be allowed to discipline another child.

If your child talks about any form of discipline that makes you uncomfortable or is prohibited, talk with your caregiver at once. Always believe your child first. If you are not satisfied with the caregiver's response, monitor the situation closely and talk to other parents. Remember, always remove your child from any situation that is dangerous to his/her safety and well-being. If you suspect abuse, remove your child from care and call your local licensing authority and the police at once