Show Your Caregiver Appreciation

Appreciating the professionalism of their child care provider does not come easy for parents. After all, the term "baby-sitter" has not gone the way of the dinosaur and become extinct when it comes to child care. Despite the trust parents put in a facility or caregiver to provide quality care for their child, caregivers quite often do not receive the respect they deserve for a job well done.

What can a parent do to show appreciation for their caregiver? Start by treating your caregiver as a professional at all times. Imagine what your life would be like if you did not have the care, nurturing, and dedication she provides. She is vital part of your family. And she deserves to be treated with the same professionalism you give to your dentist, dry cleaner, or hair stylist.

Showing your appreciation is really quite simple:

    * Pay your caregiver on time and never, ever, grump about the cost of her services. Can you imagine if your employer did that to you: "Here's your check, but gosh I wish I didn't have to pay you so much for doing such a valuable job."
    * Be prompt picking up your child. It's a long day for your caregiver just as it is for you. Show respect for her time.
    * Be cheerful when you drop-off and pick up your child. Your caregiver has had a long hard day too, and a cheerful disposition from you can make her day.
    * Respect the daycare's schedule for child's naps, mealtimes, etc. If you need to talk to your caregiver, ask her when the best time to call would be, and call her when you say. She's most likely holding up her schedule in anticipation of handling your concerns. Be courteous and on time.
    * Say "thank you" when your caregiver does something special for you or your child. Don't let anything go unnoticed. That craft she worked so hard on with the children for Valentine's day should be acknowledged. An upbeat "thanks you" says so much. Think of what you are teaching your child at the same time. If he/he sees you treating your caregiver with respect and appreciation, your child will do the same.
    * Respect your caregiver's policies, especially on issues of sick child care, etc. You accepted these terms when you signed the contract with her. If one child sent home sick saves your child from getting the virus and you from having to take time off from work to deal with it, be thankful. When it's your turn to keep your child home, just deal with it. Have your backup plan in place so you can act on it quickly.
    * Appreciate her training and education. It benefits your child immensely.