Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES -- One of the greatest fears that parents can have is that all is not right at their child's day care. Even the smallest concerns should be addressed early on, said a New Mexico State University child development specialist.
"If there are problems with your child's care, try to take care of each one as it comes up," said Diana DelCampo with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "Don't let all the problems pile up."
For problems with the center's fees or policies, make an appointment with the director. For problems with the teacher or classroom activities, make an appointment to speak privately with the teacher. Don't try to address problems when you are picking up or dropping off your child, she advised.
When there are problems in a child's behavior at day care, parents should consider any changes going on at home and at the center, Del Campo said.
Look for changes in children's attitude, behavior and friends, she said. Dropping by during the day can help parents evaluate the day care's atmosphere.
Del Campo offers some advice about talking to teachers or directors about problems. First, state the problem without placing blame. "You might say that I am really concerned, because I saw Jack bite Jerry. That really bothered me when it happened," DelCampo said.
Next, offer and ask for ideas to solve the problem. Listen to what the teacher is saying and stay calm. Value the caregiver. Remember that the teacher cares about your children and you, she said. Make sure care givers know their work is appreciated.
Finally, evaluate the situation after a few days to see if the situation is getting better. "If you don't feel good about how the problem is being solved then go back and try again," DelCampo said. Problem solving can provide the child with consistent care and set a good example of how to find solutions to problems.
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