The topic of the difficult conversation comes up over and over again, coming from the point of view of a faculty administrator; we rarely have difficult conversations, although they do happen on occasion. First of all, you don’t want to avoid difficult conversations but rather communicate openly and often. One subject which continually arrises is conversations is about policy. Try to make sure you understand what the policy is of your child care center thoroughly, ask as many questions as you need to make sure you understand the terms and especially the contract. Even though you may know the staff pretty well and get along with the manager they still have to follow what is written on paper and uphold the policies to the center. A well run care center will have several ways to offer communication and for you to be heard. Suggestion boxes, email designed for communication, perhaps a unique child care app for mobile devices and in person meeting are part of the communication process. You child care center should also be willing to give you written receipts of the conversations no matter how small they may seem. This is your written record of the conversation to be able to verify anything that was discussed and also give you to opportunity to review after the conversation, after all usually during such conversations emotions play a bigger than usual role in the discussions. Once you understand the policies and everything has been communicated the best it could be the room for having a difficult conversation is greatly diminished. If all else fails… we have to understand it may have turned into an opportunity to partner with your child care provider to see if anything can be done with examining policy, reviewing alternatives never before considered and or deciding if the actual situation is really what it is or if it is something that is blown out of proportion. Sometimes the difficulty situation is something as simple as moving to a new class or adjusting learning times or even providing evaluation tools to find out if a different discipline approach is in order. All in all communicate often and ask for receipts of the conversation so that later on you are protected and it doesn’t turn into a “they said it this way and they said it that way” situation. If you are not getting the satisfaction you think you deserve after discovery the policies are serving well, after discovery of the discipline procedure fits the actions, after discovery of the staff acting according, and after meeting with the manager or administration and nothing is changing; It may be time to decide if child care fits your lifestyle at all. There will come a time when child care may no longer be an option for your as your child is now capable to function without child care. If for any reason you find this to be the case, please follow the guidelines provided by your child care providers policies and communicate your concerns, nine times out of ten, they will have an idea of different openings in the area and help you choose what you may need as far as child care is concerned. Good Child Care providers are there for the well being of the child and the family, they are there to help– even if its not with them.
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