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View Full Version : What Do Parents Expect From You as a Daycare Provider?


SunflowerMama
04-29-2010, 07:51 AM
A huge chunk of my dcks will be turning 4 next Fall and I'm feeling the pressure of how to get everyone ready for kindergarten. Not from the parents really, but myself.

I'm starting Funshine in May so I'm hoping that'll be a good addition to what I can offer the dcks but I've never been a teacher so I would just feel terrible if I watched this kiddos until kindergarten and then when they got there they weren't ready.

I know a lot of you ask in your interviews what parents expect from you as a provider and I'm just wondering what some of their answers are.

Thanks!!

fctjc1979
04-29-2010, 08:14 AM
I have two five-year-olds that will be going to kindergarten in the fall. Both of these kids came to my daycare after they had already turned five. When I interviewed their parents, both sets of parents were pleasantly surprised that I mentioned it because they weren't expecting a home day care to offer any sort of curriculum. One of the five-year-olds was going to a preschool a couple days a week but the parents say she learns more here. We do letter of the day. The kids love this one and it occupies a lot of the day. We have sheets they can color and practice writing the letter. I have a dry erase board and everyone has a different color marker and they try to be the one to come up with the most words for that letter. (I have a ten-year-old daughter that I homeschool who also participates but she has to come up with words that are seven letters or more to level the playing field and the younger kids love it when they beat her). My four-year-old also loves this game and even the two-year-old has come up with a few words here and there. We also have contests where we the kids search through the toy box to find things that have a certain color on them or are a certain shape. The two-year-old pretty much knows all her colors now because the older kids love playing "I Spy". A lot of what we do is spur of the moment - just popped into my head kind of stuff that's hard to explain.

mac60
04-29-2010, 08:29 AM
Honestly, in my 10 years, no parent has ever told me what they expect out of me. I have a handbook that explains everything pretty well and how I do my daycare program.

SunflowerMama
04-29-2010, 08:33 AM
Honestly, in my 10 years, no parent has ever told me what they expect out of me. I have a handbook that explains everything pretty well and how I do my daycare program.


I just know that it is sometimes a discussion initated by the provider in the interview process. So that everyone is on the same page as far as what will be provided and what is to be expected. I guess just for those families that aren't inclined to read the handbook cover to cover;).

kpa0627
04-29-2010, 08:37 AM
Along with my handbook, contract, forms and all that I have a "Getting to Know My Child" sheet that the parents fill out. It's simple questions like favorite foods, favorite activity, what child is good at, what child needs help at, and then at the bottom I ask "What would you like your child to learn this year at daycare?"

Golden Rule
04-29-2010, 09:05 AM
Honestly, in my 10 years, no parent has ever told me what they expect out of me. I have a handbook that explains everything pretty well and how I do my daycare program.

I am so jealous of you? Ha!!! When I first read the title question all I could think is "They expect me to be a miracle worker!!!" :lol:

Along with my handbook, contract, forms and all that I have a "Getting to Know My Child" sheet that the parents fill out. It's simple questions like favorite foods, favorite activity, what child is good at, what child needs help at, and then at the bottom I ask "What would you like your child to learn this year at daycare?"

I have similar forms, here. It is great at first, but changes so quickly I have been unable to depend on this all the time. Especially once the Grandparents start calling with "suggestions", or when Mom and Dad can no longer agree on the simplest topics....:rolleyes:

I strongly recommend that my parents move their children to PRE-K or a similar program at the age of four (usually in the fall). It is in their best interest, in my opinion, to be in a classroom setting with a curriculum, supplies, equipment designed specifically for them. I start with a Home School curriculum (time4learning and k12) at age 2.

I do not provide care for "school aged" children. (At age 4 my children boarded the school bus like everyone else and went to the 4 year old program at the Elementary school, that is common here. My children are all Junior Honor Students, whom love to read (Google addicts, as well, ha!) so I believe it was the best choice for them. Cut and Dry.:cool:)

Just another point of view...;)...you do not have to agree with me to be my friend.:p

TGT09
04-29-2010, 09:38 AM
I actually have a spot on my contract with this question. I've never really had anyone go out of their way to ask.

mac60
04-29-2010, 09:43 AM
As part of my forms, I have emergency info, what is your child's schedule, and similar information, which I am sure many of you do.

tenderhearts
04-29-2010, 09:46 AM
I have very few people ask me if I do a curriculum or what it involves. I do tell them I do some with the kids but I also tell them that it's really hard because my age group ranges from 2-6 yrs. Most of my parents don't seem to care what activities they do here, most of the time the papers are still in their bag all wrinkled. However I do get compliements about how much their child is learning here. I do try really hard to get them as ready for kindergarten as possible, but all school districts require different things. For instance here in my school district they dont' need scissor skill upon entering but the next school district over does, I've never allowed the kids to use scissors until I found that our so now I do scissor cutting activities to help them get coordinated using them because it's hard for them:) but again I do make sure all my parents know that I am not certified in "teaching" but do the best I can. I've never in my 12 yrs doing daycare have had a child leave to go to preschool or pre K

DBug
04-29-2010, 11:42 AM
In my area, I think most parents just want their kids to be in a safe, happy environment, where their diaper is changed sometime before pick-up, and they occasionally get to go outside. Yeah ... I don't think parents expect much out of home daycare here. I've never really given them the opportunity to ask though. I lay out every detail of our day during the interview, and they usually have very few questions after that. The feeling I get is that parents trust that I know what I'm doing and they're not worried about it (of course, I could be misinterpreting :rolleyes: ).

However, despite parents' expectations, I try to do everything the best way I know how. It's the perfectionist in me, I guess. Early potty learning, curriculum & crafts everyday for all ages, hot meals, etc. It's not that I think I do it better than everyone else, because there are many providers whose standards I aspire to (like many of you that I've met here!). I do know, however, that I do daycare better than most of my local competitors ;) I think that's one reason why parents aren't too worried about checking up on me.

Janet
04-29-2010, 11:43 AM
Though I do teach my kids the basics for kindergarten, I tend to focus more on the social aspects of going to school. They'll have plenty of opportunities to learn the material in their school's curriculum but they may not get the opportunity to learn how to interact with other children in a positive way and they may not get to learn how to work out their own conflicts and things of that nature. It works for me :o)

mamajennleigh
04-29-2010, 12:04 PM
In my area, I think most parents just want their kids to be in a safe, happy environment, where their diaper is changed sometime before pick-up, and they occasionally get to go outside. Yeah ... I don't think parents expect much out of home daycare here. I've never really given them the opportunity to ask though. I lay out every detail of our day during the interview, and they usually have very few questions after that. The feeling I get is that parents trust that I know what I'm doing and they're not worried about it (of course, I could be misinterpreting :rolleyes: ).

However, despite parents' expectations, I try to do everything the best way I know how. It's the perfectionist in me, I guess. Early potty learning, curriculum & crafts everyday for all ages, hot meals, etc. It's not that I think I do it better than everyone else, because there are many providers whose standards I aspire to (like many of you that I've met here!). I do know, however, that I do daycare better than most of my local competitors ;) I think that's one reason why parents aren't too worried about checking up on me.


I find that it depends on the parents, but I agree that it seems the majority of parents in my area are just thrilled that you aren't obnoxious to deal with as a caregiver. Having had my oldest 3 in every imaginable childcare scenario for years, I kind of try to give my parents what I couldn't get when I needed care. For the most part, that has worked out really well.

I do have some parents call and ask what kind of preschool program we do here. I simply tell them that we don't, and refer them if they are interested.

gkids09
04-29-2010, 01:34 PM
For years, I just did the calendar, colors and shapes, numbers, letters, etc. Then, last year, I actually went to the elementary school and asked a kindergarten teacher for one of the pre-tests, or even just to tell me the things the kids were tested on. One of those was coins, so now, I teach coins. lol
My suggestion is to ask a teacher, or call a school and see what kinds of things they expect kindergarteners to know when they get there. I know for a fact teaching them to write their names before they go is very helpful to the teachers. lol
Good luck!

originalkat
04-29-2010, 09:43 PM
I market my business as a home preschool so I cover all the basics. I also use an assessment from the public schools as a guide. I put some of the responsibility on the parent too. Each week when we learn a new letter I send home the corresponding flashcard on a metal ring. That way they know what letters we have learned and can go over them at home if they want to. But honestly, I dont worry too much about it. All kids at this age learn at different rates. Kindergarten teachers are used to getting kids with ALL different skill ranges. That is the great thing about teaching preschool...anything we miss they will get in Kindergarten anyway.
Of course it is helpful if they can...
-write their name
-know at least some letter sounds(many will know all and that is the goal)
-shapes
-colors
-1-10 number concepts
-simple puzzles
But most importantly, they can function within the group, listen during read alouds, follow directions, express their needs/concerns to teacher, Make friends and be a friend.

QualiTcare
04-29-2010, 10:07 PM
A huge chunk of my dcks will be turning 4 next Fall and I'm feeling the pressure of how to get everyone ready for kindergarten. Not from the parents really, but myself.

I'm starting Funshine in May so I'm hoping that'll be a good addition to what I can offer the dcks but I've never been a teacher so I would just feel terrible if I watched this kiddos until kindergarten and then when they got there they weren't ready.

I know a lot of you ask in your interviews what parents expect from you as a provider and I'm just wondering what some of their answers are.

Thanks!!

you can usually look up your state's standards online. they are the same standards teachers have to follow in the classroom. look up "texas department of education standards" and you can read the kindergarten (and maybe pre-k standards) so you will know what is expected of them when they enter kindergarten, or what they should know in pre-k. it's pretty basic stuff for four year olds - counting, colors, name, address, etc.

Carole's Daycare
04-30-2010, 06:24 AM
In my experience, parents expect you to make sure they are ready for school. If they are not, those parents will not accept responsibility for it, but blame the daycare for not telling them their child needed help. In Minnesota daycare providers receive the Ready for K standards ( in a nice little softcover booklet from the Dept of Ed)that let us know exactly what kids are expected to be capable of when starting school. If I suspect a child has a learning disability or is behind developmentally by age 3 I refer them for screening & access to Early Childhood programs/preschool through the district. All kids here get screened for free at 4 and if they are identified as having potential readiness issues are encouraged by the district to enroll them. I let parents know if there's a specific area of concern and suggest activities they can do at home to help. Most of the kids at my daycare do not qualify for preschool free because they don't have a "demonstrated academic or social need", and my families dont want to pay for preschool and have to transport (bussing is provided & free if you NEED preschool, but not if you dont) so many of my non-special ed /speech delay kids stay here for preschool, depending on how old they were/or behind when I got them. etc I use Funshine myself, and supplement it with additional materials /books. Don't worrry that you arent a teacher, Funshine actually lays it all out- basically idiot proof. If you are on auto-ship it comes the second week of the month prior- so there's plenty of time to browse through the book, look at the materials, go to the library with the suggested reading list etc. Prep time is actually pretty minimal. If there's an activity you think wont work in your daycare modify it or substitute another iin the same category (dramatic play, science, etc etc) because the curriculum is designed over the course of the week/month to hit all the different developmental areas. The activities don't really take that much time- so just have a daily schedule w/ opening circle time, table time, story times- and many of the play based activities just fit in wherever, with plenty of room for your own additions. I read the Alphapets books at lunchtime- and reinforce the Aplhabet recognition/phonics, and Numbertales does the same for numbers.