Connecting with your Provider

Connecting with Your Child Care Provider

Making a good connection with your child’s teacher is beneficial for you, the provider and most importantly, your child. Great communication is crucial to a good relationship. Always treat your childcare provider with respect and take an active interest in your child’s progress in the child care setting.

Keep in mind, as a parent, you and your child care provider are partners in nurturing your child and your reactions can help or hurt your child. The better the relationship, the easier it will be to talk about things, such as: noticing a bruise on your child’s leg, health problems, developmental milestones, picking up your child late or provider rate increases.

Studies show that children are better adjusted when parents and providers demonstrate a respectful relationship with consistent practices. Your child care provider has experience working with children, hours of training and certifications. Utilize your care giver for information about parenting and early childhood development. Work with them whenever possible to provide your child consistency and a supportive environment.

Tips for a Healthy Parent and Provider Relationship:

  • Ensure your provider has the best way to contact you and your availability
  • During drop-off ask about the plan for today’s activities
  • During pick-up ask about your child’s day at school
  • Ask how you can volunteer during school hours or after hours
  • Attend class meetings and events
  • Arrange play dates or family walks outside of the program with your child’s classmates
  • Ask about your child’s favorite books or activities and reinforce them at home
  • Praise your child care provider! A hand written thank you note goes a long way.
  • Have at least one special provider to use as your point of contact
  • Keep an open mind and listen carefully to your provider, and communicate clearly as well
  • If you are experiencing problems, give your provider’s suggestions a try first



  • Engage with one special provider each day to ask questions about your child or share information.
  • Get to know your child care provider better by showing interest in her life outside of the child care setting. Ask questions about her family, her weekend or other areas you know about.
  • Communicate with you child care provider as early as possible if you are going to be late for pick-up.
  • Talk to your provider about developmental milestones and how you can encourage your baby to reach another one.

AGE 1 TO 2

  • Find out where the best source for information is. Is there a newsletter, email, or bulletin board you should check frequently?
  • During drop-off ask about the plan for today’s activities. Remember though that your provider may not be able to have a long discussion as other parents and children are arriving too.
  • If your child is experiencing a problem at child care, ask for your provider’s help. Listen and try her recommendations. Then assess and provide feedback as to whether their suggestion was successful.
  • Ask your provider about the happiest moments of your child’s day. If it was story time, ask to borrow the book so that you can read it together at home.

AGE 2 TO 3

  • Praise your child care provider! A hand written thank you note goes a long way.
  • Provide regular updates about your child. Your child’s like and dislikes, allergies, or food preferences are important.
  • Don’t be a stranger. Ask how you can volunteer during provider hours or help after hours.
  • Ask your provider what your child learned while in care today and how you can help reinforce it. Have a conversation about the topic with your child on the way home.

AGE 3 TO 4

  • During drop off or pick up, look for opportunities to compliment your child and also your child care provider on a job well done!
  • Get to know the other children your child spends their day with at child care. Organize play-dates, a school picnic, or family get together.
  • Attend class meetings or events and make sure your child knows that you are there to support them!
  • Slow down during pick up. Take time to talk with your child care provider. Your child seeing the two of you bond will make them even happier.

AGE 4 TO 5

  • Encourage your child to tell his provider “thank you” and to express his gratitude.
  • When your child talks about his day and fun or special learning moments, be sure to share these experiences with your child care provider.
  • Share articles about early childhood education with your provider to let her know that you are interested in her work as well as what your child is learning.
  • Give your child care provider recognition. Write a handwritten Thank Your card or bring her a gift card for a special treat.

Provider Parent Relationships from Purdue
Zero to Three: Choosing Quality Child Care