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Let’s be honest, we all need support. Not just any support will do though. We want a trustworthy, reliable person to care for our children. If only it was as simple as it sounds, right?!

Finding someone to entrust your favorite humans with is anything but easy, especially when those humans have unique individual needs. And if finding the right person isn’t hard enough, let’s then add the layer of keeping that trusted person. Sound familiar?

So many families share similar stories. So what can we do to lessen the stress of the vetting process and encourage amazing providers to stay the course? Personal experiences and life alongside many others searching for the secrets to success helped us create the following list of tips:

Consider the needs of your family →

This means not just your children’s needs, but also the needs of the adults in the home. Do you need support managing behaviors? Are there specific routines you need help maintaining? Is it just childcare or do you need your person to have a minor in laundry folding?

Create a list of clear expectations →

Outline daily expectations, including job duties, transportation, therapy appointments, hours, sick days, vacations, etc. Be as thoughtful and thorough as possible. Few people have reported loving having tasks unexpectedly added to their already full days after they accept positions.

Conduct formal interviews →

Use your list of expectations and family needs to create a detailed outline of interview questions. Consider inquiring about individual learning styles, approaches to behavior management, and willingness to carry over suggested strategies. It’s far better to discover misalignments early as opposed to having to attempt to course-correct later.

Provide training →

Without question, parents often know their children best. That said, I certainly didn’t pass the master class in parenting in a day and I most definitely cannot expect someone new to understand the intricacies of my children without opportunities to learn what works and what doesn’t. Set up a training period that works for your provider and your family to allow time for in the moment learning and problem-solving to happen.

Communicate clearly →

I know this might sound easy, but breakdowns in communication are often responsible for feelings of frustration and self-doubt. Be certain you are clearly communicating and checking in regularly to ensure understanding between you and your provider. Reflect on your most efficient means of communication and lean into your strengths to decide how best to deliver your message while also considering the learning style of your provider.

Remain flexible →

You know the needs of your family. I’m guessing your provider also has needs. Two things can be true and it is possible for everyone’s needs to be met if flexibility is high on the priority list. Try to remember if you are asking someone to step into the role of caring for your children, you might have to relinquish some control. Different approaches can often lead to the same beautiful outcomes.

Express gratitude →

I often hear people providing childcare experience feelings of inadequacy and question whether they are right for the role, ultimately leading to them resigning. Simply speaking up when you see a situation managed well or leaving a brief note to share your appreciation can mean the world to someone when insecurities creep in. I have never, not once, received complaints about positive feedback. An attitude of gratitude is without question the path to take!

If you are looking for more support, join us Wednesday’s at 8:15 pm. Our Support and Learning Community is incredible at problem-solving challenges you and your family may be facing and celebrating wins together.

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