In the past decade, several studies researched the effects of employment on children. Conclusions clearly identified quality of care and quality of the parent/child relationship as the two most significant influences.
In order to feel secure, children need to feel an attachment to the adults who care for them. Avoid situations in which your child will be asked to change care personnel more than once per year. Ideally, younger children benefit from even longer relationships.
Emotional attachment to another adult carer is a key process for your child's emotional health. The relationship between your child and his or her carer is an important one, but rest assured that quality care is no substitute for the value of your primary parent-child bond.
Things to consider:
- There should be a good 'match' between the child's temperament and needs and the carer's ability to meet them
- Look for a small ratio of carers to children. For preschool-age children, it's ideal to have no more than four children to one carer
- It is ideal to look for a relationship with the potential for a continuous, strong and positive relationship between carer and child
- Ask if the staff has been trained in health, safety (CPR) and child development
- Take time to observe your child's interactions with a carer
- Periodically, drop in unannounced to see how your child is experiencing the care situation
- Develop open and regular communication with your child's carer
- Evaluate your child's ability to feel safe, be appropriately challenged, play and learn on an ongoing basis
Ensuring quality in the Parent/Child relationship
Every child needs to know there is at least one person who is looking out for their best interests. The quality of the parent/child relationship depends on your children's belief and trust in your capacity to care for, protect and have their best interests at heart.