How to Monitor The Quality of Care Your Children Receive
August 8, 2013 | in Background Check
Leaving your children under the care of strangers, whether it’s center-based or through the services of a private, in-home childcare provider, can be a stressful situation. Ensuring that they’re receiving the attention and affection they need while you’re away can seem like a difficult proposition, but it’s actually not as complicated as it seems. There are ways for parents to monitor the quality of care that their children are receiving, even when they’re in the office on the other side of town. These tips can help you keep tabs on your childcare provider and, by extension, your children and their safety.
Make Unscheduled Visits
When the nanny knows that you’re due to return home at any minute or the pick-up time at a daycare center is approaching, it’s easy to make changes to reflect a positive and enriching environment. To truly determine how well your children are being looked after, it’s wise to drop in unannounced or make an unscheduled visit. Return home because you forgot your briefcase or drop by the daycare center to bring an essential item your child doesn’t have on his person. Make a point of coming in when you’re not expected and you’ll get a more accurate picture of daily routines and methods of operation when you’re not there to observe them.
Consider Video Monitoring
Depending on the state in which you live and the laws in your area, you may not be able to legally record a nanny in your home without disclosing the existence of the camera to her. Many daycare centers, however, are beginning to offer remote video monitoring through secure webcam feeds that allow you to watch your kids play and learn, right from your computer. If you have opted for in-home care, be up front and honest about the installation of nanny cameras. Even if they’re legal for undisclosed placement in your state, the discovery of a hidden camera is enough to irreparably damage your nanny’s trust and could be the root of a major dispute or turnover.
Keep a Nanny Log
While a large, crowded daycare center isn’t exactly conducive to logging and documenting the events of the day, an in-home childcare provider is more capable of keeping a detailed nanny log. Create a journal for your nanny to share the events of the day, make notes regarding any medications that have been administered and share updates and scheduled events in order to keep everyone in the loop and informed. You will be able to get a reasonably accurate picture of how things are handled in your home while you’re away through a well-kept nanny log.
Talk to Your Children
If your kids are verbal, you should be able to talk to them about the quality of their care. Keep in mind that young children often have trouble distinguishing between fact and fiction, though, and be skeptical of reports that Nanny turned into a fire-breathing dragon after lunch. Closely observing kids that aren’t verbal can also help you determine how attentive their childcare providers are. Look for diaper rashes that can indicate neglect, excessive hunger or unexplained injuries. Keep track of how many diapers are missing from a diaper bag or nursery and compare them with the number of average diaper changes your child requires when you’re home. There are ways to quietly and discreetly monitor your nanny or a daycare manager without accusing her of neglect, and you should take advantage of those tactics for the safety of your children.
Talk to Other Parents
Other parents with children in the same daycare center as your own or previous employers of the nanny currently working for you can be great sources of information regarding the quality and work ethic of a childcare provider. You can also ask others for feedback who see your nanny interact with your child.
Talk to Your Childcare Provider
One of the most direct routes you can take is to form a relationship with the people caring for your children, and to ask directly about how things are handled when you’re not there to supervise. You may be surprised at how honest and open your nanny or a daycare center worker really is when they’re actually engaged in conversation.← How to Check Up on Your Nanny When You Don’t Have Nanny Cams | How to Reject a Nanny Applicant Gracefully →
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