Testifying for child care provider professionalism and quality care

In support of child care providers throughout Wisconsin, WECA Board member Dr. Dipesh Navsaria recently submitted testimony to the Wisconsin Legislature. Under review was Assembly Bill 698 – legislation proposing a new protocol in how child care providers manage the sleep needs of infants and toddlers.

Simply put, it is WECA’s position that a child’s individual needs must always be addressed with competence and good judgment. Good communication between parents and providers must be ongoing.  Therefore, we feel it unnecessary to legislate a practice (determining a child’s sleep needs) that is by definition changeable, even on a daily basis.

Read Dr. Navsaria’s full testimony here:

 As a practicing pediatrician and a board member of the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, I am opposed to AB 698.  While on the face of it the bill may seem reasonable, but the fact remains that with young children, the assessment and experience of a child care provider to determine the rest and sleep needs of a child in their charge is key.

This bill essentially takes away the partnership and trust between a parent and child care provider by allowing for a blanket instruction to override the experience and judgment which needs to be applied in any individual situation.  Young children vary greatly, sometimes even from day to day.  By this bill, a child care provider who feels that a child may need rest due to a minor illness or other condition would potentially be left in a position where their best judgment would be overridden by written instructions.

WECA has always supported child care providers attentively listening to and responding appropriately to parental needs and views.  We hope that any concerns or guidelines around any aspect of child behavior and care (including sleep) would be part of a flexible and trusting relationship, with ongoing communication between the parent and child care provider, not reduced to legislatively-imposed fiats that run the risk of not serving the best interests of the child.

TRY IT Tuesday: Parent-Teacher Connections

It’s the beginning of a new school year which means new elementary school and 4k teachers, openings at child care facilities to replace those who have entered public schools, and new relationships between parents and educators. Multiple research studies have found that communication and cooperation between families and early childhood professionals is one of the most important aspects of high-quality care. Strengthening relationships between parents and educators will benefit young children (and everyone else involved) immensely.

Are you ready to TRY IT? There are lots of ways to improve relationships between parents and educators. Educators: invite parents to an open house, start a classroom/program newsletter to let parents know what you are up to, or arrange a daily/weekly phone call with each new parent. Parents: volunteer in the classroom, ask questions, come to open houses/conferences, and thank an early educator for the important work that they do in partnership with you.

If you have a story about efforts to build relationships with parents or educators, we would love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and share your strategies.