Partners in Learning: A Parent's Guide to Partnership in Childcare

McDermott, Michele. (2010). Partners in Learning: A Parent's Guide to Partnership in Childcare.
This guide is for parents who want to understand how they can work with childcare providers to give their child the best opportunities and experiences possible. Your involvement in your child’s early care and education, in partnership with your childcare provider, is vital in helping your child to learn necessary life skills and feel happy and secure. The opportunities that children are given to experience life through meaningful activities and play will carry them forward into adulthood and assist them in becoming a happy, productive members of society. When you put your child into the care of someone outside of their own home, the relationship of trust and respect that you build between you is extremely important. This is a partnership that develops over time. A quality childcare service will value your input as the main carer and educator of your child. 6 The benefits of good quality early childhood care and education have been widely documented. Children’s emotional, intellectual, social and physical development are dependent on the caring, nurturing relationships that they experience in the first few years of life. The first step in partnership, therefore, is choosing a quality childcare setting. Identifying quality can be a daunting prospect because you want the best for your child and may well feel overwhelmed by the importance of this choice. There are obviously a number of practical matters you must consider, such as opening times and location, but it is just as important to spend time looking at the other things the service has to offer. It may seem most convenient to place your child in the service in the next street but it is essential that this is the right place for your child to be. Time spent thinking about quality before your child starts may well prevent disruption a few months down the line if you have to change your childcare provider as things aren’t working out. Caring for a child’s health and welfare and guiding their learning and development should be the utmost priority for all adults caring for them. For more information on children’s early learning and development see Learning Together: A Parent’s Guide to Early Childhood Learning (see