The decision to leave your child with a childcare provider is a tough one, and many parents struggle with whether or not they have made the right choice for quite some time afterwards.  There will be a period of adjustment both for parents and for children, but eventually things should level out, and it shouldn’t feel like a stressful situation on an ongoing basis.  Hiccups will occur, and sometimes communication may be a bit unclear on both sides, but it’s important to keep an open and honest dialogue.

Sometimes, however, despite your and your childcare provider’s best efforts, the relationship may just not work and a time may come when you feel the need to move on.  This is okay, and it happens.  It’s important however for both your family and the childcare provider that this is done in the most appropriate and respectful way.  Your child will have spent time building up a relationship with their caregiver and you will want them to be able to say goodbye in a calm and sensitive way.

The following steps should be considered carefully once the decision has been made to move on; 

  • Speak directly to the owner of the setting – make an appointment for a face to face meeting when you feel things are not going as well as you would have expected.  It’s important to have this conversation at the top level of the organisation to ensure that a positive outcome can be reached for both your family or others who will continue to use their service in the future.
  • Make notes in advance of your meeting – this will ensure that you get through all of the issues you want to discuss during your meeting and avoid forgetting any important points you wanted to raise.
  • Be constructive – it’s not an easy conversation to have but it doesn’t have to be aggressive or impolite.  There are a lot of feelings when it comes to working with children from both parents and caregivers, so these points should be raised considerately and professionally. 
  • Honesty is the best policy.  Don’t skirt around important issues – this needs to be a learning experience for both parties and avoiding difficult issues will not help to resolve the situation moving forward.
  • Always follow up in writing. After your meeting, drop the owner an email to summarise your discussions and put in writing what your next steps are going to be. Please be sure to review your contract and adhere to any notice period stipulations, paying close attention to any financial penalties that may be incurred.  Confirm the date your child will be leaving the setting and make arrangements to collect any personal items your child may have stored in the setting.
  • Try to leave on good terms – you never know whether or not you may need to return one day, so it’s best to try to leave in the most positive way possible.