Father and Child with Child Care Provider

As a parent, you have many responsibilities. High-quality child care programs work closely with you to care for your children and help you meet your family’s goals. The best child care providers will ask you for feedback on whether they are meeting your and your child’s needs.

Finding a provider who sees you as a partner is important because strong relationships between all the people important to children—parents, extended family members, family friends, and teachers—help children grow and learn. High-quality environments and good relationships prepare children for school and future success.

High-quality child care providers will work to develop a long-term relationship with you that is based on trust and respect. They will want to learn about your family and talk about what you feel is going well. If you are experiencing challenges, they will listen to you, and work with you to find a solution.

What do partnerships look like in high-quality programs? You can expect programs to do the following:

  • Welcome all families.

  • Support you in developing strong relationships with your children.

  • Support you in making connections with other families.

  • Include you in activities and programs that support your child’s development.

  • Offer activities at times that work for your family’s schedule.

  • Communicate with you in clear language and in your home language if it is not English.

  • Ask for your opinion on how they can improve quality.

  • Create opportunities to share information about your child’s learning and development.

  • Honor your family’s culture, language, and experience in supporting your child’s learning and development.

  • Make sure you have access to your child at all times.

  • Offer opportunities for home visits to support relationship building.

  • Support you as a decisionmaker in the child care program. Some programs, including Head Start, may offer opportunities for leadership training or mentoring.

  • Help families transition to new learning settings; for example, preparing to move from child care into prekindergarten or kindergarten.

  • Invite you to provide feedback on the program.

  • Ask you to share your knowledge about your child before offering their own solutions. They respect your knowledge and acknowledge your strengths.

  • Build a trusting relationship with you so that you can safely discuss your concerns.

  • See you as the expert on your child and support your parenting.