How to leave In-Home Daycare with a Smile

daycare-girl-pink-outfitIn-home daycares and the providers that run them are incredibly varied in their personalities, situations and how they run their own businesses.  This makes specific advice challenging due to the nature of everyone’s unique situation.  But there definitely some good rules of thumb to follow to finish up a relationship with an in-home daycare provider with a smile.

Make sure to plan ahead and around the contracted notice time.  This can be different between in-home daycare providers but is usually 2 to 4 weeks.  You will be responsible to pay for care from the time you give notice to the end of the time noted in the contract, even if you decide to pull your child out early.  This can often be a very sticky point between parents and the daycare providers which can sour the relationship instantly.  So make sure you are aware of the agreed-upon time frame and plan accordingly for it.  It is also a good idea to write up a quick friendly letter notifying a provider that you will be leaving.  Here’s an example letter you can use:

Dear (daycare provider’s name),

I wanted to thank you for all of the great care you have provided for (child’s name(s)).  I have really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know you and appreciate all you have done for our family. Unfortunately our circumstances have changed and our last day at daycare will be (date).

Thank you again!

Sincerely,

(name)

(signature)

(date)

It is very important to make sure that you speak to your child about the upcoming change in their routine.  On the Friday before their last week make sure that they are aware that the next week is going to be their last week at the daycare.  You can use the weekend to have them make some pictures or cards for their friends as well as one for the daycare provider.  This is a critical step in helping your child prepare for the changes to come.  You can try to make it easier for them with a good transition.  Make sure you remind them that this is their final week with the children and daycare provider they spent so much time with.  You may even want to do little extra to mark the event.   One final thing you can do is to make up some healthy and allergen-free treats to take  to daycare on the last day to help make a fun little going away party.  As a sign of your appreciation you might think about getting a gift for the daycare provider.

You might want to let the other parents at the daycare that your child is leaving, and collect their contact information so you can schedule future play dates or invite them to birthday parties. An in-home daycare setting is much more intimate than a childcare center and it’s likely that your child has built up some strong friendships and bonds.  If you have the ability to keep these friendships going after leaving the daycare provider, it may help the transition.

Keep these steps in mind to help make leaving your daycare provider easier. It will help to show your child some valuable skills about how to handle change in their lives.  Leaving with a smile will also leave a positive impression with your old daycare provider. This often reverberates through the local daycare community.  You never know what the future holds.  If you and your family are known in the neighborhood as friendly and polite, should you need daycare the future, you’ll have little trouble finding it.

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