Once your child has settled into an early childhood education and care service, you can continue to support their development by:
- Maintaining a good relationship with the service’s staff and the director (if there is one) to continue the two-way communication
- Talking to staff about your child’s interests to see how they can be included in their day
- Letting the service know if your child won’t be attending on a particular day because they are sick or you’re on holiday
- Asking about your child’s progress and working with staff to strengthen learning and developmental opportunities both at the service and at home
- Reading newsletters and other information provided by the service
- Talking to staff about your child’s transition to different rooms at a centre as they develop. This can sometimes cause children to become anxious as they have a new educator or new friends
- Taking an interest in the service’s activities and volunteering to participate, if you can. It might be for a fete, a working bee or an excursion. You are part of the service’s community, not just your child
- If you have particular family or cultural values, let your service know how you would like these to be included and respected
- Getting to know your child’s friends and their parents and arranging play dates or other activities with them outside of the service
- Letting staff know about things that have happened at home that might have unsettled your child, e.g. the arrival of a new baby, your child had a late night, they are excited because their cousin is staying with you on holiday, there’s been a change in living arrangements etc.
Staff at your child’s service will support their development by:
- Documenting your child’s learning and development and identifying your child’s strengths and areas where they might need help or encouragement
- Investing time in your child’s interests and challenging them with new and exciting activities to extend their development
- Encouraging your child to explore and learn through play
- Developing a tailored program for your child based on learning outcomes from a framework like the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), which is a guide for all early childhood educators who work with children from birth to 5 years old
- Letting you know if your child is sick or has an accident at their service
- Ensuring your child is safe and happy
- Identifying if your child might benefit from specialist support e.g. speech therapy
Managing your child’s special health needs
Using child care when your child has special health needs can be daunting. It’s important that your child care service works with you and your family to ensure your child is safely included in the child care environment.
See our fact sheet on managing children’s special health needs.
Hygiene in child care
Your child will come into contact with lots of other people at these services so it’s extremely important the service has a high level of hygienic standards in place. This lowers the risk of infections being spread and helps your child practise good hygiene at home and when you are out and about.
Read our fact sheet on ways to lower the spread of infectious illnesses.