Childminders can exchange information with parents in various ways. One can be thru setting up meetings. It can be on a daily or weekly basis, depending on the agreement with the parents. Another is by having a logbook of communication. In this logbook, parents and childminders can read or review thru the notes of activities done for each day.
It can also serve as a message board for parents and childminders should they not have enough time to discuss matters on a daily basis. According to the study made by the National Development Plan, ‘a childminder offers a home based childcare to one child or small group of children. Childminders provide a professional service where children are treated with respect and are shown love, affection, security and friendship.
The professional roles of a childminder are the following: to consider participating in child care training at every opportunity which will give greater self confidence in skills and the service provided; to have a professional approach to working in partnership with parents; to provide activities and play opportunities that contribute to the individual child’s experiences, learning and development; to provide equality of opportunity for all children; to be aware that some children may have special needs and work in partnership with parents to ensure that each child’s individual needs are supported.
’ It is very important to remember for a childminding support that the parents have the authority on how their child should be reared. The childminder’s purpose or objective is to align the child rearing with the parents’ discipline methods. However, some parents may need credible sources for proper child care. As a childminder, one is equipped with proper training on child care and has extensive experience and knowledge on references for child care. Thus, the method of exchange of information with parents should be tailor fit with the parent’s preference and the child’s individual needs.
Parents have the authority to provide a list of preference on their child’s welfare. However, childminders can suggest on better methods but should provide additional references to help the parents understand its cause. Some of these are: talking to parents about the ‘normal’ course of child development- what is reasonable to expect and when – while emphasizing that every child develops at their own time; giving parents information about what their child has done with you, so that they can see that it is possible to provide their child with new experiences and activities.
(b)Explain the importance of maintaining a businesslike relationship with parents through the use of a contract? Childminding is still a business. And like any other business transactions, contracts are necessary for child minders and parents. Although, the relationship has a fine line between personal and business transactions, nannies should still have a contract of agreement on the service being provided to parents.
Home-based childcare is still a business relationship where a parent is catering to a service provided by a nanny. It is very similar to an employer-employee contract. The contract will serve as the basis of the relationship. It also serves to eliminate any misunderstanding regarding overall care of the child, medical requirements, dietary supplements, pay, working hours, and annual leaves.
Things that should be written in the contract could be the following: number of hours to be tendered a day or a week; the amount of salary to be paid for the services; the confidentiality of the relationship between the family and childminder; the list of responsibilities that would be provided, such as, preferred nutrition list, the preferred tasks, schedule for a discussion on exchange of information and daily reports of activities done; list of expectations from childminder; holiday arrangements; notice period.
(c) As a nanny, analyse the skills and knowledge needed to be effective as a parent, and how these are learned. As a nanny, one should act as a role model for both parents and children. One can be effective if she has effective communication skills, where the message is delivered to children accordingly and will encourage them to respond as well. Skills on how to talk so that children will listen or will talk is necessary for good communication. The skills and knowledge needed to be effective as a parent could be the following:
Respect and acknowledge that parents are the primary carer of their children; be aware that children need to feel welcomed, respected, safe and secure; be sympathetic, tolerant, kind and act fairly; have knowledge and experience of working with children; have knowledge on children’s rights; have first aid training and be able to deal with emergencies; understand the developmental needs of each child; relate well to both children and parents; be able to listen effectively to the children.
Ways to be qualified are thru: completing a Home Childcare training package that includes first aid and risk assessment; caring for the children and having an effective use of resources; providing play and learning opportunities with the child; listen to and value what the child is saying; help the children what is right and wrong; take proper precautions with every activity done with the child and recognition that the child’s protection is always first priority; promote good hygiene and proper nutrition; provide care and environment that meets the needs of the child; manage behavior in which respects the child’s age and development; provide detailed documentation of daily activities; and ensure quality assurance thru constant updates on proper childcare.
These skills could be acquired thru reading, education on child development and practical application. The constant exchange of communication between parents and nannies provide learning not parents but also to nannies as well. The enthusiasm and interest of working as a nanny is highly effective to continuously learn. Nannies can be effective as parents by setting as a good example to parents and to children. 2 (a)Describe 3 ways that stress might affect a parent? Stress might affect a parent in the following ways: First would be through physical exhaustion. When a parent is physically exhausted, parents have difficulty extending themselves to attend to their children.
Second, the health condition; stress may affect a parent to produce body toxins that may affect their health condition. Third, mental alertness; stress may cause parents to think or make decisions in an uncompromising manner. At times, poor mental alertness may cause parents to panic in moments of accidents or pressure, thus resulting to not so productive actions. According to the research of Daniel Falzon, ‘Whilst some studies report that working mothers experience high levels of stress as compared to unemployed mothers, others conclude that mothers who partake in paid employment benefit greatly for a number of different reasons. Research has focused on two competing theories.
The first is the role enhancement theory, arguing that paid employment benefits women psychologically and socially through increased social interaction with fellow adults and increased self esteem that comes with financial independence and increased status. Other research has focused on the role overload theory, which argues that working mothers are faced with the demands and pressures of juggling multiple roles, leading to physical and emotional exhaustion and adversely affecting women’s health. Research suggests that there are a number of factors which may interact, having a buffering effect or, alternatively, intensifying the stress felt by working mothers. Incompatibility between work and family life arises due to a number of factors.
For instance, a mother who would like to progress in her career and obtain a promotion may feel she has to spend longer hours at work like her colleagues, but this isn’t possible as she has to leave work at a specific time to pick up the child from childcare or school/nursery. Performing multiple roles results in what may be termed ‘family-work spillover’. This occurs when the demands from family and home life impinge upon one’s ability to perform effectively in the workplace. ’ Work stress was suggested in a study by Schwartzberg and Dytell to be more important in determining the self-esteem of mothers than fathers, while family stress appeared to be more important in determining depression for fathers than mothers.
Overall, the family stressors resulting in depression were different for mothers and fathers; dual-earner fathers reported depression due to lack of spousal support or family role insignificance, whereas dual-earner mothers were sensitive to a lack of task sharing. Stress can affect a parent into lessening the quality time with their children thru being physically or mentally exhausted; feel out of control, that they are lurching from one crisis to another; that they feel insecure and unable to trust other people. When a parent is experiencing stress, he or she would be in personal conflict of whether spending the free time to rest or spending it with their children.
(b)Evaluate the role of the nanny in supporting parents experiencing difficulties. The role of the nanny in supporting parents experiencing difficulties is to help minimize confusion on priorities. Childcare service provides support typically to working families. Childcare services remain largely on the traditional five day work week. Thus, their presence is a way to provide advice with regard to child rearing. One, they should align the proper ways of childcare with the situation of the family. Two, understanding the situation that the parents are undergoing thru is another way to support them. Three, is to listen actively to what the parents. Effective communication with parents is an effective way to provide support.
Documentation of the daily routine or circumstances at home will help the parents keep track of the child’s activities, as well as the child’s personal growth and development. This method of documentation also helps keeping the alignment intact and the method of child care and discipline align, which helps avoid confusion for the child as well. Speaking and writing clearly and concisely will support parents effectively. Some more of the roles to show support to parents with difficulty can be the following: ‘provide time for communication; be straightforward and honest; provide eye contact; provide positive and helpful suggestions and offer practical solutions; use positive body language such as smiles and gestures’
The disadvantages however of a nanny being seen as an ‘expert’ in child minding, are the following: One, they might be seen as taking over the family matters. Second, they might be getting too personal or attached with the family, especially the children. Third, the advices may be seen as too theoretic rather than realistic. Thus, for a nanny to be more effective, one has to understand that they have to put their selves in between, combining the theories in practice and making sure it is tailor fit with the specific needs of each family.
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