What are your responsibilities as a consumer of child care?

You play the most important role in your child's growth and development. Deciding on the right kind of child care for you and your child is difficult. But it is a decision that only you can make.

Here are some of your responsibilities as a consumer of child care:

  • When you find a facility that fits your needs and feels right for your child, talk with the provider again. Good communication with your provider is important right from the start. Tell the provider about your child and the kind of care you would like for your child. This is especially important if your child's care will require any particular conditions. It will also help the provider know what you expect for your child.
  • Work out arrangements with the provider before your child begins the program. Be sure to discuss who is responsible for providing meals and snacks, when fees are due, what happens if fee payment is late and the days that the facility is closed. Signing a contract or service agreement will help to settle these arrangements. But first, read the contract or agreement carefully to make sure it covers all the items that you believe it should. Please be aware that any dispute that may arise later over details of the contract or agreement must be resolved between you and the provider -- child care regulators have no jurisdiction in contract disputes.
  • If you are unhappy with something about the facility after your child has started there, discuss the situation with the provider as soon as possible. Doing so may make it easier to work out a solution.
  • You can help the provider care for your child by telling him or her if something unusual happened at home the previous night or weekend. That way, the provider can plan to be on the lookout for differences in your child.