Family Child Care Providers: Communicating with Families

Communication is an essential part of the family child care experience for providers, families, and children. “The relationships that a provider develops with individual children, those that are formed among the children themselves, and the relationships with each family are all important factors in how well the program meets the needs of both the provider and the families served.†(The National Association for Family Child Care Foundation, 2013, p. 3) In this study, the strategies and barriers that family child care providers encounter when communicating with families were examined. A sample of 11 family child care providers, from the Los Angeles Mission College (LAMC) Family Child Care Home Education Network (FCCHEN), participated in a narrative workshop with the objective of gathering information about the strategies and barriers they encounter with family communication. The overarching themes that stemmed from the dialogue were discussed and analyzed. Results demonstrated major themes included: mindful honesty between provider and parent, observation and documentation on the part of the provider, and child involvement as strategies commonly used by family child care providers. Implications from the narrative shared found the need for ecological context between provider and family in order to form a cooperative relationship between both sides. Further research may benefit from continued exploration of communication factors between caregivers and the families they serve.