Calling yourself a Professional

Caring for children is the most important thing that anyone can do. Professional child care providers use the best standards, practices, strategies, resources and materials available. Acting professional is hard for any home based business. Think about professional goal development, organization membership, and accreditation to in- crease professionalism.

Look & Act Like a Professional

  • Be prepared for children before “hours of operation”
  • Greet each family with a smile
  • Take a few moments to observe the child closely (document irregularities on daily health check form) and discuss any daily concerns with the family member, keep your morning chat short and to the point
  • Remind parents you can always talk with them later in the day if necessary
  • Have information for parents and families clearly posted
  • Make sure your phone voicemail or answering machine has a professional message and can accept mes- sages, ask anyone who answers your phone to take messages, including the phone number the person can be reached at. If you are distracted and busy caring for children, let the phone go to your voice- mail, it is okay to wait until naptime to return calls to parents.
  • Curb Appeal Maintain an attractive facility inside and out
    • Before you pull into your driveway consider, where are the address numbers?
    • Is the program sign clearly visible for families and emergency responders to identify the property?
    • Is it clear where parents should park their vehicles and enter the child care?
    • Make sure walkways are safe and wide enough for parents to be able to assist their children.

Take a leadership role.

This is probably the final step to becoming a Child Care Professional. Usually, all other com- ponents are met when a child care provider takes on leadership duties.

This is usually the time when most child care providers start working towards National Ac- creditation, CDA, Child Development Degrees, etc.

Once you have established yourself in your child care business and have gained confidence in your abilities, it becomes natural to want to share your talents with others in the industry. There is special meaning and personal gratification to be able to assist others in developing quality childcare.

Once you have succeeded in fulfilling the components of a child care professional you can be PROUD to call yourself a “PROFESSIONAL”.


  • Turn everyday routines into learning experiences.
  • Know strengths and weaknesses and work to get bet-ter at the things they don’t do well.
  • Connect with other child care providers to sharestrategies and resources. Join membership organizations, some are:
    • National and State Association for Education og Young Children
    • National Child Care Association
    • National Association for Family Child Care
    • Family Child Care Association of NY
    • Town and County Chambers of Commerce
    • Small Business Associations
  • Understand the ethical issues involved in caring for children and act in ethical ways.
  • Act as excellent role models for children in the language they use and the way they treatothers.
  • Follow all state and federal rules and regulations
  • Work together with parents to provide the best care possible for children.
  • Provide safe physical space for children and know how to respond calmly in emergencies.
  • Create nurturing learning environments for children with a variety of activities.
  • Provide nutritious snacks and meals. (Join the Child and Adult Care Food Program formeal reimbursement and training.)
  • Take care of themselves as well as children.
  • Know the resources available in their own communities and take advantage of them.
  • Know that learning is a lifelong process and seek to improve their own skills and knowl-edge. (15hours of training per year is the minimum requirement) Attend classroom train-ing to connect with child care providers
  • Consider accreditation. Improve skills and confidence that make caring for children easier.

Child Care Professionals are devoted to their profession.

  • Maintain high standards of quality child care through consistency and dedication.
  • Main goal is to make a difference in the life of a child, despite the salary.
  • Child care is not a highly regarded career by most, so the innovation must come fromwithin you.

Strive to project a professional business atmosphere.

  • Toys, books, and supplies are organized and in good condition.
  • You do want your daycare to look as though children play there! Maintaining tidy areas foreating, sleeping, and playing will contribute to a safe and healthy environment for your children.
  • Child care providers should be open and ready forbusiness at the posted opening time. Personal grooming should be done prior to business hours. Your clothing should be neat and clean, and appropriate for playing on the floor with all your children.
  • Imagine yourself as the parent who is walking into your child care for the very first time. How would you want your child’s day care to look? Would you be happy as a parent walking into your place of business? Would you be comfortable leaving your child in a place that ap- peared to be in disarray? Keep these things in mind as you evaluate the atmosphere projected in your home or center. As a child care professional, you should always look for ways to make your child care more appealing to your children, as well as to your parents.

Child Care Professionals seek continuing education

  • Take every opportunity to attend childcare training workshops, seminars, college courses, conferences (local, state, and national), meetings, etc.
  • Never stop educating yourself. Always exceed state required hours of training.
  • If you are not able to attend educational opportunities in person, there are many self-instructional clock hours of child care training available.

Child Care Professionals are resourceful.

  • Read child care related books, magazines and newsletters share these with parents.
  • Compile a business resource and refer to this guide often. Include articles and tip sheets onhealth and safety, nutrition, emergency procedures, discipline, developmentally appropriate activities for all ages, and information on how to deal with children with special needs.

Develop a partnership with their parents.

  • Keep parents informed with monthly newsletters, and daily reports (written or verbal). Plan a parent day: show your parents the activities their children engage in each day and how children learn through play. Explain the benefits of each of their child’s activities.
  • Provide your parents with written policies and procedures, so that they’ll know what is ex- pected of them. Most parents will abide by the rules and regulations if they know what they are! Not just a good idea any more, parent handbooks will be required.
  • At least once a year, ask your parents to evaluate your performance and day care facility. Be open to parent’s criticism and use the ideas to improve your program.
  • Open communication is vital to the well-being of each of your children.

Network with other Child Care Professionals.

  • Network with other child care professionals. Do not isolate yourself!
  • Join a professional organization. Child Care Associa-tions offer many benefits.
  • Child care professionals network with other Child care Professionals to provide support for each other. It’s important to know that you are not alone in this business. There are many providers who share the same triumphs and aggravations. Sometimes a solution to a child care problem you are experiencing is just a phone call way.
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