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Home-based Childcare

Two factors that influence parents’ choice of childcare are cost and the policies of the setting. It is important for parents that the cost of the childcare system that they will be getting is fit to what they are able to pay. Thus, even if there is a service near where the family lives or where the parents work, a parent has a tendency to look for other childcare services which are priced considerably lower especially if it also meets their expectations. On the other hand, parents also consider the quality of the service.

More than the cost, parents may tend to favor mid-priced or high-end services if they are assured that their children are getting the best service that their money can get. Their main indicator of high-quality service is the policies of the system that they view of getting. Parents study the activities that the children will get and the similarity of it to their own activities at home. Parents also study the rules of the service with regard to bullying, discipline, and security, and compare them to their personal exercises.

Thus, childcarers should be sensitive enough to offer competitively-priced services that have the expected quality and standards. 2. Describe TWO different family structures Two different family structures are step families and single-parent families. Unlike nuclear and extended families, they have a tendency to be more stressful and thus children from these families may require more specialized attentions. Step families are those in which one or both parents are stepparents of one or more of the children. It could be that the parent(s) remarried, or the parent(s) gets a new partner.

Children in these unions, aptly called stepchildren, may find it hard to adapt to a new family which has a these settings, and so they need proper guidance. On the other hand, single parent families are those where there is only the mother or the father to take care of the children. It could be that one parent left for some reason, permanently or temporarily, or that the child is a product of legalized adoption by a single person where the law permits so. This may pose stress to children, especially the growing ones, who may wonder why other families have mothers and fathers while they do not enjoy the presence of both.

The parent is both the carer and the breadwinner for the child. 3. Describe how the practitioner may promote positive relationships with parents Practitioners may promote positive relationships with parents by communication, sensitivity, and other means. After all, every parent is a prospective client and they are relevant sources of information on childcare. For starters, practitioners should create positive relationships with parents of the children that they are caring by communication.

They should ask things about the way these parents care for their children, and how they prefer these to be changed or followed through at the course of your own care for their children. Practitioners should also be sensitive, and avoid off-color remarks and innocent jokes that may mean differently to parents. The same sensitivity and positive connection should be made with the other parents. Communications also plays a big role, as these parents have insights abut first-hand child-rearing that no book or class can teach. They are worthwhile sources of information—and clients too.

Other ways to create agreeable relationships with parents is by showing innate positive attitudes, being open to change, creating ways to develop one’s knowledge and abilities, and by being aware and understanding of the state of the family and the parents. A practitioner who is successful in doing these will find it easy to relate to parents. 4. Describe TWO sources of stress that some parents may experience Two sources of stress are poverty and problems with relationships. Parents who are living in poverty may find it difficult to raise their children without being affected by the stresses of daily living.

Faced with bills to pay, complications of having debts with other people, lack or absence of money to buy food and other basic necessities, their circumstances are different and so their reactions to situations may be different too. It is most likely that parents living in poverty cannot prioritize care for their children even if they want to. They have many other things to care about such as, most importantly, earning a living which is in effect for the children too. Another stressor to parents may be their difficult relationships with their partners or other people such as those at work or at the organizations of which they are members.

These bring about psychological and emotional tortures that may affect the way parents care for their children and family as a whole. Unfortunately, parents who are stressed often bring this out to their children and other members of the family. When this occurs, it is a responsibility of the practitioner to cope and help the children do so too. 5. Describe how to resolve TWO potential areas of conflict between parent and practitioner Two potential areas of conflict between parents and practitioners are difference in viewing child-rearing and conflicts with the contract. Practitioners and parents may have different views on rearing children.

This is brought about by differences of background in which the practitioner and the parent have been raised, the different sources of information of which both sourced their knowledge, and different beliefs and traditions. With this the practitioner should discuss with the parents at once their style differences and meet halfway so that the children will be cared and brought up the way agreeable to the parents as well. Conflicts may also arise when either parties (the practitioner or the parent(s)) break the policies of the contract or the verbal agreement, whichever applies.

It could be sudden differences in the schedule on the part of the parents, tardiness or absences on the part of the practitioner, delays or shortages in payment, or doing things that the parent or practitioner originally agreed not to do. To alleviate this conflict, the practitioner should be open to what the parents have to say and why they believe it fits their children. Childcarers should also stay true with their contracts and communicate with parents if offenses occur in either party’s part.

In doing these, positive relationships between the parents and carers can be achieved by the practitioner. This in turn is good for the child being cared for. 6. Identify information which needs to be shared between the practitioners and the parents There are certain information which needs to be shared between the practitioners and the parents. Parents may need to leave post-it notes on what activities their children need to do for the day, food that they can or cannot eat, medications that they have to take, and schedules that they have to follow such as bedtime, playtime, and eating time.

Information on safety, forbidden activities, contact numbers where the parents can be reached, emergency numbers, and other pertinent information that can be needed by the practitioner while the parents are out and the child is in her care should be noted down well. These information may be written, or verbal before the child is left by the parents for the day. During the day, additional informationa nd instructions that may have spurred at the moment can be communicated by the parents, usually over the phone. It is important for the practitioner to take note of these information and instructions. 7.

Describe how you keep information confidential Information about parents, their children, and the family as a whole should be kept confidential. I make sure this is the case by not divulging to anyone the circumstances of the family and their issues. Especially when the information has been deliberately labeled as a secret by the family or any member, I strive to keep it to myself. In the same way, I prefer that these information be creatively instituted in the contract. For example, instead of saying “that the child is hyperactive, restless, and has attention-deficit issues”, the contract may stipulate that “the child has specialized needs”.

Confidentiality clauses should also be stipulated by the parents in the contract and if this is not the case I would gladly suggest this to protect both parties, the child, and myself. However tempting it is to speak with other people about the interesting circumstances of the client, it is not right so I refrain from doing so. I see to it that I have read written confidential information and I either keep it safe or shred the paper. I also keep myself updated on laws and policies about confidentiality, especially those which concern inquiries by authorities and medical professionals.

While it is important to abide by civil policies, it is likewise important to consider the privacy and interest of the client. 8. Describe ways to support a parent experiencing identified stress It is important for practitioners to be able to support a parent who is experiencing identified stress. By being faithful to his or her service to the child and the parent, the practitioners remove one worry for the parent to think about. While it is difficult for childcarers to cope with parents who are stressed, it is better to continue caring for the children at this time and strive to cope with the parent.

Cooking meals once in a while, speaking with the stressed parent when he needs company, inviting the parent to an activity to take her mind off stress for a while are just but some of the ways that assistance can be extended. Knowledge and aid in contacting agencies and organizations that may be able to help the parent is a good option. Confidentiality, once again, is important as well. It will not help the parent if information about his or her stresses is haphazardly given out in the open. The practitioner should also know his or her limitations.

He or she should be sensitive to the fact that there are things that he can say or counsel, and there are those that he cannot; there are times the counseling is alright and there are times that it is not acceptable. These breeds trust and respect between the parent(s) and the childcare practitioner. 9. Explain how and when the practitioner should breach confidentiality Gibb (2006) discusses that while children have protected rights of anonymity, specifically in times when they can become part of a court case for instance, the right cannot be any more absolute.

This includes cases of adoption and other non-criminal court joints. He points out that when proceedings have ended, the identity of those involved in a case, including the children, can be freely identified without liabilities in the part of those taking accounts. It is a move to equalize the children’s privacy rights as opposed to the inherent right to freedom of expression, and it was a move which sparked interest and opposing views. Many believe that children’s identities should remain private if they become involved in a public affair that is otherwise derogatory for them.

On the contrary, many raise the fact that the identity of the children should not hinder people from speaking their minds and detailing their ordeals or other people’s accounts. In such cases, the practitioner should be aware of these updates on the law regarding confidentiality in child care. When information about the child has been solicited by the court or the authorities, including medical professionals, it is a must for the practitioner to give out the necessary information. However, the childcare practitioner should also take careful consideration of the information that he or she shall be releasing.

Confidentiality may be breached as well when the child is in a difficult situation such as a medical need. The same goes with instances when the practitioner needs to get a reliever for some time. At all these cases, the parents should be notified and consulted. Confidentiality is a serious matter for many family-practitioner relationships. It is a prerogative of the practitioner how to handle this is such cases where it is necessary to release otherwise confidential information, but it pays to consider respect to the parents, the family and the children.

The practitioner should likewise study the contract that he or she has signed as a guide on information that she has agreed to keep. To protect herself, it is wise to ensure that contracts have disclaimers stating that confidentiality may be breached if the rule of law requires so. This way, any conflict of interest between the contract and any ruling can be resolved easily on the part of the practitioner. 10. Explain the importance of respecting and valuing different family structures All families differ. This has been the assertion of Garavelli (2008).

He states that some mothers prefer to take care of their children, while some like to work; that some children love the nursery while some love to stay alone or with playmates at home; that there are families who prefer leaving notes on the refrigerator while some families do not communicate at all. It is important for the practitioner to understand this truth. It is essential for childcarers to exhibit a clear understanding of the different family structures, the differences among them, and the unique ways to cope with these different structures. Practitioners themselves grow up in various family structures.

When they get to establish their own families, they may tend to structure these into similar or totally different structures as well. These exposures to family structures familiar to them incline them to be comfortable in these structures and its mechanics. In effect, they may become surprised or uncomfortable when assailed with totally different familial setups. To cope, education plays a big part. Practitioners should make themselves familiar with the different types of family structures. However, it is not enough to know the types. It is equally important to understand how each type of family works.

Practitioners should consider that every family structure contributes to the well-being of the children in that family. Thus, when a practitioner has successfully understood a child’s family background, it is easier for him or her to adapt to the needs of this child. On the other hand, the more the practitioner exhibits lack of interest or understanding to the circumstances of the child he or she is caring for, the more difficult it will be to meet the needs of the child and relate to her. It is important for childcarers to create a connection with the children that they are caring for.

This connection can be easily established when the practitioner shows a clear understanding of where the child came from. It is also easier to earn the trust and respect of the parents when they see that the childcare professional has the same respect for them and their familial setup. Finally, sensitivity is another important trait. When children come from single-parent, step-parent, or other family structures, they should be monitored well so that they are not bullied or feel left out because of this difference. They should also be treated equally as with children of mother-father family structures.

This will ensure that they do not develop any feeling of neglect out of discrimination. While this is difficult, practitioners should be ready to face these circumstances with clients. This will also show that the practitioner is doing a good job. 11. Analyse the benefits of home-based childcare Home-based childcare is an option which the government encourages parents to try. According to Childwise (2007), government is intensifying campaigns for parents to use formal childcare such as nursery places and clubs because their services are more professional and high-quality. This speaks the truth.

Home-based childcare setups allow professional yet personalized services to the children while the parents are away. It creates a feel of home without letting the children conjure up misled thoughts of their parents’ temporary absence and the presence of secondary carers to answer to their needs. Parents also get benefits in using home-based childcare. They get peace of mind, which is exactly what they need while at work. They are also assured that their children are treated with personalized yet professional care, with varied activities that children do as matched to their ages.

Instead of worrying that their children are engaging in just any activity, such us just watching television the whole day, they know that the practitioner, being a professional, will offer age-specific activities that enrich the development of the children. Most especially, home-based childcare is also beneficial to the practitioner. Practitioners under this setup are able to work comfortably at a place familiar to them. Thus, they are more efficient and versed with the place, the things that they use in caring for the children, and the precautions that they should undertake while caring for the children.

Childcare professionals can also take small nap times of the children to look at extra things that need to be done or looked at, without neglecting the interests of the child under his or her care. It also allows for a good venue to divert interest or love for caring for children into a full-time career—quenching the practitioner’s thirst to care for and nurture children and interest to earn on the side for doing so as well. Looking at these benefits of home-based childcare, it is not surprising why many are inclined to try their hand at this. However, it is not as easy as getting clients, feeding babies, and changing diapers.

Home-based childcare requires documentary and other qualifications to be met. It is a government mandate that childcare professionals become assessed first for qualifications before being permitted to care for children. It is a move to protect children, their families, and the legitimate practitioners from being invaded by fly-by-night workers who are detrimental to the childcare industry. Yet these assessments and qualifications stage is a temporary challenge to the enthusiastic caregiver. Those who are patient and truthful go through the stage in a breeze, and enter the professional childcare arena without any problem.

Thereafter, they get to enjoy the benefits of the professional home-cased childcare career. 12. Evaluate the concept of working in partnership with parents According to the Children’s Workforce Development Council (2006), it is important that child carers work in partnership with parents and families. This is a justifiable claim. To begin with, parents are important figures for children. Practitioners are important to the children that they are caring for, but their parents are eternal figures that they will be dealing with throughout their lives.

Childcarers, however close they can become to the children that they care for, are temporary figures who will sooner or later need to leave. Thus, it is important for practitioners to create a positive relationship with the parents of the children, and in effect create a positive image of the parents for the children. There are many ways to work with parents. It is preferred that parents be treated by practitioners as partners rather then superiors. In doing so, the practitioner may be able to ensure that they work with parents in rearing the children.

This is achieved through communication, creativity, respect, trust, and credibility. There are many other virtues that parents will want to look for in their childcare professionals, though basically they would want someone who will bring their children up the way they personally would. It is not always important if the practitioner is a graduate of some college, with high grade averages. It does not matter if the practitioner has the most experience, or the cheapest bill. The quality of the service is determined, beforehand, by the way the parents feel about the carer.

When partnership with parents is nurtured, caring for the child is easier and better. Yet working with parents can also be a concern for practitioners. It should be noted that all parents are different. There are parents who are hard to please, however cooperative the carer already is. In this case, the care for the child might be affected. Parents who always dispel what the carer has to say about caring for the child are challenges to practitioners, and this may affect their overall performance and care for the client. Practitioners have the ability to create an impactful imprint of what parents are like.

Being the one always physically present, their description and treatment of the parents of the child can be registered to the child and imitated. This is why the practitioner should be careful in speaking about or acting towards the parents. Children also have an impression of their parents early in their lives. They seek to reinforce these impressions with that of their carers’. When they see positive or negative feedback, they have the tendency to remember them. In the same way, parents also have an impression of what they want their child to be like.

They want their children to be like them, or to be a specific person, and they have the flair of knowing the way how to do this. Thus, it is essential for the practitioner to maintain agreeable relationships with the parents to ensure that standards are met, quality is achieved, and results are created. 13. Describe three ways that stress might affect a parent Stress might affect a parent in terms of choosing their childcare method. When parents experience financial stress, they have the tendency to look for people to look after their children instead of professional help. Majority of children who are looked after do poor in school.

(Facts and figures on family life, 2005) Stress might also affect the way he or she relates with the children. Parents who are stressed may be ill-tempered and hot-headed, easily angered and may tend to be violent. This may pose problems with the childcarer whose responsibility is to ensure the welfare of the child she is looking after. Finally, stress may affect parents and their ability to provide for their families. Stressed parents do poorer at work, and get fewer opportunities for earning. Thirty percent of children come from low-income families (Facts and figures on family life, 2005), product of stressed parents.

In the end, this is actually a catch-22 situation—stressed parents because of the need to provide for the family, and providing for the family because of poverty-stressed parents. 14. Evaluate the role of the home-based childcarer in supporting parents experiencing difficulties The home-based childcarer plays an important part in mediating difficulties and making them easier to cope for the parents and most especially for the children. For the children, having a home-based childcare professional allows someone to take care of them despite the stresses that the mother or the father is going through.

Thus, there is less chance for the parent(s) to divert their stress to the child. The children will also be able cope more easily with the stress because someone who is not part of the problem can rationalize the events to the child and explain why and how it is happening. However, children of stressed families may find it agreeable to get closer to the childcarer because they find comfort from him or her. The practitioner should then reassure the child of her parents’ presence. The presence of a professional childcarer is also beneficial to parents who are going through difficulties.

To begin with, a childcarer is a shoulder to cry on. Even if it is not part of his or her job, the childcarer may feel obliged to listen to ailing clients. Parents will also feel relieved to have someone to leave their children with as they sort out their lives and solve their stressors. It should be noted that the mother is the best child carer, except if she is in distress. (What about the children, nd) Thus, it is the best time for the childcarer to play her role. The concern here is that the parent may feel that the childcarer is always there to solve the problem or lend a helping hand whenever she needs it so.

Communication lines should then be opened. Lastly, the childcarer may feel relief of being able to help the parents and the children. It brings a feeling of fulfillment to them. On the other hand, they may also feel obliged to solve the family problem and create a deeper attachment to the matter instead of focusing on helping the child cope, which is actually he only thing that she is expected to do. Good judgment should then be used.

References

Children’s Workforce Development Council. 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from http://www. cwdcouncil. org. uk/pdf/Early%20Years/EYP_National_Standards_July_2006. pdf Childwise.2007. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from http://www. daycaretrust. org. uk/mod/fileman/files/Childwise_issue_28_web_version. pdf Facts and figures on family life. 2005. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from http://www. parentlineplus. org. uk/uploads/tx_policyreports/Facts-and-Figures-071105. pdf Garavelli, D. 2008. Home truths about mothers. Retrieved January 24, 2008, from http://scotlandonsunday. scotsman. com/comment/Home-truths-about-mothers. 3644375. jp Gibb, F. 2006. Children’s right to anonymity ended for family courts. Retrieved January 28, 2008, from http://www. timesonline. co. uk/article/0,,200-2246764,00. html

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