This brief question raises concerns that child care providers have voiced for many years: Parents who don't tell providers about their children's problems and who "deny" the child has any problems. The parent is probably desperate for a stable child care situation for her child and is hoping that this new placement will work out. It is likely that they have left other centers feeling unsupported and even disliked or disrespected. Establishing a trusting and working partnership with this parent will be a challenge. At this point she probably does not feel "safe" enough to share the child's child care history. The parent may also not be willing to hear what she perceives as "negative" comments about her child. The task for you is to begin to build a good relationship with the parent.
Start by asking yourself what your commitment is to keeping the child in your program. If your program rarely dis-enrolls children, let the parent know that you are committed to keeping the child in your program. If you cannot commit to working with the child, try to help the parent locate a placement that will work. Either way, let the parent know she must commit to working as a team with teachers and other community supports if necessary.
If you commit to working with the child, work on building a relationship with the parent through positive comments and descriptive feedback about the child. This will be more effective than reports of the child's daily difficulties. Establish conference times to sit and discuss the child's progress. Describe the problems you see using descriptions of behavior instead of making judgements or coming to conclusions. These parent/teacher conferences can be brief, but should allow for the exchange of ideas and problem solving. Develop a plan to address the child's difficulties, including the use of outside community resources as needed. Remember that taking the time to establish a relationship with the parent is the most valuable thing you can do.
-- Child Care Health Team