Dads and Child Care
Today fathers tend to be more involved in the day to day routines of their children's lives than ever before. The options of working from home and more flexible employment often provide fathers with greater opportunities to be more involved in child care services. Certainly, child care facilities see more dads dropping off and collecting their children.
A prudent provider will be sensitive to dads who are stretched for time already with work schedules and outside demands, and look for ways of embracing a greater role for fathers in children's lives while respecting their time and other commitments.
A poll in Britain asked dads to give their feedback on what makes them feel welcomed, valued and an integral part of their child's life in regards to the child care center. This is what was found:
Fathers want to be acknowledged by name. Fathers feel this to be normal professional behavior in any workplace.
Email photos to dads. Most workplaces have computers, and this helps dads to have a window into their child's day and can be looked at in lunch breaks or a quiet moment in the day. It is wise to solicit an ok from fathers before embarking on this as some workplaces may frown upon the receipt of personal emails.
Informal conversations. Child care is a female dominated workplace. Fathers report disliking flirty, coy or shy behavior. Be professional in developing informal friendly conversations which briefly describe the child's day and then allow the fathers to ask further questions or move on with the rest of their commitments.
Communication of Newsletters. Where parents are separated or dads are travelling for long periods with work, send copies (post or email) of newsletters to Dads.
Put male oriented literature in your lobby or entranceway. Are there ways that literature and resources can appeal more directly to dads?
Ask More Questions on Enrolment Forms about Specific Members of the Family. This allows you to gain a greater picture of the whole family and their roles in raising the child.
Communicate equally with dads. Never assume that certain information is for the mother only. This includes delicate situations such as babies with diaper rash or toddlers showing their bottoms. While at times you may feel more comfortable discussing this with mothers, it is important to maintain professionalism in communicating information equally.