Tips on Conflict Resolution at Daycare Centers
A day care center can be a hectic and stressful environment, both for child care workers and for parents of children enrolled in the facility. Established conflict resolution and dispute mediation policies, paired with good communication, can help ensure an open and healthy dialogue between all parties.
Have a written conflict resolution policy in place, one that governs interaction between child care workers and another one that deals with conflict resolution between staffers and parents. Having an official written set of guidelines will give you a plan for mediating problems when they arise. You may opt to have staff members and parents read and sign the conflict resolution guidelines and agreement prior to becoming employed with or enrolled at the day care center to protect against future misunderstanding.
Just as no two people parent the same way, no two child care providers or teachers have the same philosophy. Disputes that arise between child care workers should be handled away from the classroom or educational environment. This is especially critical if staffers are in disagreement about the way in which an instructional or disciplinary matter is approached. You may opt to have someone in management mediate disputes as they arise so problems can be quickly resolved and staffers can get back to the business of caring for their charges.
There are bound to be times when a parent hears a story or complaint from a child that leads to a dispute with a day care staff member. Parent complaints should be documented and handled directly by a member of the day care's management staff. If the parent has a concern with a teacher or a day care center policy or rule, the manager can discuss the specifics of the complaint and outline company policy. If warranted, the day care center manager should mediate interaction between the parent and day care provider or handle disciplinary measures privately with the staffer in question.
If one family at the day care center has a problem with another family in the center, management should address the issue individually with each party. For example, a parent might make the claim that her child is being bullied or left out by another child. Make a written account of the parent’s specific complaints, investigate the matter and follow up with the parents about your findings. Explain and document the corrective measures being taken to rectify the problem.