10 Tips for Caregivers of children under 5

The early years from birth to 5 years old are critical to developing a lifelong love of reading. You can't start reading to a child too soon! Try these tips from Education specialist at Reading Rockets and let us know how it worked for you in our parent forum.

1. Expect great things to happen

Be excited about caring for the children in your care. A child’s first teacher is the one he or she spends the most time with and will remember best. Are you that person in the life of the children you care for and teach?

2. Learn from others

Find and listen to more experienced parents, teachers and caregivers. Observe how they handle disruptive situations. Ask them how they diffuse a tense situation. Join our Facebook community of caregivers to share what worked for you and ask the group what worked for them.

3. Be flexible

Although young children need a set schedule, allow for the unexpected. What if it starts raining? Or, a tractor is working nearby? Or, a plane is flying overhead? Make use of these moments to teach.

Begin each day with a warm, friendly greeting for each child and family member whom you care for. Leave personal problems at home. Sometimes all it takes is a warm smile to reassure parents that you will care for their child until they return.

4. Stay positive

Is the space in which you care for children a place you would want your own child to spend the day? Look around the home. Make a list of potential hazards. Prevention could keep children safe and prevent an accident from happening.

5. Be safe and clean

Realize that each child has a different way of learning. Some children learn best by looking, such as watching a demonstration. Others learn in an auditory mode, such as listening to instruction. Others learn best by using their body to feel, touch, and explore. If one of these methods does not work right away, try another one. Visit us on Facebook to let us know what worked for you!

6. Respect the differences
in each child

Bonding is natural for the children in your care. Some of your children may be from difficult homes and families. They may exhibit aggressive behavior, signs of withdrawal, or disruptive conduct. A structured environment with consistent routines, and shared control between you and the child are necessary for children to be able to learn.

7. Share control

Keep an open mind. Read recent reports on child care. Visit other parents, teachers and caregivers to discover techniques you could incorporate. Check for early childhood education classes for infants, toddlers, and nursery school children offered by the Ministry of Education. Consider getting certified in Early Childhood Education or take courses offered by the MOE.

8. Keep learning

Being an active member of your community provides you with a network of like-minded individuals. It is hard to make changes alone. But as a group, your voice can make a difference. You’ll become familiar with laws that affect your family and community, standards, developmentally appropriate methods for teaching young children, suggestions for turning working with children into a business, plus numerous other items vital to the success of a caregiver and children and families you care for.


9. Attend community meetings

Choosing the right caregiver is import to parents. What are people saying about the care you provide throughout your community? Are you methods ones that welcome parents? Are children excited about seeing you each morning? Do parents feel their child is safe with you? Think about these questions and list ways you can improve and seek help and guidance at Ministry of Education, Guyana or join our Facebook group just for caregivers of children under 5.

10. Build trust with parents