Managing conflict at day care

Biting, hitting and scratching are at the top of the list when it comes to the sources of conflict experienced by some children and your early childhood service will have a range of policies and procedures as well as a documented grievance handling processes they need to adhere to. Remind yourself of these before you speak to your group leader. If you are not happy with their response speak to the early childhood service manager.

Be aware of children’s developmental milestones when considering your course of action. If biting happens in the toddler room you can understand it may happen from time to time and can be managed, but if a child in the kindy room is biting smaller children at lunchtime when they are all out together that is a big issue and it needs to be managed in a different way. If your child is hurt at day care his/her carers will be required to fill out an incident report, co-signed by the manager and yourself. It describes the incident and treatment and is an effective way to ensure you know the details of the incident.3.1

Conflict may even arise in regards to your child sleeping and eating habits, routines and discipline. Recognise that some of your suggestions may not be able to be accommodated by a service due to the amount of other children to consider and/or their policies and procedures. You may have to consider alternative options to satisfy your requests.

If there is a concern about the care being provided to your child, I think it is always appropriate to speak with your educator first. If they do not approach this criticism in an appropriate way, then address your concerns to the Family Day Care office in your area. If you child is being “picked on” by other children, address this with your early childhood service directly and they will no doubt have discussions with the parent of the ‘offending’ child.

Documented procedures for grievance and complaints handling are required, so be aware of the processes that are in place to deal with your concerns. Worst case scenario, if this is an issue that cannot be fixed; you would need to see if you can get a transfer for your child to a different early childhood service.

Rebecca McIntosh

By day Rebecca McIntosh is a childcare blogger and runs Day Care Decisions , a blog that draws inspiration from childcare, early learning, returning to work with two small children and red wine. Rebecca has a Bachelor’s degree in Business, a Master of Digital Media from QUT and further study in Career Development. Rebecca began her career working in a disability advisory service, supporting the development of online training modules for professionals in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She expanded on her community development work in Scotland with a focus on youth, coordinating a local government program to engage young people in community partnerships before moving to a European level managing the UK office of a European network, Eurodesk. Rebecca worked in state government before moving to her current position as Career Advisor at the University of Queensland where she has been for the past 7 years.

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