4 inTroducTion upstairs bedroom because she feels the baby will sleep longer in a quiet room. Your job as a home visitor is to reinforce compliance with any applicable regula- tions. You represent your agency; you are also the person the providers and, on occasion, parents get to know, because you are in providers’ homes on a regular basis. Whatever agency you work for, it usually has a mission statement that in- cludes training, motivation, and support. If you are unaware of your organiza- tion’s mission statement or your organization does not have one, you may want to address this with your supervisor. Administrators generally ask you to be respectful of the provider’s home, to be encouraging and supportive when ap- propriate, and to foster a team spirit when working with the provider or parent. In reality, you are often asked to go into the provider’s home in a regulatory capacity to investigate a problem or complaint or to implement a corrective ac- tion plan. It can be very uncomfortable to tell a provider that she needs to pay more attention to cleanliness, meal patterns, or unsafe conditions in the home. Even though you may be very knowledgeable about nutrition, child develop- ment, state regulations, and documentation requirements, you may experience difficulty in effectively getting tough messages across. Administrators will find value in this manual by recognizing the important position home visitors hold in their organization. The home visitor represents the values and goals of your organization when interacting with providers and families. When home visitors have the skills to handle diverse situations, the re- sults will become evident as you observe providers who are better trained, more satisfied, and receptive to furthering the goals of fostering quality care. Often family child care providers appear more independent and knowl- edgeable than in the past. Providers today have access to many high-quality training sessions that were not available years ago. Today’s trainings stress pro- fessionalism and assist providers in learning how to operate their own individual child care businesses. Operating a family child care business gives the provider freedom and independence. Even though state health and safety regulations ex- ist, the provider is, for the most part, her own boss. Home visitors can play an important role in educating providers in the setup and operation of their family child care programs. Most home visitors have the safety and well-being of children as their first priority. Yet it is sometimes difficult to balance the various regulatory and con- tractual requirements with the goal of supporting and encouraging a provider to maintain quality standards. Our goal is to assist you in the development of skills presented in this manual, which will lead you to interact with others in HVM_guts.indd 4 1/26/10 5:52:25 PM