Lately at work I have been thinking, "Why don't more people send their kids to daycare?" I work at a Boys and Girls club that offers, play-school (ages 2-3), pre-school (age 4), infant care (birth-2), daycare (2-4) and an after-school program. Most of the time we are mostly full other than the nursery - the room that I work with another awesome woman, so we keep pretty busy. But I think about it and there are SO many kids that I can think about that should be taking the opportunity to come to the club.
I asked around and some people said that they thought people didn't come because they think that it's dirty, that maybe they had a problem with a person or two that worked there and that they just don't think there kid needs it.
Like I said before, I am not against in-home care or babysitter or even keeping your child home. If you don't work and have the time to spend with your child that is AWESOME, but if they don't have spend alot of time interacting with other kids there age or detach from a parent, it can be an issue later on. I know this because I was one of those pre-school drop outs because I cried and cried and cried for my mom to come back and get me - because I KNEW she would and I knew just how to get her to - and she did. When it came time to start Kindergarden, I was a total brat. I lived across the road from the school and my mother had to DRAG me across the street kicking and screaming. My grandmother came to help once and I was snapping and biting at her hands like a rabid dog. And when asked why I acted this way I said in a sweet and innocent voice "but mum, I'm just stuck to your hip!" All charming and manipulative I was. I knew how to be a complete crazy kid and still manage to get an "awe" out of my mother. I eventually stopped making such a fuss, but it took many mornings of a struggle for my mom.
Basically my point there is that it would have been alot easier for me to go to kindergarden had I been involved in community programs earlier in life. My mom should have let me cry and just kept me in preschool. But that crying can be really hard on a mom too and the educators, so sometimes it doesn't always work. I think it's better to get the detachment over with before beginning school though. That is just my opinion though.
Cleanliness. The daycare is clean. I would know because I have to scrub down my whole room every friday. So the infant room is very clean. We do have cleaning schedules we are required to follow and the place isn't dirty. Sure when you walk in, in the middle of the day the place looks trashed, because we have 20 kids in a room playing with playdough, water colors, building blocks, sand and heaven knows what else, but sanitary wise, we are good to go. (I won't go into the fact that I think kids should eat dirt and be really messy any, because that is my opinion only)
And as it goes for colds, flus and lice. Yes it goes around. I have never had lice in my life and it scares me to death. I recently found out that lice really don't care for dyed hair. I think this may be one of the reasons I didn't have it. I started dying my hair at the early age of 10, but even before that my mom was very careful about my hair when I went off to school. I'm still hoping that I won't ever get it, but I'm sure my time will come. And the amount of colds that I have had is awful, but it's like a initiation for the first year lol.
The Pro's of sending your kid to DayCare:
1. We all have first aid! - NB's public childcare is MUCH better than it used to be. We all have to have our first aid incase of emergencies. I just took mine and learned so much and I'm confident with how to handle emergency situations!
2. We all have to take the curriculum courses for Early Childhood Care and Education! - Another thing that NB now has. I travel away for a year taking courses on how to educate children in their early stages of development.
3. Socializing - Even sending your child once or twice a week can help a child develop social skills away from the parent and with children their age. Sure you can have play dates, but there are lots of kids at the daycare, lots of toys AND educators. It can really build a childs self esteem to be away from a parent and building relationships with others. YES it is really hard to leave your child crying the first couple of times, some may take longer and some even hop right into it and wave "bye mum!"
4. Detachment - As I stated above can cause issues when entering school. We try and help that not be such an issue, but even kids that go to daycare have trouble adjusting to the new teachers at school.
5. It gives you a break! - If you are a stay at home parent, it wouldn't hurt to send your child once a week or even for a couple hours a day.
6. Experiences - We try to do many different activities with the kids that maybe not every parent has time for. We also have different themes in the rooms that we switch up every so often and try to keep the kids learning about new things. They aren't the only ones that learn either. They teach us and the other kids.
I would like to repeat again that I am not saying that it is wrong to send your child to someone else's house for child care, because sometimes we are full and can't take any more children. So I ask that people not take offence to this post because I am really only posting the good things about daycare. I love my job so much and even though I am exhausted at the end of the day. I've found myself missing my kids on the weekends and excited to get to work.
It saddens me that we have this huge brand new building and are already out growing it. At the same time we want to provide more services for the island children, but we are tapped for space as well. With regulations and ratios, we have to have certain amounts of space and workers to provide more children with care.
I almost forgot! They are NEVER too young for daycare! We have an awesome infant room and starting your kids out early can make a world of difference later on. Sure it takes a lot more to win a baby's trust sometimes, but when we do it's a great feeling. I have bonded with some babies and until I started in the nursery I never had that luxury. Let me just tell you, it's awesome! When I see those little faces light up when they see me, it's a great feeling.
When I have kids, they will be enrolled in daycare at an early age for sure :)
I hope that some people that read this learn alittle something about the care and education we provide for the children at daycare. The training that we go through to be able to work with children and that we aren't just a bunch of people watching kids play and coloring pictures haha There is much more to it that some people don't see.
If I have even made one parent that doesn't send their child to a daycare centre, consider the pros to doing so, I will feel like this blog wasn't for nothing :)