So, momma, is your child in daycare or with an at-home provider while you work? From one daycare mom to another, I know that can be difficult. But I also know that it can be a great experience. All three of my daughters spent quite a bit of time with childcare providers before I went into the business (and one still does!) So, as a daycare parent and also as the director of a local daycare, here is a list I’ve compiled of What Your Daycare Provider Wants You to Know.
1. Your child doesn’t cry for very long after you leave.
We know that drop-off can be difficult for both of you, but your child is usually playing with their friends or teachers within minutes, even if you leave them screaming or sobbing as you walk to your car. It happens more quickly than you might think. We do talk about you during the day, and your child’s face lights up when we do, but the initial adjustment is probably way easier than you imagine.
2. We appreciate knowing what works at home for you, but we will not be able to fully recreate your home routine.
Information on how you put your child to sleep, what your schedule is at home, what comforts him, what kind of eater he is, changes at home that may affect his behavior, and any cues you think might be helpful, truly is. It helps us do our job well. We just ask that you realize that when he is with us, he is in a different setting with different people and we will not be able to recreate your home routine 100%. And that’s OK. You probably don’t recreate the child care setting at home, either. 🙂
3. Please don’t send your child to daycare sick.
For starters, think about where YOU want to be when you are sick. The comfort of your own home, most likely, with someone you love nearby. The same is true for your little loves. Secondly, whatever is ailing them may be contagious. If you knowingly send your child to daycare sick, you are exposing numerous other children, their families, and our staff to the same illness. It can spread like wildfire and besides other children and parents becoming sick and other parents missing work, too, and each family having multiple doctor’s visits, our staff may become sick. This often leaves the daycare center short-staffed (or having to close, if you have one at-home provider) and without pay for our sick leave. Listen, we know that a lot of times your first clue that they aren’t feeling well is when we call and tell you so. The same is true for me and my daughters. I get it. We just ask that you weigh these factors when deciding what’s best for your child each day if they are feeling crummy in the morning or were the night before.
4. Courtesy goes a long way.
We understand that you will occasionally be running late, but if it happens regularly, you are not being courteous of our time. We have families and obligations beyond caring for your kids and need to be able to attend to them. Also, it really means a lot when you say “thank you for what you do.” Additionally, when you partner with us (instead of minimizing our authority), it’s your child who benefits and (bonus!) we feel supported. We love what we do, but we work really hard and sometimes it can be difficult and tiring…and full of yucky bodily fluids by the end of the day. Seeing a smile on your face as you pick up your child can truly lift our spirits.
5. We welcome your questions and input.
If there’s something we’ve done that has created a problem for you or your family, please let us know. We want to work through it with you and the sooner, the better. If you want to know more about our schedule, menu, or curriculum, we’ll be glad to go over it and send a copy of it home. You feeling comfortable with how your child is spending their day and who they are spending it with is extremely important to us.
6. Your child will behave differently when you are around.
There is a chance you will be informed of your child’s behavior from one of us and you’ll think “that never happens at home.” You’re probably right, but that doesn’t change the fact that it happened here and we need to address it. We want to work with you for your child’s success but will need you to realize that your child sometimes does things in the daycare setting that you don’t see them do at home.
7. We REALLY love your kids.
This is not something we go into for the money; it is a calling. It’s an honor and privilege to share our day with your child and they completely have our hearts. Thank you for allowing us to serve your family in this way.
Do you have a question, comment, or concern not on the list? Leave it in the comment section and I’ll be glad to respond.