Parents, who use daycare, please remember

Parents, who use daycare, please remember
by Heide Kaminski

I have been a day care provider in public and private settings for the last 14 years with short interruptions. Most of those years were out of my own home, but circumstances required that I work for others now. In these years I have come across many problems, that are - often times unintentionally - caused by parents. Day care providers are for the most part extremely caring people. Therefore it is not in our nature to always speak up, when we don't like something. We try to compensate, because the parents are our "employers", and therefore we do not like to address issues, that may make them mad, uncomfortable or in any way angry with us.

So I asked fellow providers and we came up with some issues that we would all parents to consider, when they use an outside source for day care. Day care providers do not make a ton of money, as it may seem. Especially if the income is the only source as in the case of single moms. There are a lot of expenses that are not so obvious such as glue, napkins and a million of other supplies that help make the experience for the children not only fun, but also educational.


Does it may you feel good, knowing, that your child will cry all day, because he does not feel good, and only Mommy can make him feel better? PLEASE don't bring your child, if she is ill. Even if he/she does not exactly meet the rules for not coming to day care.


If you want your child to be potty trained, you cannot solely rely on the provider. You have to be consistent at home as well. Even if that means a few pee spots on your beige carpet!Please don't put your child in diapers! Use pull-ups, if you are worried about accidents, but stay away from those diapers once you start training. Don't confuse your child and call the pull-ups diapers. Make your child feel proud of himself for being big. And as far as clothing is concerned: in the winter time - sweat pants and shirts, in the summer shorts and t-shirts!!! No cute one-piece outfits (including onesies), topped off by no buttons along the legs... PLEASE! CLOTHING:

One piece outfits with no buttons, or the kind that have buttons along the legs, but then the ankle part is one piece again, who came up with that dumb idea??? Have the manufacturers ever tried changing a poopy diaper with that kind of outfit? Your day care provider ha a lot more diapers to change in a day's work, than you do with one child at home... Little loops on the shoulders to hold straps in place may look nice, but I wish someone would come up with velcro instead... Those kind of outfits, cute as they may be, do not belong on a child in day care!

Also, if you want your child to look clean, when he/she comes home - send a good outfit, call the provider 15 minutes, before you arrive and ask her to change your child's clothes. My top-favorite father was the one who stated: "I expect my son to come home dirty from day care! Otherwise I have to assume that you made him sit in a corner all day and be bored!" He had the right idea! (From th same parent I received the request to put a drop of hot sauce on his sons tongue if he used foul language. That he had picked up from an alcoholic relatives parrot - yes, the bird... I never had to use hot sauce, I just had to show it to the little boy).


You expect your employer to give you your paycheck - come rain or shine - on a certain day. Have the same respect for your day care provider. Don't pick up your child late. Whether you drop your child off at 7:30 a.m. or at 10, your providers day is v-e-r-y long. So if the day care closes at a certain time, BE THERE. If you absolutely can't make it, offer a valuable compensation, even if there is no late fee in the contract. It's just like you expect overtime pay, if you have to work extra time!


If you bring your child late, please keep in mind that most day cares have a nap time. There is no way around it, whether your preschooler likes it or not, he needs a nap. Heck, we adult would love to have the opportunity to take a nap in the middle of the day! If your child comes in at 10, and you know that at 1 o'clock "lights are out", don't let your child sleep till 9:55! As I mentioned before, your provider's day is very long. Nap time is usually the only time we can re-energize, take care of paperwork, do day care dishes, maybe even sneak in a few minutes of just sitting down...


Even minor changes can effect a child's behavior. Big changes such as a move, a new sibling, abuse, vacation, absence of one parent, pending divorce can severely effect a child's behavior in a negative way. The provider needs to know! I does not have anything to do with being nosy,it has to do with how to deal with your child. Temper tantrums or meanness towards others are not acceptable, but if we know what might be the cause, we can more effectively deal with your child. if we know that the problem is caused by something other than a normal developmental stage, we can work with your child in the proper way.

We can talk about what might be bothering the child, when lovingly disciplining. For example: "I know Mommy is gone right now on a business trip, so maybe I can give you an extra hug, but you may not hit..." By law, educators, social workers, day care workers, etc. are required to report any suspicion of abuse. I know that a wrongful accusation can cause a lot of heart aches. Several years ago, while working in a public day care, we reported a little girl, who had too many bruises all the time.

Eventually it turned out, that she just easily bruised, but by that time her parents and their daughter were heart broken, because of all the trouble they went through, because we did not know about her condition. In my own daycare I spent one day in the ER with a little girl with a dislocated shoulder. I thought or sure, I would loose my license, and never feel good about myself again. All I had done, was to let her hang from the monkey bars on my playground. Fortunately that case was solved quickly and amicably: she had a bone disorder that caused her joints to pop out of place easily. Her parents were very supportive of me. but I never let the child hang from the monkey bars again...

Even if you think some information may not be necessary for the provider to know, or if you are too embarrassed by something (for example your 2 year old witnessed daddy hitting mommy, or walked in on the two of you having sex) please let the provider know. It's for your own child's sake!

Your day care provider is one of the most important persons in our child's life next to you yourself. Treat her with loving respect and dignity as you would like to be treated. And don't all her a "babysitter". In the name of all day care providers: THANK YOU!

Heidi is the mother of three teenage girls and one toddler boy. She has published a children's book in my native country - Germany, and I write poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She has 10 years of experience in the preschool field, and four years of teaching mentally impaired as well.


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