My grand nephew is starting his journey to growing independence as he is about to go to child care for the first time. He is now venturing out into a brand new world with new people, routines and many new little people that he must share his world with. This is a huge change for any child so being sure to transition your child into their new care giving environment is the first step towards your child’s journey to independence. Here are few things to be sure to do before you go back to work and leave your child with a caregiver.
1. Plan ahead. Don’t leave it to the last minute because transitioning a child into a program can take one visit to several visits, depending on the child. Your goal is to have created a positive relationship between your child and their caregiver, as this allows the child to leave the safety of a parent and transfer those feelings to a care giver.
2. Arrive early. Give yourself plenty of time to drop your child off as this allows the child time to transition their feeling of security from you to their caregiver.
3. Don’t let a caregiver take your child from you if your child is struggling to leave the safety of your arms. This will take the child’s fear of separation to a new level. This fear will take much longer to overcome and now you have less time to deal with it, because you need to get to work.
Transitioning is paramount to you and your child’s ability to adapt to the changes that come with going back to work. If you and your caregivers do it right your child will thrive in their new environment and it does not get any better than that.
Any questions Just Ask Mary’s Advice.
Not all child cares are created equal. Many centres are wonderful and the staff treat your children with kindness and respect but of course there are always the exception to every rule. Unfortunately some centres have found the loop hole that caring for children can be profitable. I find this quite disturbing because people spend a great deal of their time educating themselves so that they will become Early Childhood Professionals. Undergoing this type of education is a lot of hard work but the end product is a person who has up to date understanding of child development from a recent research stand point. Now going back to centres that are making profits they are doing that by only hiring the minimum required registered Early Childhood Educators. Many of you would not understand the difference but there is a huge difference. Perhaps there are three caregivers in the room, one registered ECE, and two others who have not had the education. This is not intended as a put down to those people who work hard at their jobs but the decisions they are making on a day to day basis are not informed decisions so many times best practices are not followed. The care giving world would only get better if someone started to really pay attention to what is going on in early child care. Profits should never be synonymous with children’s care. Ask questions about who is making the decisions at the centre, what are their credentials, do they own the centre, how many register ECE’s are working there. The list goes on and on. Do your research and when you get the answers you are comfortable with you can at least know you did the best your could for your child. Don’t forget great facilities are out there so don’t settle for less.
Any questions just Ask Mary’s Advice.
After looking at specific strategies for acquiring good quality care for you precious child, we need some more general guidelines to help the process along.
- Remember to ask lots of questions. Not questions that pertain to you and your child specifically but more general questions to assess whether your child would be a good fit for this philosophy.
- Remember from earlier blogs, we talked about the importance of building a good strong self esteem, so how does this environment promote a strong self esteem?
- Is the centre non-profit or profit. This makes a big difference as a non-profit centre puts all of the fees into running the daycare where as a profit centre is a business trying to make money. That is a big difference and it doesn’t mean that it’s not a good centre it just means you need to ask more questions.
- How often is there a staff turnover? Places where the Early Childhood Educators keep leaving means something isn’t working right. You want to ask how long the staff members have worked there. How much experience does the supervisor have? Remember the supervisor is the one making most of the decisions on how the centre is run, so, if she has very little experience, it means she may not run a great program.
- Also who owns the centre and is that person an Early Childhood Educator? Knowing this is very important because the owner is the person with the final say on how the centre will be run. Is it for the children or the money?
Having some questions in mind when you research places for your child, will show you, and the centre you are interested in, that you are a concerned parent. You are going to be asking questions that you would not normally be asking, and if you don’t like the answers you are getting, the setting is probably not right for you or your child. We are looking for quality care and it is out there it just takes time and perseverance.
Any Questions Just Ask Mary Advice
Looking for full day care for your busy preschoolers is another daunting task but, knowing what situation best suits your child, will always make that first day back to work easier. Although there may be many options for you as far as care giving for your child goes, not all environments are great. I am a firm believer in awesome care giving so, for me looking to find the best place is always the best choice.
- Bring your preschooler with you and when you go into the daycare facility in order to see the reaction your child has to the environment. If your child seems excited with the environment that is a good sign. When you are going through the centre look around to see if the environment is rich in age appropriate materials.
- Try to go to see the day care in the morning, as that is usually when the centre will be set up for what is called a creative playroom. This is the time when the children should freely be able to choose what they would like to do. The best places will have a playroom set up where children can choose from a variety of exciting age appropriate activities. A good playroom, is one in which, most of the children are actively engaged in activities that are fun, age appropriate, visually pleasing, and offer some sort of underlying learning. If your child is with you when you see the playroom for the first time, watch to see their reaction. Is your child curious, excited or nervous, these are visual cues that will give you valuable insight into how this environment is suited to your child?
- Ask to see the playground because your child will be spending one hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon outside every day so, it is an important piece of your decision. Is the playground a place that looks well thought out with lots of equipment that will provide plenty of opportunities for adequate gross motor activity?
Preschoolers are busy little beavers from early in the day until it is time for bed so, placing them in an environment that is perfect for your individual child is difficult. As I have said before the best things in life often don’t come easy so, take your time, and do your research. Never make a quick, under researched decision when it comes to your child. That will make you a proactive not a reactive parent. Picking the best place first will alleviate all the stress for you and your child. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Any Questions Ask Mary’s Advice.