Thursday, 31 January 2013

Pet peeve - Articles on choosing a day care centre

Although I really like their magazine, I am always bothered by articles like this recent one from Today's Parent: 10 Things Your Daycare May Not Tell You.

Well-intentioned, yes, and true, it provides valuable information. But I find it frustrating.  And here's why:

To begin, the idea of 'carefully selecting' the right child care is difficult to comprehend. For many families who are living in cities with very limited child care spaces, who have spent months, even years, on wait lists for a spot in regulated child care centres, "choosing" the right day care centre for your child is not really an option.  As your maternity leave nears its end, after months of desperately searching for any day care centre with an opening, most families excitedly accept and register their child at the child care centre which has granted them a spot.  

Please don't make me feel guilty about not having performed a whole research, audition and selection procedure.

I was also bothered by the concern for poor communication between the parents and the child care staff.  I don't know about you, but the end-of-day-day-care-pick-up-rush-home-to-make-dinner time is my least favourite time of day.  The child care centre is a flurry of activity as most parents arrive at about the same time, the children are crazy or clingy or excitedly telling me about their day, and I have three different rooms to visit to pick-up three different children.  

I, for one, am certainly not in the right state of mind for a detailed delineation of my child's day.  Our centre has used daily or weekly logs at different times, particularly for the infants and toddlers.  But let's be honest, the routine is fairly consistent day-to-day, and the paper logs are just another piece of paper junk I 
need to bring home and recycle.  I'm confident that any major issues will be brought to my attention.  

Please don't add to my guilt by making me feel as though I must actively interrogate the staff each day.

I'm fortunate, I guess, but I truly believe that my kids are being cared for by qualified and caring staff in a high quality centre.

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