The Fears of Choosing a Child Care Facility
This is kind of a heavy topic, but I wanted to address it early on because this is such a concern for so many families. This post is a little longer than I intended, or intend to normally write… but it is probably one of the more important things that I could address for families; I ask that you continue to read to the end so that both you and I can be in unison.
While many families choose to have their child enrolled in a child care center to increase social skills and to assist in education, many families have no choice but to bring their child to a child care center in order to earn their living. In either case, both types of families simply want the best care for their child and to know that their child will be taken care of and educated in safety and love. While there is excitement that your child will get the chance to make friends and learn, there is also a huge fear of neglect and maltreatment. As a teacher, it breaks my heart to acknowledge that this is a possibility. We see it on the news or read it online… I can’t imagine the fear and heartbreak that a parent or caregiver has when imagining this happen to their child, or actually having lived through an experience like this. It does not help for me to say “not all teachers” because (while true), it doesn’t mean a thing when the possibility is still there.
The best advice I can give, is to assess the center that you will possibly be bringing your child to, and to give my advice on how to assess and what to look for. I have worked in the highest quality center that is imaginable, and I have also worked in centers that do not reflect my philosophy of “high-quality”; I feel confident that I can give tips on how to identify the differences. I also will acknowledge and address that many people do not have a choice in where their child goes because of funding, later on in this page. I will also mention to teachers looking for jobs at centers, this list can also support you in your interview process. Not only is the job interviewing you, but it is an exchange- you interview them also.
Also, I want to acknowledge that this is not cut and dry. Just because this is my experience, does not mean it is fact. I know that there are many teachers with hearts of gold and the teaching skills that outshine the sun that do not work in centers like I am describing. To those wonderful teachers, I ask: Can you imagine working at a center that reflects these practices, and how much more you would be able to achieve?
Let me be clear, this type of high-quality center with ALL of these components is not as common because of the budgetary restraints. These centers do exist, and it is up to you to look at this list and see what matters most to you, and interview your possible childcare facilities. What really matters is that your child will be well taken care of by someone with experience, love, gentleness, and respect for you, your child, and your home-culture. As a parent, you should never have your voice ignored because you are the biggest advocate for your child’s safety and development.
As I’m writing this, I was thinking about the organizational guru, Marie Kondo. When cleansing your home, you evaluate each item… Does it bring you joy? If not, you throw the item away. When you walk into a childcare center for the first time, look around the room with child-like lenses… Does this room bring joy? Do the teachers show joy on their faces when they don’t see you looking? Do the children in the room show overall joy? If not, that’s when I’d walk away.
Feel free to ask for any clarifications via Facebook or Instagram. I’d be happy to address your concern or question, whether it be making corrections or additions to this post.
This is a daunting task that many people have to make a choice… and when it comes your turn,
I wish you well.
***Part Two Next Week ***