The following was extracted from the Parent and Provider Perspective section of the August 1996 issue of "Learning Train News."
Parent Provider Perspective is a section dedicated to helping parents and providers express their experiences, philosophies, and emotions regarding child care. This is our small effort to open the lines of communication between parents and providers. Parents and providers are encouraged to send letters that reflect their perspective on child care issues. Letters may not always represent the views of Learning Train.
"Learning Train News" is a news letter for parents, child care providers, and other professionals who care about children. "Learning Train News" is produced quarterly in the months of February, May, August, and November.
copyright 1996 Learning Train News
Food for Thought and Choosing Child Care
So how do you choose the best place to leave your children? It was probably one of the hardest decisions I ever made.
In searching the local day care centers I found large centers that appeared to have many wonderful resources. I choose an appealing center that had many resources for my children. I decided to get a job at that center.
I applied for a position at this large chain day care center and was hired as assistant director. I worked there for several weeks, and my eyes were opened.
I had been very impressed with the computer programs, the abundance of educational toys, and the cleanliness of the center. I was very surprised when I learned, the computers were not used by the children. I was told that, "The children mess the computers up, and we do not know how to get back into the programs; so, we don't let them use them." I explained that I was very computer literate and I was certain I could get back into the programs. After several days of being promised that the children could use the computers "tomorrow," the director finally told me it was too much trouble to let the children use the computers and to stop worrying about it. I continued to nag, bug, pester, and badger to no avail. The children would damage the computers and that was that.
Well, there were plenty of other toys, so lets get them out. Lets set up centers, get creative, lets paint, play in the sand and water tables, let's make goop and gak. Again came a "NO!" The kids and the center will get messy. The Children will get paint on the tables, the floor, and their cloths. They will break the toys. So, I sat with two year olds and with a teacher giving each child three blocks. We played games like Duck, Duck, Goose. Each child was given a piece of paper and one crayon... ..
So, the center was neat and clean. The children were neat and clean, and the computers and toys were never broken.
But as for me, I had no fun. I liked messes, I don't mind paint on the children or paint on the tables and floors. I like to play in sand and water and I don't mind cleaning up the mess.
So .. I had a short career as an assistant director of a very clean day care center. It never had broken computers or broken toys and the kids never got dirty. But, they don't seem to have all that much fun either.
When I found a child care that was filled with toys (some were even broken), complete with paint on the floor, paint on the table, and paint on the kids. I looked at it in a different way. As I sat with my child care provider in a child filled room, kids sang, laughed, and made a lot of noise. I asked how she could stand the noise and the mess. Her light hearted answer convinced me I had found the right place to leave my kids. She said, "After a while you get used to the sound of happy kids."
Question -- Do you know what your child did today? Did he laugh, sing, and play? Did your child have a chance to learn through his play?
Perspective is a section dedicated to helping parents and providers express their experiences, philosophies, and emotions regarding child care. This is our small effort to open the lines of communication between parents and providers. Parents and providers are asked to send in letters that reflect their perspective on child care issues.
Please feel free to email or mail letters to us to include in a future publication of Learning Train News.
Please email your comments or suggestions. Thank you.
Karen M. Potter
Copyright Karen M. Potter 1996
15810 Crystal Grove
Houston, TX, USA 77082