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What is your ideal daycare center like?

Hi Moms, I am leading a training session for childcare providers on "Professionalism in the Workplace" and I need your input. My audience will range from directors of child care centers to teachers/attendants who have little work experience or are new to this field. It would be invaluable to have the comments from those of you who use childcare providers.
1. What does excellence look like in a professional childcare center? Please list details regarding your expectations - the more detail you provide, the better.
2. Please share any stories that demonstrate great, or not so great, experiences you had with a childcare provider. Be sure to list details regarding what the staff member did, or could have done, to make it an exceptional experience.
3. Please share any other tips, comments, advice or ideas for those working in this field.
Thank you for your input. I greatly appreciate it.

Answer Question

Asked by juliet_k at 12:53 AM on Jan. 20, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 1 (0 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • 1. Clean, well staffed, staff are actually interacting with the children rather than simply "supervising" them, no televisions, access to outdoor play (weather appropriate), a variety of toys and activities, regular feedback to the parents about how the child is doing.
    2. My mother and sister had a home daycare and watched my daughter the first year I was back to work and I loved that. I could drop in at any time and know that my daughter was going to be just fine and that they were going to be down playing with the kids. While they were on vacation, I left my daughter with a daycare my cousin had used and it was filthy, when I would check on her, the kids were sitting watching court shows with her, she would greet me in her pajamas and I would think "where is my baby going to be while you're getting around" and she had an enormous dog that scratched my daughter pretty bad. CONT

    Answer by kabbot01 at 9:42 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • I was so uncomfortable that halfway through the second day I sat their with a knot in my stomach worried about my daughter and said "I'm not going to worry about if my child is ok" and I took vacation time until my mother and sister came back. I had been planning a summer trip with that time, and didn't want to use it, but I felt like I didn't have a choice.
    3. I would just say for them to remember that parents have options in child care and that they are not obligated to accept substandard care.

    Answer by kabbot01 at 9:45 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • 1. Floorplan that is child focused - everything for children's activities are in their reach - they do not need the teachers to get their supplies for them. Organized - everything has a place to go and children can easily identify what goes where (words/pictures on storage shelves/boxes). Children are treated with respect - if a child is crying, they are not simply ignored or placed in time out. The cause of the crying is discovered and handled appropriately, even if it means holding the child. Playtime outside includes opportunities for meeting an assortment of physical needs and opportunities for sharing and learning. Child-led learning at every opportunity - incorporating Montessori methods/ideas into the daycare setting. An excellent day care center allows the children to achieve goals by themselves through encouragement.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:01 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • 2. Not so great experience - miscommunication/lack of communication between teacher and administration. My son was potty learning at school - his teacher consistently said he was doing great. One day she wasn't there and the administrator took her class. When I picked my son up, she flat out told me he was not ready for potty learning, he wasn't getting it, he might even have to go back into pull-ups - a complete 180 from what his teacher had been telling me all along. I spent the weekend writing a 3 page letter to give to the daycare center about the problem, my thoughts on it, suggestions for the next step and a request to meet. Meeting took place between teacher/admin and they discussed, came up with a plan, met with me to discuss and we agreed on resolution. As a result, some changes were made to their potty learning teacher education.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:04 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • 2. Great experience - when my son started becoming more aggressive as a toddler, hitting, kicking, scratching, the teachers monitored his behavior, recorded the incidents and discovered the triggers so that we could help resolve the aggressive behavior. Triggers found were primarily transitions between activities and changes to the teacher/staff (breaks, sick days, etc...). Teachers/admin then focused on giving him a head's up to changes so that he would be better prepared for them, even if just by telling him that the teacher was going to take a break and another teacher would come in.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:08 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • 3. Don't just learn the theories of child development, apply them - Montessori, Piaget to name a couple. Remember that childhood isn't about academic achievement - it's about personal achievement - children want to ACHIEVE for themselves - they WANT to become independent. Remember that for some children, daycare may be the only stable emotional environment they have - treat them with respect, treat their emotions as REAL (don't tell them how they should feel, acknowledge how they DO feel).

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 10:16 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

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