Parenting > Parenting Preschoolers
Advice from a Day Care Provider
After the day care has been chosen and a child
enrolled a parent may feel that they have completed the important
parts of the process. However, there are other things to keep in
mind to help make the transition smooth between the Day Care and
home as well as make things a little easier on the Day Care
workers so that they can provide the proper and best care for a
TOYS FROM HOME
The basic rule is: don't bring them. Bringing toys
generally will only cause frustration amongst the children. The
child with the toy will not always want to share and the other
children will be angry at this. Or, if the toy is broken the owner
will be even angrier and his/her parents may want the parents of
the other child to pay for the item. This will cause a lot of
tension between everyone.
The only exception that a day Care worker might
allow, is for newly enrolled children who might need a toy as a
“security blanket.” A favorite toy or item from home helps a child
stay connected to their home or parents and reassures them that
they are going home again. However, limit the item to just one.
Caregivers will understand that they need this, let's say blanket,
but will also attempt to put it away at some point. A Day Care
worker wants the child to feel secure and loved without the toy.
They might mention to the child “can we put your blanket over here
while we eat?” or “let's leave the blanket inside so it won't get
dragged in the dirt.” This helps the child gain security without
it, but it is there and will always be handed back when necessary.
A "Show-N-Tell" is also an exception but in this
case every child brings something. Oftentimes a “Show-n-Tell” will
be held and then everyone is encouraged to bring an item and talk
about it. But do this only if the Day care has requested it.
Often, Day Cares will ask the parents to bring in
supplies for their children to keep at the Day care. Most Day
Cares should mention that they want names on everything brought in
but even if they don’t it is a good idea to label everything. This
alleviates the Day Care workers from having to do it themselves
and saves them time. It will also help prevent confusion. It is a
good idea to write the child’s entire name in case there are any
other children with similar initials.
Day Care workers will administer medicines but are
generally not licensed medical technicians or have any
medical/nursing background. Never assume that a Day Care worker
will know how much or when to give medications. It is advisable to
check with the Day Care policies before bringing in medications in
case they have their own requirements. However, most Day Cares
follow the same rules. They will administer medications with a
doctors note and if the medicine is brought in it's original
container. All medicines are locked up and the head teacher in
each room is the only one allowed to administer it. However, if
you can schedule the doses for times that the children are not in
day care it is much better. There is less risk of any error. For
instance, if a child needs medicine in the morning and at night
then give it to them before bringing them to the center. Centers
have forms to fill out for administering medicine (ask about
these). Do not just drop the medicine off and say “give him this.”
They will need to know how much, when, the side effects and what
it is for (also why we need it in the original container).
They are there for your children and for the
parents and children. If there are any questions about their
qualifications just ask. A Day Care worker will tell you what
their experience is and if the refuse then you might want to
question why they are refusing to tell you. If there are questions
about the center, just ask. If looking for advice or tips on
anything regarding children, then ask.
Some centers may even have books to check out or
free brochures full of advice. If you feel there is something a
Day Care shouldn't do or aren't doing at all then tell them. On
the opposite side of the spectrum, if they are doing a good job
then compliment them.
Another problem is letting children bring food
into the center. This creates the same problems as toys. Unless
you are bringing a treat for the holidays or birthdays and there
is enough for every child, leave the food at home. A child is fed
meals and snacks every 3-4 hours at day care. An example schedule
might be: 7-9 breakfast is offered, 11 is lunch, 2 is snack,
children go home by 5 or 6. Children will not starve to death and
no child will go hungry. If there isn’t time to feed them at home
tell their staff and they will give them a snack at the day care.
This way, if the others see them eating they can be offered the
same since it is food on hand. The only exception is for infants
(under 1 year) that are eating baby foods or formula or perhaps a
child who has severe food allergies or dietary restrictions and
needs to bring a lunch from home.
Continued: Accidents Happen, Do's and Don'ts and