Both my girls attend a state licensed day care in our neighborhood four, sometimes five, days a week. Julie at MotherGooseMouse has a great post about the Do’s and Don’ts of working productively with your childcare provider. She’s been a sub at her daughters’ daycare and has great insight into what it’s like to not only being a daycare parent, but a daycare teacher.
Caitlin is in the preschool class and I can’t say enough good things about it. I am amazed at the thought, planning and creativity her two teachers put into the curriculum. Each week they have a theme (this week’s theme is emotions). Their storytime book as well as artwork coincides with the theme. These teachers get more creative bang for their buck out of construction paper, crayons, footprints, and handprints then I would ever be able to muster. One child is chosen each week to be the special classroom helper and they study a featured letter and number weekly. They also have special assignments from time to time. For the next month or so a child is chosen to take home the “favorites tote” and fill it with a favorite snack to share with their classmates, a favorite book, and two favorite family photos. Today was Caitlin’s day to bring in the tote and she was so excited. They have show and tell on Thursdays and in the summer Caitlin also had outdoor water play.
Caitlin and Amelia’s teachers give them hugs and reassurance and praise. Both my girls have learned to play with children their own age, follow directions, and learn to wait their turn. Caitlin has had teachers and classmates from different cultures and ethnicities. One of her all-time favorite teachers (she still makes a point to say goodbye to her every evening) is from Iran. I have no doubt that she will be prepared for kindergarten next year.
Amelia just moved to the Toddler I room at “school.” Even at 17 months she has structured indoor play, story time, outdoor play, and art time. Although the benefits of daycare are not as yet evident with her, I know in the long run she will be as prepared for real school as her sister in a few years.
Daycare is not for everyone. But in our situation (I work 4 days a week and the hubby runs his own business), it’s been the best solution for our family.
So do you have any praise for the childcare provider in your child’s life, be it a daycare center, a Mother’s Day Out church program, babysitter, nanny, or just good ole grandma?