In Praise of Childcare Providers

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?


  1. Renee says:

    I’m saying an ‘AMEN!’ over here to that. I have a babysitter that keeps my boy in her home. She kept the girls too when they were little, and she is wonderful! It’s like having an extra grandmother and I’m so grateful to have her in our lives!

  2. Mayberry says:

    I did a post about this myself because I love our kids’ center so much… they even do art projects with the babies! And I recently found out that some of the teachers have been there for 15 or 20 YEARS. Typically, turnover in child care is rapid, so this was so nice to learn.

    Here is my old post.

  3. Charla says:

    Child care is one area that my community is in dire need of. All of the area child-care facilities only take children 2+ (well there is a great one owned by a woman I know opening up that will take babies…it’s just not open yet. Claire is 3rd on the list). If you need child care for an infant, GOOD DAMN LUCK! It has to be either family, or someone who you are lucky enough to snag when one of the other children reach preschool age. Now, that being said, the preschools themselves are fantastic! I love my son’s preschool, and luckily he loves it too. They try to make it a home away from home type setting, and I love that!

  4. Cathy says:

    I have had the same babysitter for my girls for 7 years now. She has had each one since they were just 6 weeks old. I take them to her home every morning and they rush to see her. She has called in sick ONCE in that 7 years. I don’t know what I would do without her. She is amazing. And now that my oldest is back to school, I arranged for my sitter’s oldest daughter to pick her up and watch her on days I can’t. Their family and ours have really bonded and every time I see the person who recommended her to me I thank her. Having someone else around who knows, understands and loves your children is a gift. With all the horror stories out there, I feel truly blessed.

  5. Cathy says:

    My son has been in a great daycare/preschool since he was 4 months (he’s 2-1/2 now). The program changes as the kids get bigger and he’s moved from the “infant house” to the “toddler house” where he does artwork, dancing, singing, and other “preschool” type activities. The family who runs this place are great. The drawback is that it isn’t cheap, but I think expensive childcare is typical for an urban area…

  6. Anne says:

    I was just thinking about that today, actually. Lily and Emma are both in school this year and it boggles my mind how organized and thoughtful the curriculum for these little kids is. I am thankful that I don’t have to come up with it myself because to be honest, I don’t think I could do it in my house. Seriously. How? preschool is the shiznet on many levels, that is to say, a good preschool is the shiznet on many levels. You get what you pay for.

  7. Paige says:

    I work for Wilson County Schools and my kids go to The Learning Center for employees’ children. I love them!! My son has been with them since he was 7 weeks old. He is now 3 and he knows all of his letters (recongition and recitation), he can count to 20, all his shapes, all his colors, the days of the week, and he is learning the months of the year. The teachers at TLC are fantastic. It amazes me how much they teach them. He just started in the preschool room this year and is learning how to write his name. He can already tell you what his name begins with.

  8. Nicole says:

    Absolutely. I swear that the only reason my daughter knows her colors is because they taught her at school.

    They also have a weekly theme and creative projects to go along. They’re working on shapes, and one of the activities last week was making cookies with different shapes of cookie cutters. What a fun, tasty lesson! They are also potty training a dizen two-year-olds simultaneously. I could barely handle one!

    (I’m sort of suspicious we’re doing drop-off and pick-up at the same place, actually, though I’ve never spotted you there…)

  9. Nancy says:

    Oh, I get all mushy about our girls’ day care teachers. They are just so wonderful. Mimi’s first teacher at her current day care is also teaching kindergarten this year — I’m praying she’ll still be at it next year when it’s Mimi’s turn to start, so that she can have this super teacher again!

    I am overdue to write a post about their day care, so I’m not going to go on and on here — but I’ll make sure to let you know when I do that post.

  10. Mrs. Flinger says:

    As a past day care worker and preschool teacher, I know the “other side” of the story about parents who are annoyingly disabling their child and those kids the teachers talk nicely of and fight over to have in their class. I love hearing good things about day care teachers because I, myself, had great and horrible experiences. It totally depends on the center.

    Sometimes, though, I still think of lil’ Nathan or Shaefer. “Miss Weswie?” they called for me. The day I left, Nathan (two years old) shoved his hands in his pocked and said, “Miss you” with big pouty lips. Seriously. That’s what working at a day care is like. (mush mush mush)

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