Childcare workers can spend up to 8,000 hours with your child between his first birthday and his first school day, which equals about 333 full days. These women who are scrutinized by parents teach children how to count, socialize, tie their shoes and even to read when children are ready. They see you every morning and every evening, talk to your child all day, have lunch with him and comfort him when he is sad. Yet, you barely know anything about them because you only see them briefly, by the door, with other parents.
Sometimes they would like to ask a few questions; sometimes they refrain from giving parents a piece of their minds. To avoid this difficult task, here are a few comments that we gathered to help you understand their profession, help them and do what’s best for your children.
“Parents should not get rid of their children”
For many daycare workers, your children are too busy and deserve a break now and again. Because your children spend a lot of time at your daycare (and it’s normal, you have to work) parents should use their days off to spend time with their children instead of going shopping and taking a break.
Indeed, daycare workers often mention that our children should be our first priority and should never be less important than our job, especially when they are sick. “Many parents bring their sick child in daycare and give then medication to cover up the fever until lunchtime so they can work in the morning. It is unfair for their child, for us and for other children who will get sick too.”, a child care worker told us.
“Parents should also do their job”
Several childcare workers told us that parents should do their part. Not all parents make sure that their child has spare clothes that still fit and many parents arrive late even if it means that the rest of the group must wait for them before going to the park or eating a snack. Daycare workers truly appreciate when parents try to get involved. They also appreciate politeness and respect. One of them told us “some children carry terrible ideas and it is hard for us to rephrase prejudice without lessening the parents…”.
For many, being autonomous and resourceful should also be valued. An educator told us “I consider that a one-year-old child can need help to walk in 2 inches of snow but a three-year-old should be able to get back up on his feet when he falls”.
“Parents should take the time”
“Some parents arrive without turning their phone off and leave without even talking to their child”, said an educator. Another added, “Parents should look at their children and ask them how their day went”. It is true that children spend a lot of time in daycare and taking a minute to ask about their day, to look at their agenda and find out what they had for lunch is a great way of showing interest and respect. Children may be mature for their age but they still cannot guess our affection. That minute is a minute well invested.
Trust your educator
Another thing that matters is the capacity of parents to be a team with them and to work in the same direction. We were told: “If parents disagree with us and do not like us, it shows in their child’s behaviour…” It is important to value the work of your daycare workers because they are helping us raise our children and they will do everything they can to make them happy, even though they will have to let them go to school and never see them again.