Summer Fun or Fret?
By Teresa G. Lusk –
Summer is great for our kids to rest and enjoy the days! For parents who must work, however, it is a fret when they have to find reliable childcare. As a child who was left to the care of others, I would like to share valuable information and questions as to what we should be aware of as parents when leaving our kids. Some of this information, you may not have the answer to until after you have begun to leave your child with a provider.Please be sensitive to your child’s reactions and mood after being left at a particular place. Kids are quick to adjust but if they keep complaining, acting moody, or just don’t seem to have enjoyed their day time after time, they are trying to tell you something.
1. Has the every childcare provider and staff member had a background check?
2. Kids need structure. Is this place where you will leave your kids structured or does the childcare facility or home look like a storm hit it? There is a difference between structure and rigidity, however. I am not talking about a spotless place but one that is organized yet kid friendly.
3. Are the staff genuinely friendly to you and your children when dropping off and picking up?
4. Have they ever had a complaint filed against them with your Department of Family and Protective Services?
5. Do your kids fight you every day about going to this location? If so, ask them why? Mention it to the childcare provider. If the child’s attitude does not change within a week or two, reconsider the provider.
6. Allow your kids to take part in choosing the facility/home care if possible.
7. Have they become depressed, too quiet, or not eating right since you started the day care?
8. Talk to them in detail about their daily experience. Ask questions. What did you eat? Did you read stories? Did you color? Did your teachers talk to you about your drawing? Were the kids nice to you?
9. Always pray for direction in choosing the place and for discernment so that if something isn’t right, you may be aware of it quickly.
10. Give your kids more credit than usual. I understand that some children will fight going to a sitter/day care but if it is prolonged that may not be normal, so start digging.
It is understandable that for younger children these may not be determinable. Yet, you can look for physical signs in your child. When my daughter was two with a limited vocabulary, she showed me with her behavior about her weariness of a particular care giver. Do your best to leave your kids in the best hands possible by doing research and being sensitive to your child’s environment and their feelings.