I thought, to back up my claims and suggestions yesterday, it might be good to get the advice from a real pro... i.e. not me. :p Obviously, I don't really think you're dummies (just mostly myself, really) but sometimes, on very rare occasions of course, we're so busy/stressed/overwhelmed/exhausted/etc. that common sense fails us. Enjoy!
10 tips to getting the most out of your child’s day care experience
1. Bring your child into the classroom. Don’t leave them in the hall; don’t push them in the door and run off. Come in and say good morning to the teacher(s), tell them how your child’s day has been so far, if they ate well, slept well etc.
2. If we ask for diapers, wipes or cream, please bring them in as soon as you can. We ask, because we are out, or near out, and it’s not fair to use other children’s supplies on your child.
3. Please keep a supply of extra shirts, pants, and socks in your child’s cubby (or wherever their stuff is kept). Not only can there be bathroom accidents, but spills happen. Also, we play messy some days; mud, water and shaving cream make lots of mess.
4. If your child doesn’t have extra clothing, and they get sent home in day care clothes (extra clothes we have had donated), please don’t get upset with us if the outfit is ugly.
5. Keep an eye on the monthly calendar or weekly planning. Make sure your child participates in dress up days, show and tell, and other things we have planned. We do these things for your child. It shows us you care when you support our programming.
6. Try to keep in mind that there are usually 6-8 children looked after by each teacher. Sometimes, on a hectic day, your child may put their shoes on the wrong feet, or still have a bit of snack on their face. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means we are quite busy. We have to prioritize; a crying child or a dirty diaper might come before fixing your child’s shoes. Also, we are human, and make mistakes.
7. Take a little time to get to know your child’s teachers, and help them get to know you. An open line of communication is essential, and it’s so much easier to discuss issues with someone you feel comfortable with. I really enjoy it when a parent asks about my weekend, or how my son is doing, as it makes me feel like I’m regarded as a person, a peer, not just the one who takes care of your children.
8. Be on time! We plan a full day of activities, and when a child is brought in the classroom in the middle of an activity, it makes it hard to greet them while keeping the other children focused on the task they are doing. For example, we have 11 two year olds sitting in a circle, listening to songs and stories. One teacher is directing the circle; the other is sitting with a child who needs extra help to settle. You bring your child in, and they start crying. The children’s attention that was focused on the story is now on your child, and our circle time is over. If you are going to be late, please call and let us know.
9. If your child is sick, not just a cold, but actually sick, keep them home. It’s not fair to a child who feels like crap to be surrounded by 11-17 loud energetic children, when all they want to do is sleep and relax.
10. If you ever have the chance, volunteer in your child’s class for the morning. You will soon get a very good idea of the amount of work we do. We are not baby sitters; we spend a lot of time planning a program with your children’s needs and interests in mind. We spend a lot of time wiping noses, cleaning up spills, changing diapers, and keeping children from hurting each other, and the rest of the time teaching, guiding and helping your child learn new skills and concepts.
I couldn't agree with these 10 suggestions more... and I'm guilty of numbers 2, 3 and 5 at least a few times a year. At least. Thanks to all the fabulous teachers out there! We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our children's lives! xoxoxoxo