Blink—And They're Grown

Parents, Families and Child Care

Confidence in Child Care

confidence-in-child-careAs I send my oldest child off to Kindergarten, I find myself worrying how his day at “big school” is going. Is he being kind? How does his teacher handle his love for talking his way through activities? Is he making progress? This change from our previous routine of being at child care all day has me reflecting on how comfortable we’ve become with our child care provider, and what it is about our provider that eases my mind.

Making our initial child care decision was somewhat overwhelming. We knew how important doing our research and making an informed decision was. I utilized the “Find Child Care” quick link on the 4C for Children homepage, and further explored the “Choosing Quality” tab. Ultimately, utilizing these resources and touring facilities brought us to our current child care provider.

We were greeted over the phone by a loving and professional voice that encouraged us not to schedule a tour, but to come visit at any time. To me, this signified confidence on the part of the provider. When we toured, we were immediately greeted by the director and by every teacher whose classroom we entered. The spaces were calm and organized; the teachers were warm and welcoming. I paid close attention to how the children treated each other, and how they approached the teachers. Everyone was comfortable in their surroundings, which is an essential foundation to learning. After touring the facility, we were given a copy of the age-specific parent handbooks and encouraged to ask any questions we might have. We weren’t pressured to make an immediate decision, rather, we were guided to look over the information and contact them if we’d like to enroll.

After making our decision to enroll, we were able to fill out a questionnaire regarding our children that would help the teachers with basics about our boys before they came into the classroom, as well as scheduled a time to meet with each teacher so they could ask additional questions and get more comfortable with us. This was very reassuring to a nervous mom! Knowing they had an “open door” policy meant I could stop by at any time, and I could call to check up on them. In the coming weeks we received daily communication with special notes about what they enjoyed each day. The attention to detail and development their teachers put into their notes helped reassure me that my children were well cared for. The program director asks for feedback and welcomes questions and input from all parents. The words and actions from our program say “We are partners in caring for your child.”

Overall, every parent needs to have choice in choosing child care, and feel confident in those caring for their children. We are so thankful to have found a program which partners with us as parents while truly appreciating our children for who they are. It is among the most important decisions as parents we’ll make!

Education is the Answer

After reading an article in the Middletown Journal about the cost of keeping track of sex offenders, and a local child care administrator who kept descriptions of nearby offenders in her program, a friend of mine asked, “Why would the administrator put herself out there on the front page of the paper?” To me, the answer is obvious: to protect children!

I think it’s wonderful and absolutely courageous that the child care program administrator keeps a record of neighborhood sex offenders for her staff, and I hope she shares the list with parents, as well. As the state attorney general counsel stated in the article, sex offenders are likely to offend again, and especially in their own neighborhood! After all, statistics show that most offenders are someone the child knows, loves, or trusts.

As a parent, I certainly want to know where the sex offenders in my neighborhood live, and I do take precautions. I check the county sheriff’s list, though it’s important to keep in mind that the sex offenders listed there are only the ones that are registered! What’s a parent or child care provider to do to continue to be vigilant and educated on preventing child sexual abuse?

The national Darkness to Light campaign asserts that assault against children is an adult problem. Their trainings help to empower parents and child care providers, and are offered nationwide for as little as $10. Darkness to Light projects that every adult that attends a training will help protect ten children in the years to come! What’s that compared to the physical, emotional and literal costs of child sexual assault on our children and communities?

Assault against children is a crime based on secrecy. People like the child care program administrator mentioned in the Middletown Journal article are not afraid to stand up for our children, and we shouldn’t be, either!

– Debbie