As a child care professional, I couldn't agree with the beginning Wesley W. Hickok's letter to the editor Feb. 3 more. I have seen my share of child care centers during my time working on my degree in Early Childhood at Penn College. I have been employed as a preschool teacher for nearly two years now, and completely appreciate when new parents come in and check the place out.
To be honest, my director has never informed me of when a prospective parent was coming in because she knows it's best to show them how a normal day goes. It would throw off the kids if the teacher was acting differently, and I know my children would definitely call me on it. It is best to show up randomly, but be prepared to not be able to get the full tour, as if for some reason the director is out or indisposed, a teacher might not be available to show you around, as they have their children to watch.
I've never seen someone try to hide something for a parent. What would the point be? If the child starts at the center, the parent will be there every day, and will see any of these deficiencies that might be hidden. I'm not sure what he meant by that, and perhaps I'm just thinking of our own chain of centers.
I've met owners in addition to the ones I work for, and they put the children first, as they should. I think a gross generalization is being made here, and I'm not sure if there is a specific issue that is being referred to, but it is not something that is an issue "across the board". When it comes to staff, some people just aren't cut out for the job. You have to love kids. You aren't in child care for the money. In the end, the kids won't remember all the dirty diapers you changed or how you prepared them for kindergarten, but you will. You made a difference in these children's lives. If that isn't how you are looking at your job, you shouldn't be doing it. It isn't about the money.
As for the facilities, this goes back to checking the place out first, obviously. A lot of what Wesley wrote is not just the parent's responsibility, but each and every teacher in the building. If another teacher is yelling or disrespecting a child, it is any adult's responsibility to step in, and say "that is not okay". Immediately. Don't pass the buck. Don't hope for the best. Step in. Nicely. Calmly. But step in, for the child. Above all, be respectful yourself.
As for regulations of day cares, centers should have a copy of regulations on hand, and will gladly discuss any of them with you.
As for security features, we make sure we know who a parent is. We note them, and do not let anyone into our facility that we do not know. If
Cindy K. Shaner
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom