Dear Daycare Parent book coverWelcome to Dear Daycare Parent!

“An indispensable manual for parents venturing into the unknown territory of day care.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This is an invaluable blueprint for navigating the land of drop-offs, snack time, and early childhood socialization.”
Foreword Reviews

“Leaving one’s child in the care of another can be nerve-wracking, but the authors’ upbeat, long-term perspective will assist parents in valuing their providers and doing best by their offspring. For all libraries.”
Library Journal (starred review)

The Dear Daycare Parent Blog

Avoid This Scary Scenario

I felt that it was important to comment on a recent news article. It was the story of a person picking up the wrong child at a daycare facility. I can’t even imagine how scared and panicked both the child and the parent were. The child was 4 years old, which means she was old enough for her parents to begin talking to her about stranger danger.  Therefore, when someone that she never met came to pick her up (the person was a co-worker), you know there had to be some hesitation on the child’s part, but for the mother it had to be worse.

She arrived at the day care to pick up her two children only to learn from the school that she supposedly gave her verbal consent over the phone to let her 4 year old go home with someone else. This mother was shocked and said she had never called or given permission for anyone to pick up her daughter.

This mother chose this school because it had surveillance cameras and a fingerprint system on the computer to log in and out. However, the cameras were not functioning at the time, so they had no way to identify who took her child. It wasn’t until another child was left at the school later than her scheduled pick up time that the school called the mom to ask when they were coming. She was confused, saying her daughter had already been picked up by a co-worker. It was only then, that they had realized the wrong child was allowed to be picked up.

Upon seeing this news story Jackie and I knew that it was human error. Someone did not follow the protocol and guidelines that are set up. At the beginning of each school year, we asked each parent to give us a list of three people, with contact info, they will allow their child to go home with. Then, if a parent informs the school that one of these people will be picking their child, a consent form is signed.

When we learned that the parent was having someone pick up their child who is not on their list, we asked, “Does your child know this person?” If the answer is no, we asked the parent to talk to their child directly, so their child knows who will be picking them up and that it’s okay to go home with them. This naturally applies to an older child, a 4 or 5 year old.

Due to modern technology it is very rare to find a program that will still allow verbal consent to release a child to anyone other than their parent. However, on those rare occasions when the parent is not near a computer to send an e-mail consent, you must ask to talk to your child’s teacher directly so there is no miscommunication. We would never want you to go through what that mother had to endure when she discovered her child was missing.

Fortunately this story had a happy ending. However, it brings up the point that YOU need to be sure the facility you attend does indeed have a solid plan for when another person picks up and that the procedure is strictly followed! For your peace of mind be sure that you speak with the teacher who is in charge of the room your child is in. Sometimes other staff members take the call and forget to relay messages. And if possible only use the people who are on that emergency list. It is always best to have things written down. And really, no child feels comfortable going with someone they don’t know.

Here is the link to the article.

Jackie and Jo-Ann Interviewed on the Army Wife Network Podcast

Jackie Rioux and Jo-Ann Parylak, authors of Dear Daycare Parent: The Must-Have Guide to Daycare, join the Army Wife Network (AWN) Core Team to discuss tips for working parents with children in daycare.

Army Wife Talk Radio is the leading internet talk radio show for Army wives, by Army wives. AWTR is hosted by the Army Wife Network Core Team – AWTR guests bring exciting, relevant topics and resources to the attention of our military families.

Listen to the podcast. (Jackie and Jo-Ann’s interview starts at the 25:00 minute mark.)


News Release: Dear Daycare Parent Garners Best of 2016 Distinction

Newington, CT. —Dear Daycare Parent: The Must-have Guide to Daycare for Working Parents has been “Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2016”. This recent announcement culminates a year in which the book received critical acclaim and achieved recognition from industry-leading publications.

On June 13, 2016 Kirkus Reviews bestowed a starred review to Dear Daycare Parent, and stated, “An indispensable manual for parents venturing into the unknown territory of day care.”

In their May 15, 2016 edition, Library Journal stated, “This visually pleasing title for day-care parents does not disappoint.” Library Journal recommended the book for all libraries.

Jo-Ann Parylak and Jackie Rioux, co-authors of Dear Daycare Parent, set about creating a practical resource for new parents. The book details all aspects of a typical daycare or preschool day and arms parents with the information they need to make the experience the best it can be for themselves and their child.

Parylak and Rioux are appreciative of the recognition their book has received. Co-author Jo-Ann Parylak stated, “Our whole purpose is to bring awareness to parents. The awards and recognition are very nice; they validate what we are trying to do.”

Dear Daycare Parent contains over 101 tips, each with a key point, a detailed description of why it is important, and is augmented with a real-life example. Illustrations throughout, along with an occasional story of how a situation was handled, complement the text and drive home the value of the information being shared.


Dear Daycare Parent is available at libraries, leading book retailers, and online from,,, or direct from the publisher at

Download this press release.


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

I always feel the need to acknowledge Dr. Seuss’ birthday because his books made such an impression on me as a child! As a result, I have always enjoyed sharing his stories with the preschoolers I have worked with over the years. Many people don’t realize that his first book, And To Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street was rejected by 27 publishers.  Imagine that! It just goes to show that you should never give up on a dream!

I would like to end this with one of several of my favorite quotes from Dr. Seuss:

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

Learn more about Jackie & Jo-ann

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