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

It Begins At Home

I recall a day when a parent of a one year old came in and dropped off with nothing unusual to report. Then came nap time and the pacifier was nowhere to be found. Uh Oh!

So with a screaming child in the background, mom was called and we asked where the “nook” was! The response was ,”oh we don’t want her to have it anymore!” When asked if they had started taking it away at home, she said “no.”

OK dear daycare parent. To start withdrawing a comfort item like that at childcare is not a good idea! It can be a traumatic thing for some little ones! They have grown dependent on the pacifier as a way to calm down or feel secure.

So here is what you can do to make the process less painful for everyone.

First of all let the staff know you are planning to take the pacifier away. You can start at home by gradually cutting down on the number of times you give it to them. The teachers can then do the same at school. The child can usually be distracted throughout the morning and just given it at nap. Each child is unique and some have no issues with this while others may need a little more time.

Just please keep the teachers informed and start the process at home. Working together with love and patience will make this a much better experience for all concerned. No worries, they will catch on and be just fine in no time!

All Choked Up!

Recently, Angela Henderson, an Australian blogger, had a terrifying experience as a parent when her child got a grape lodged in their throat.  Read story here:

This story reminded me of something that happened to one of the moms in our classroom. She was a nurse with twin daughters.  She always cut her children’s fruit for school, but at home, she sometimes let the girls eat their fruit whole.  One weekend, they asked mom for a snack while they colored in the dinning room.  She gave them some crackers and grapes.  The girls brought them into the other room and ate while they colored.  A short time later, one of the girls returned to the kitchen where her mother was cleaning and said, “Mommy, sissy won’t answer me.  She’s not speaking to me, what did I do?  Why is she mad at me?”  The mother was just as confused as her daughter, she knew she hadn’t heard any arguing while they were coloring, so she went to go see what was wrong.

As soon as the young mother walked into the room, she saw her daughter’s purple tinged skin and witnessed her frantically grabbing at her throat.  She knew right away her daughter was choking on a grape.  She quickly grabbed her and attempted to give her daughter the Heimlich Maneuver to try to dislodge the grape, so she could breath.  Her first attempt failed.

As the mother retold the story, she said that as she attempted to do the Heimlich Maneuver again, she also tried to call 911 for help.  But in her panicked state she misdialed the number.  On her next attempt she was connected and the needed help was on its way.  She continued trying to help her little girl and finally was able to get the grape out.  Soon after, the ambulance arrived and the child was given oxygen and transported to the hospital.  Mom said even though she was a nurse, she was also a scared parent.  She made mistakes like misdialing the phone; but also knew it was better to do something rather than nothing at all.

So, whenever she had the chance she told other parents her terrifying tale and stressed the importance of learning CPR and First Aid. You never know when you may be in an emergency situation with your child!

As teachers, we are required to be certified in First Aid and CPR. Before enrolling your child in a daycare, ask if the staff are first aid certified! For added safety we also ask the parents to cut their children’s food into smaller pieces.

Here  you will find a link of some of the most common foods (like: hot dogs, grapes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, to name a few) that are choking hazards.

But as the mother in our classroom pleaded with all the other parents to do, please consider taking a First Aid class. It’s something family members and friends who care for your child should do too!

 

 

 

Let em dance!

I went with a friend to pick up her granddaughter at preschool and I overheard a parent talking on her cell phone and saying, “I couldn’t believe it, I walked into the daycare, and all they were doing was dancing!”  I shook my head in disbelief, parents don’t realize how important music is in a young child’s life.  Some experts believe, if a child isn’t exposed to music by the age of FIVE, they will be inept musically.  The child that isn’t exposed to music at all, is “the child, who seems to have two left feet and can’t carry a beat”. In other words, they seem to trip over their own feet, while trying to dance or move to a beat.  Your child’s musical ability must be nurtured like any other skill they acquire.

As early childhood teachers we know that participation and/or moving to songs allows the children to work on many areas of their development, but two that stand out the most are cognitive and physical.  Their cognitive development is enhanced when the child:

  • Recalls words to song/chant/fingerplays
  • Follows two step unrelated directions.
  • Makes up words having similar sounds.
  • Experiments with rhythm.

As the child moves he/she works on physical skills such as:

  • Hops on one or both feet.
  • Walks on tip-toes
  • Shows balance in use of large muscles.
  • Skips or gallops “fairly” well
  • Shows creativity and imagination

Since we live on the east coast and winter time can be too cold to go outside, we often offer the kids music and movement activities.  These are often guided activities to music: such as fly like a bird, or stretch like a giraffe.  Other times we would just put on music for the children to dance to that offers them a variety of different beats (slow, fast, marching or funky).  Jackie and I would let the kids put on various clothes from the dress up cabinet which included: dance costumes, feathered boas, fancy bow-ties, tap shoes, sparkly hats or anything that would encourage them to join in and have some fun and moving their body too.

Below, you will find articles that discuss the benefits of exposing your child to music at an early age.  For anyone that believes, “all the children are doing is dancing”, I hope these articles will help you to realize they are doing so much more than just dancing.

https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2010-music-and-children-rhythm-meets-child-development

https://www.livestrong.com/article/527778-importance-of-music-movement-in-the-education-of-young-children/

 

 

 

 

Take Time to Make Time

I came across a beautiful picture of a parent and small child standing on the beach in their winter coats admiring the ocean and seagulls flying around. The caption over the picture said….. To a child, “love” is spelled  ” T-I-M-E.”

In light of the recent headlines, I thought this simple yet meaningful sentiment would be appropriate. We get so caught up in the daily routine , it can be easy to forget what is TRULY important in the end.

Instead of saying, “I wish I had.”, be able to say, “I’m glad I did!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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