We are excited to welcome a fellow daycare parent, Jeannette, to our Cribsters Contributor series. Jeannette is a married mother of two girls and works full time outside the home. She coaches girls youth softball, is active in her church and enjoys spending time with her family. In her free time, Jeannette blogs about her adventures in motherhood and her wonderfully hilarious crafting attempts (and fails) at Mommy Needs A Martini. Check out Jeannette on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+. She is everywhere!
An Open Letter to Daycare Facilities
My two girls have been in daycare since they were six weeks old. We have been in four different facilities and each one had their pros and cons. But at the end of the day, I couldn’t be more grateful for the hard work they put in every single day to keep every child safe, educated and loved. So this is my letter to them: Dear Daycare, Inside your walls, you welcome children from as young as six weeks old to as old as twelve years old, in some places. Your employees smile at the parents as they walk in every morning looking rushed, glaring at any teacher they see with pleading eyes to make their drop-off go smoothly. The young girl with no kids of her own, struggling to get through college and getting paid barely above minimum wage sees the harried look on our faces and quickly greets the trembling-lipped child. She scoops them up and distracts them with some toy or book far more awesome than anything we have at home. Sometimes our kid will cry in spite of her efforts. But sometimes they just need that kind voice to encourage them to wave at the window with a promise that Mom or Dad will return soon. To the daycare employee who is there every morning at 6am waiting with open arms for our children and to the other employee, who is there until 6pm giving the last hug of the day, I say this to you both: Sometimes we, as parents, need to hear your voice, too. Whether it’s just to feel reassured for the billionth time that our child will be safe and happy in your care or if it’s just to know you care as much as we do. Your cheerful salutations are all we need, most days. We have the tendency to walk in with our seemingly perfect child that can do no wrong and expect your undivided attention, completely oblivious to the seven other rug rats playing behind you. For the two minutes we see you in the morning and evening, you make sure that we feel like our child is the only one in the room. You listen intently to our instructions and tips and trite stories, regardless of how big of a brat our little angel was for you the day before. You teach our children to read. Your professionalism far surpasses most C.E.O’s. Kudos. To the daycare Director that fields complaints from employees and parents, fixes boo-boos, makes the sick calls to parents at work, handles emergencies with a level head and probably does a long list of other things, I’d like to tell you something, too: It takes a special kind of person to work with children day in and day out, and YOU are special. You act as the principal, the referee, the accountant, the mom, the confidant, the cook, the janitor and the boss all day, every day. You encourage our phone calls to you and always take the time to listen. You treat your employees like family and you expect them to treat our children the same way. We may not always be the easiest to deal with, but you make every effort to keep us coming back. We know it isn’t cheap or easy to keep your programs running. But we appreciate everything you do, every single day. We know you care. We really, really do. Even when we’re nitpicky about messy clothes, or a missed nap, or a time-out we didn’t think was necessary, or whatever it is we feel you didn’t do right that day. At the end of the day, our kids came home to us safely and, well, we’re sorry. We’re sorry we don’t praise you enough. We’re sorry we complain. And we’re sorry for whatever our kid did to be put in time out. Thank you, Daycare, from the bottom of my Mommy heart, for keeping my babies safe, happy, engaged and loved. Sincerely, A Daycare Mama est. 2010