It is no secret that we are in the midst of what has been termed a ‘daycare crisis’. There are simply not enough properly licensed and qualified daycare providers who also offer affordable service. Parents are left with having to choose between lower daycare bills and paying out the nose for the highest quality care. While organizations like Ivy School work on finding solutions, parents and daycare providers have other problems to tackle.
Daycare is like any other business in that it exists to make a profit by offering a service people need. Yet daycare is unique in so many ways. The service involves caring for human beings – specifically little human beings who cannot take care of themselves. Parents have a role to play even though they are the customers.
Whether they know it or not, parents do affect the daycare experience. This post explains how, by way of four different things parents can do to help improve the experience as discussed in a recent Parentology post written by contributor Zinnia Ramirez.
1. Spend a Day in Daycare
The first item mentioned by Ramirez is the common wish among daycare providers that parents spend some time in the classroom. Ramirez points out that effective communication is of paramount importance between providers and parents. She goes on to explain that better communication could be realized if parents knew what it was like to spend the day caring for dozens of children.
The point of all of this is to say that parents can improve the daycare experience by spending some time in it. They can take a personal day and go spend it in the child’s classroom. Not only would they see what their kids actually do in daycare, but they would also get a taste of what daycare workers experience day in and day out.
2. Keep Sick Kids Home
Next up is the simple courtesy of keeping sick kids at home. For starters, the laws in most states prohibit daycare providers from administering medications. That makes caring for sick kids very difficult. Second, sickness spreads quickly through your average daycare center. That’s not good.
The people behind Ivy School explain there is a secondary issue here as well: sick children don’t learn as readily as healthy children. So if parents have enrolled their children in a program that provides educational opportunities, they are only hurting their own cause by bringing sick kids to school.
3. Be on Time
Your typical daycare, whether it is an in-home daycare or commercial enterprise, thrives on scheduling. It can be exceedingly difficult for providers to maintain schedules when parents are consistently late dropping off and picking up their children. Furthermore, it’s not fair to workers who are expecting their shifts to end at a particular time to have to work late due to tardiness. Being late once in a while is understandable. Being late on a regular basis isn’t fair to daycare providers or the kids.
4. Provide the Necessary Supplies
Lastly is the topic of supplying daycare providers with things like diapers, wipes, etc. Unless a daycare specifically informs parents that all the necessary supplies are included in monthly tuition, parents should be supplying those things themselves. Expecting providers to foot the bill only drives daycare prices higher for everyone.
Ramirez discussed more than space allows for in this post. The lesson here should be clear: both daycare providers and parents have a role in improving the daycare experience even as we search for solutions to the ongoing crisis. Improving daycare is something we should all be working on together.