Choosing Childcare part 3
Everything you wanted to ask your provider, but were afraid to.
1. I don't think my baby should be on the floor. Why is my baby on the floor all of the time?
The floor is actually the correct place for babies. Childcare centers are not allowed to use walkers or bouncers.
The first reason is safety, walkers tip over and babies run themselves into tables and shelves. Even the non-wheeled bouncers can tip over.
The second reason is developmental. Babies need to roll from side to side, lift themselves on their arms and crawl in order to strengthen their wrists, shoulders, core, hips and pelvis.
A child that goes straight to standing in a bouncer will not develop the core strength and the left/right coordination that comes from crawling.
2. My provider is always telling me how many times my baby messed her diaper. Why is she so obsessed with my baby's bodily functions?
Since babies can't talk yet, the contents of their diaper tell us a lot about how they are feeling. If they stop going all together there may be a serious problem with the kidneys, stomach or bowels. A change in their BM's (as my Grandma used to call them) could be your first sign of a food allergy or the flu.
3. My family uses a different phrase for using the bathroom. Can I get my provider to use the same phrase?
Absolutely, and don't be shy about asking. Your toddler is learning language, and the fewer phrases he has to learn for the same thing the less confusion on his part. It is much easier for the adult provider to learn a new phrase then your toddler.
4. Can I stay and watch you with the children for awhile?
Usually this is an impulse that parents have when they are first checking out a daycare and the answer should be, "Yes, stay as long as you like." Nothing can tell you as much as watching the provider interact with the kids.
When my daughter entered Kindergarten, I stayed with her and watched the teacher on the first day. Turns out the teacher was a very crabby, old woman who wasn't ready for the kids and spent all day yelling at them for things they hadn't been taught yet. I decided to give her one more day, maybe she just didn't have time to get her classroom set up and tomorrow would be better. I was wrong, the second day was worse. I went to the Principal's office so mad that I was shaking. I told her I wanted the teacher's resignation or a transfer. She asked me to put my concerns in writing and gave me the transfer. Ever since then I have stayed with my daughter on the first day of school to make sure I am not entrusting her to a monster.
Do you have other questions you want answered?
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