Tuesday, August 04, 2009

In Defense of Daycare

I don't know why I feel compelled to say this: but I LOVE Colt's daycare.

You guys know daycare is one of those age-old things in mommy world we use to judge each other on, along with breastfeeding, working or staying at home, TV, organic food, cloth diapers, extracurricular activities, etc., etc., etc.

However, I think daycare gets a bad rap for the most part.

First of all, there's the whole piece to the argument that for some people, it's the ONLY option. Single parents or low-income families may not have a choice in the matter, they must work outside the home and have to put their children in daycare. So, if for no other reason than to support those who do not have a choice, I think everyone should open their eyes and realize what a blessing daycare can be.

But there's a whole other side of the argument that for some, it's simply a great option for their family. We LOVE Colt's daycare. We love the things he learns there, the kids he gets to play with. He has consistently exceeded developmental milestones up to this point. He has done so well in Bible class and anywhere in public that we take him because he's used to being around other kids. He is showered with love by his teachers.

As a first-time parent, I have personally felt a great deal of support from daycare to help me know what to do next, to help me with ideas of how to get him well when he's sick, even something as simple as when to move to the next diaper size. Would I have figured that out on my own? Yes. But I see it as a fantastic benefit to our situation and having the teachers and directors there support us has made parenting much easier.

I do know that not every daycare situation is like that. There are horror stories out there, I know. But we did research to find the perfect place, we found a place with family that came highly recommended, we have friends who trust their children to the center's care as well and that helps to keep us grounded, too. So I know it's all about finding the RIGHT daycare.

I just wanted to stick up for daycare. For a lot of families it's not just a necessity, it's a true blessing and if one of us were to lose our jobs, we would give up a lot of other things before even considering giving up Colt's daycare. The stability, love, support, and development they are giving to our family is a much greater need than providing us with a babysitting service. I dare say I'd give up cable before giving up daycare. And that, my friends, is saying a lot.


Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree, we LOVE B's daycare. He's not in a center - he's at an at-home daycare with a friend of the family who only takes babies (4 of them at a time). She's SO good about getting him to the next milestone and they just adore each other. Granted, I think I would have huge issues taking him to an in-home provider if we didn't know the person as well as we do, but I'm so glad it's working out thus far. I'm glad we'll have well-rounded, happy little boys to show for all the bucks it's costing. It's so beyond worth it in the end.

Elizabeth said...

Why DOES daycare get such a bad rap? How is it any different than when your child is five and now has to go to school. MOST parents don't choose to homeschool their children once their past preschool age.

Often as a working mom I feel the necessity to have to explain my decision for working to other moms. Other moms who have the opportunity or the choice to stay home. Daycare doesn't equal bad place and it certainly doesn't equal uncaring parent. If parents don't have the option to stay home they shouldn't feel bad about having to leave their little one in the care of someone else. If they're unhappy or worried all the time, then they need to find a different daycare that works for them.

And I agree. I belive we may have found the best one. Thus confirmed by the twenty minute conversation I had yesterday of step by step instructions on what to do if Anna Jane just happened to get sick in the 13 hours she's with a first-time mom who knows NOTHING about babies and stomach virus'.

Elizabeth said...

Whoa! That was long and it looks like I was really passionate about what I was saying; when really I was just wasting the ten minutes I had before my next meeting. :)

Mountain Girl said...

Thank you for sticking up for daycares! I ran an home daycare and burned myself out by working over 60 hours/week to accommodate my families. I LOVED my little kids and miss them terribly. I still stay in touch with all three families! And when you think of the monetary issues, daycares are definitely run because you love kids NOT because you make millions. Yes, I know there are some terrible ones, but there are some great ones too! And I'm glad you found one that is super for Colt AND his parents! :-)

KLTTX said...

We kept Davis in his daycare even after Chris lost his job for the same reasons you mention. We have not put Samuel in daycare yet but plan to do so at least part time so he can get the stimulation and learn social behavior around other kids.

Infertility is Hard said...

I think it's wonderful that you love your boy's daycare so much. It must be such a relief when you go to work to know he's in such good hands. In my experience with kids who do daycare, they do so well with other people because they are used to it. I think that is a definite plus. :-D

Dara said...

Jessica, would you mind emailing me and telling me what daycare you guys use? I have my babysitting wrapped up for this year but it's getting harder and harder and I'd like to have some options in the next few years. dara.tinius@gmail.com or hit me up on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

You make great points! For me, I only judged other moms before I was one. Now that I am one, I mostly just judge myself. :) Anyhow, it's so true that as a SAHM I spend lots of time trying to get out of the house and let Evie play around other kids so that she'll have some of the benefits of daycare that you mentioned.

Patti said...

Thank you for your post! It made my heart sing!

I've operated my day care center for 23 years.. and I have put my heart and soul into it.

It saddens me to hear uninformed persons judge day care centers.

You made a lot of great points.


Ramya said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

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