Leaving your child all day long isn’t easy for any mother. When you drop your little one off in the morning, it’s important to feel a sense of comfort and confidence in the person, or people, who you are leaving her with. Your child’s day-care teacher certainly won’t take your place, but in your absence, she is the next-best care provider.
From tearful separations to a too-long day away from home, your child’s day-care teacher is on the front lines when it comes to all kinds of emotional meltdowns. Think about the first day of school and how your little one might have cried as you — also tearfully — had to leave. Who calmed and comforted her in your absence? The day-care workers did. Without the skillful caring of your child’s teacher or teacher’s assistant, building a sense of comfort in the classroom might not ever happen.
While they are skilled caregivers, day-care teachers often offer your child’s first educational experience. If you aren’t quite sure how to teach your little learner her ABC’s or 1-2-3’s, don’t fret. The day-care teacher will gladly tackle this task with her arsenal of age-appropriate activities and lesson plans. If you were in day care as a 3-year-old, you might fondly remember a day filled with toys and nap-time. While those are still staples of most child-care centers, modern centers also offer the opportunity for children to learn almost everything from sports to science.
Day-care workers aren’t typically just some guy or girl off the street who happened to walk in the front door and ask for a job. They are specialized teachers who have a degree in an area such as child development, education or social services. This background, in combination with teacher trainings, typically means that day-care workers are in the know about services that you and your family might need. This often includes assistance programs, such as food or medical assistance, as well as extra-curricular learning activities and developmental programs for children with developmental delays.
Your Eyes and Ears
You don’t need a nanny-cam all day long to keep track of your 2-year-old. Instead, use the day-care worker as your eyes and ears. If you are wondering how long it takes your little one to go down for her nap, how much she is eating for lunch or what her favorite snack is, simply ask the day-care workers. This is especially helpful when your child is going through major events such as potty-training. Your toddler might not tell you that she used the potty three times that day, but her teacher surely will.