Monday, May 10, 2010

The Caregivers of the World: The Daycare Provider

My friend Jenny Milchman    made a good point in a comment on my blog from Friday, that all people that care for others should be honored.  So I was thinking of some of those caregivers that I've really appreciated through life and thought I would mention them this week.  

Today I'm going to talk about daycare providers.  I know first hand, having been one myself, how difficult their jobs are and I think much of the time, they're taken for granted.

First of all, I think many people view them, strictly as a baby sitter and that you are their boss.  Nope. Not true.  I was the boss.  I chose whose children I took in.  It's a business, and I don't think people really think about everything involved.

First off, I had a set of rules for all parents and children.  It was about a 20 page handbook I expected all my parents to read and follow.  It showed them what they could expect of me and what I should expect of them to ensure high quality care of their child, it included what we did during the day, what they'd eat, what rules I expected followed, what happened when those rules were broken, and basically how we could get along.  And I knew some parents never bothered to read it, as rules were broken, and then they would get bent out of shape when we needed to have a "talk". (and I'm talking about the parents breaking the rules, not the kids)

Yes, you paid me...a lot...but I assume you want your child well cared for.  This is why I had employees, and had to pay wages for these employees, and taxes on these employees.  I had to follow a food program through the state, so I spent lots of money on healthy food for your children that was all inclusive in your daily fee.  I made sure your child was entertained with educational toys (which happen to be more expensive than the non variety), I formulated a curriculum so I was not just "baby sitting" I was educating, which was VERY important to me.

I worked fifty five hours a week caring for your kids, but also another few hours planning the daily curriculum, breakfast and lunch menus, filling out and turning in paper work to the city and state governments and food program.

And when you paid me late, it was really a nuisance because I had to schedule a time to leave and go to the bank, and when you did that, I had to go again.  It's hard to get away with nine kids in my care and two employees.

So, here is what I'm saying.  It's hard to find good quality care, but if you are lucky enough to do so, treat them well.  Don't take advantage of them or take them for granted.  Occasionally tell them they are doing a good job.  Don't forget them at Christmas and their birthdays.  Appreciate that they are the ones caring for your children when you can't, because you know what?  We're with your children more waking hours than you, and while you can't help this, know that we love them and care about their well being, and do whatever it takes to make sure they are happy and safe.


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My Dad. He's awesome.

John Messina, Personal Injury Attorney

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