- Family and Parenting
Full time work and Daycare
My biggest Stress
When I had my first child, I remember getting ready to go back to work and my biggest stress at the time was searching for appropriate daycare. At the time I was on maternity leave, in my native province of British Columbia, there was only a six month maternity leave that was paid for by Employment Insurance. I remember feeling like a totally horrible person for even thinking of leaving my baby with a stranger. The cold hard reality of the situation is that if you own your own home, you need two incomes to get by these days. I started looking and calling a few people. I lucked out after about five phone calls and found a very special person who lived not far from me who looked after my daughter full time while I returned to work. She was truly a person who loves children (we are still friends to this day) and I never regretted that decision.
Unfortunately, finding a great daycare provider is not the end. The problem is that most people who do daycare have a high burnout rate. Imagine looking after a room full of children day in and day out... It takes a special type of person to do that sort of work. I went through a rash of daycare providers in about 4 years. I would find a good one, then I would get notice that she was "sorry to inform me.... that she would be closing her daycare in one month's time... blah blah". It is horribly shocking to get a letter like that when you really like the daycare provide you have. The thought of having to start all over again... well, it is simply awful.
Fast forward many years, my son was born. I was then entitled to one full year of maternity leave. When I returned to work, I found really great daycare (again) for him. I was super lucky. The problem was when we sold our house and moved to a much more rural area, we had to find a new daycare for him. I went through the process again, seeking out a new daycare for my son. I only needed before and after school care for my daughter because she was then attending school. I ran into lots of problems. I would find a daycare, then about six weeks after, they would start to complain about my son and his behaviour. The first one had a son that was around the same age as my son. From the moment we walked in the front door, her son would be inches from my son's face and yelling at him. He was super agressive. I believe my son got tired of that and hauled off and popped him one. Here is the core problem with home daycare. People who do daycare "from home" are after a few extra dollars. They don't really care about your child/children. I am not pointing the finger at everyone here, just about 90% of what is offered out there now. The main problem I found was that when there is "conflict", your child will always lose. Why? Because the home daycare provider is looking out for their own children, and they care little about yours. Your child is providing them with an "income" and they just want to get through the day. Plain and simple.
The last daycare I had my son in - I had gone through four private home daycares in less than 2 years - was a young lady who had two small daughters. She seemed professional at first, but towards the end, she got super emotional because of her own children. That was that. I found a professional group daycare, which by the way was less expensive, and I have not looked back. You have to consider the fact that private daycare providers who provide daycare from home do not care about your child. Your child is an income for them. Professional daycare centers have professionally trained daycare providers who have taken first aid courses, and courses on how to look after children and educate them. They do not have a "grudge" against your child. They are there to help your child in every way they can and to teach all of the children how to co exist with each other, get along, share, and play. They also teach them their ABC's and counting to 10. I think this is by far the best decision that I have made so far as a parent. I hope this helps other people to make a decision about care providers. Daycare centres are far better equipped to watch your child.