January 18th, 2019

Child Care Chatter: I am not your child’s babysitter

By Medicine Hat News on October 20, 2018.

If your child is in a child care program, they are interacting with early childhood educators, not babysitters. A babysitter is a 14-year-old girl or boy who comes to your house on a Saturday night so you can go out and have date night. She sits on the couch and eats chips while your child sleeps. However, early childhood educators are trained individuals who deserve to be recognized for their work.

What you call that staff member or day home provider makes a difference. When we hear the word “babysitter”describing our work, we feel underappreciated and unrecognized. We invite your children and your family into our minds, our hearts and, in the case of day home educators, into our homes. We know your child’s favourite colours, books, and songs. We learn quickly what makes them happy and what challenges them. We plan activities that will stretch their knowledge and help to “teach” them how to be in the world.

Early childhood educators work in licensed child care centres, preschools and out of school cares. They also work as day home providers. All of these educators follow a multitude of regulations to ensure your child is safe. They also have to fill out a lot of paperwork to prove all of the amazing things they do to their directors, licensing officers, the accreditation agency and more.

We know for a fact that the relationship between early childhood educators and your child is the most important characteristic of quality child care. These relationships require attention, time, and warmth. Early childhood educators care and worry about your child almost as much as you do! We completely understand that mom and dad are the most important people in your child’s life. We want to be part of that team to help raise a healthy and happy child.

The ideas in this column are inspired by a September 2018 article written by Lauren Lewis on her blog, “Red Tricycle.” We suggest you check it out for more thoughts on this topic!

Jennifer Usher is the coordinator of the Medicine Hat & District Child Care Association. Check us out at http://www.mhdcca.com.

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