Your Child Care Provider...

~ The Professional ~

The Hand Holders: A Tribute to Caregivers

There is no job more important than yours,
no job anywhere else in the land.
You are the keepers of the future;
you hold the smallest of hands.

Into your care you are trusted
to nurture and care for the young,
and for all of your everyday heroics,
your talents and skills go unsung.

You wipe tears from the eyes of the injured.
You rock babies brand new in your arms.
You encourage the shy and unsure child.
You make sure they are safe from all harm.

You foster the bonds of friendships,
letting no child go away mad.
You respect and you honor their emotions.
You give hugs to each child when they're sad.

You have more impact than does a professor,
a child's mind is molded by four;
so whatever you lay on the table
is whatever that child will explore.

Give each child the tools for adventure,
let them be artists and writers and more;
let them fly in the wind and dance on the stars
and build castles of sand on the shore.

It is true that you don't make much money
and you don't get a whole lot of praise,
but when one small child says, "I love you,"
you're reminded of how this job pays.

-Dori Rossmann, exective director - Kids Town USA

What Your Provider Wants You to Know:
But is Afraid to Tell You
by Joni Levine

Here is an open letter to parents written from the perspective of a daycare provider or preschool teacher.

I am a professional. I may have chosen this line of work because I love children and I enjoy my job, but this is still my job/business. I have received specialized education and/or training to be a caregiver and educator for young children. I am not a babysitter; I am a professional.

I am not getting rich. In many places child care workers make less then public sanitation workers, secretaries and other jobs that require a lot less education and experience. I do get paid in smiles, hugs and recognition of appreciation from families.

I need you to read all material and notices. I am counting on you to know the information I send to you in writing. This includes newsletters, notes and contract material.

It is important that you communicate with me. Let me know in advance if there will be a change in your child’s schedule, or the services you will need.

If I ask you to bring in supplies for your child, please do. And make sure supplies are replenished as needed. This may include extra clothes, art supplies, diapers etc.

Remember your child is not the only child in my care. Although I do my best to provide individualized attention at times, I am often unable to change polices or disrupt plans to accommodate the needs of one family.

Please do not send your child if they are ill. If they are too ill to participate in the day’s activities they are too ill to be in care. I need to protect the health of other children as well. If your child is or was ill, please notify me.

I recognize that you are the most important person in the child’s life.. I hope that we can work as a partnership for what is best for the child. Please share with me any concerns or questions about your child’s care and development. Work with me in helping your child learn, grow and develop.

Big News for Big People
The Price of Great Child Care

Congratulations! You found a child care provider whose ability and reputation is trustworthy! Your  provider is kind, caring, loving and fun. In addition, your provider really knows how to stimulate your child's development.

But you don't like the rules in the child care contract. In your opinion, the contract gives too many vacation days to the provider. Late fee charges are too severe and you know there are providers who charge less for services.

You are thinking about forcing a few changes in the child care contract to better accommodate your convenience and pocketbook. Before you take action, consider these points:

A key to excellent child care performance is the happiness and contentment of the provider.

Attempting to force contract changes may lead to disharmony and reduce the quality of your child's care.

The expense you put forth into child care is an investment in you child's welfare.

Sacrifice is part of parenting. Parental sacrifice may include scheduling your vacation days around your provider's schedule or paying a higher child care rate or late fees in order to insure your child will continue to receive the best care available!

The bite in the pocketbook is temporary. Your child will not stay little forever. The necessity for full-time child care is only for a few years. 

Studies indicate the first three years of a child's life are the most formative years.

Now, weigh your convenience and pocketbook against the happiness and well being of your child. The  balance should weigh heavily in your child's favor.

Child Care Checklist
Print this handy checklist!

Important Needs for My Child:

  • individual attention
  • tender loving care
  • unstructured playtime
  • lots of fun!
  • structured playtime (crafts and planned activities)
  • supervised care
  • a big yard/fenced in yard
  • preschool instruction
  • a playroom full of toys
  • a safe and secure environment
  • nutritious meals and snacks
  • a home atmosphere
  • field trips

What You are Paying For...

What you pay for is quality child care, nutritious meals and a nurturing environment for your child. Your fees must provide my income, including taxes and social security. Beyond that, your fees pay for special insurance, training, food, toys, equipment, art supplies, and all of the other things that your child will use. For children over the age of 3 years of age, it also helps pay for the preschool program. Like other self employed workers, family child care providers do not get benefits, which many employees take for granted:

*Health/Dental Insurance

*Worker’s Compensation

*Life Insurance

*Unemployment Insurance

*Retirement/Pension Plan

*Paid Vacations

*Paid personal Days

These benefits often amount to as much as 35% of an average employee’s salary.

Unlike other forms of self employment, family child care is very restrictive. There is absolutely no room for growth while doing family child care because the state dictates the size of my business. Also I cannot take time off for appointments or obligations without careful planning and covering of my responsibilities. Most people work a 40 hour work week, but mine is 55 hours and up. And this does not include my training, preparation, bookkeeping, paperwork, shopping or cleaning time.

What We Love Most About Our Professions...
by PPO Members

Anna C. said; “I love the positive feelings I get every day from the children I work with!  I love when a child suddenly achieves goal we've been working on together.  I love knowing that I'm making a difference!”

Copperrr said; “What I love about being a childcare provider is that I get to teach these children what they need to know to get a good start in life. I love seeing them learn new things everyday and watching their faces light up when they have been working on something for awhile and finally achieve their goals. It gives them a sense of accomplishment. And it makes me feel like I have accomplished something with the children. I know that I am making a positive difference in their lives~!!!”

Mel G. said; “I love seeing things through the eyes of a child. I’m also glad I can provide an environment that gives the children as well as their parents a sense of security. Parents need that feeling in order to be able to leave their child and be able to perform their responsibilities at work.”

Michelle B. said; “I cannot pick just one thing that I love most. Childcare is such a rewarding field to be in. I guess it would be watching the children grow and knowing that I have had a positive impact upon not only the child in my care, but the families in my care. Knowing that I am making a difference in families lives in a personal way, is what keeps me in family daycare.”

Renae N. said; “I really like seeing the children learn and grow in their own special way and knowing I helped them become a better person!  And the unconditional love they all have!!”

Laura C. said; “I love all of the hugs & smiles I get when the children are laughing and having a wonderful time dancing, playing and the look of wonder they give me when they learn something for the first time...that’s what my job is all about!”

Jan M. said; “I Love the fact that I can make a difference in childrens lives. Seeing them achieve their goals on a project, song, fingerplay, and learning a neew task that I tought them is very rewarding. I also like the unconditional love that I receive back from the children. When I hear them tell me that they love me or they have a Big hug for me, it makes me feel that I have accomplished something very important not only to me but to the children as well.”

Shelly F. said; “All of the above and I love just being allowed to be such an important part of each childs life. I find it to be such a reward and great priviledge to be able to do what I love for a living.”

Sue D. said; “What do I love?  So, so many things.  Above all, being home for my own child and watching her grow up over the years.  I love watching the day care children experience their first looks at flowers; or the sky, etc. or a hug or kiss for no reason at all.  I even love it when they can be harshly honest if you look bad any day!  I love it when a baby smiles a real smile at you or holds your hand tightly with little fingers.  I love the fact that they look to you as a second mom who knows you love them and you reap rewards from these hugs and stories and the laughter.  There's just too much to list!”

Janelle F. said; “What I love the most about my profession is that I get to spend my entire day with these great little people!! They are so much fun and it is a privilege to be involved in their learning processes, helping them meet goals, see new things, try new things, master new skills and just enjoy being a "kid". I love spending my day with them and the bond we have developed.”

Kaja D. said; “I love the smiles, the hugs, the kisses and all the love I get from all my little children when they see me. It makes my heart feel good to be part of their lives and to have such a big influence in their upbringing. I love when the parents tell me "Thanks You" for no reason at all except for just being me.”

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