I have worked in a day care for roughly 3 years now, and I cannot tell you how much I love it. I'm not going to lie, some days are rough, but overall, I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here are some things that I really want parents to know when they drop off their kiddo.
1. We genuinely try to get your child to calm down and have fun.
I work in the YMCA Child Watch we do have a policy that if the kiddo is uncontrollably upset for 15 minutes, we will have to have you come and pick them up. Trust me, i would much rather get to play and have fun with the child, or chill out and read a book with them. The absolute last thing I want is to admit that I couldn't make them feel better, and I really hope you know that.
2. Please bring an appropriate snack.
We have a general policy of snacks only, and no meals. I will never forget the time that a 3 year old came in with a full on plate of ribs. With the bone still in. I still don't know what to think of it, and we couldn't cut it up because we didn't have any knives. I sat there for about 30 minutes trying to instruct him of how to go about eating it, and it was definitely a "snack" that I will never forget.
3. BRING EXTRA DIAPERS/CLOTHES
I cannot stress this enough. Honestly, just assume that you'll need it. We have a very limited supply, and most of the time we only have shirts, or 1 pair of overalls. Especially when the kiddo leaked through, or had a poop explosion, we will need both of these.
4. We probably have just as much fun as your kid at work
I think most of the night/weekend staff is pretty close knit which makes work that much more fun. It also makes giant group games a blast. Around the holiday season, we had fake snowballs, and we had a Child Watch snowball fight with all the kiddos. It was so much fun! The kids thought it was hilarious when they got us with the snowballs. They also love to chase us around, and we love to chase them too! We are also known to ride around on the scooters and draw with sidewalk chalk. Most of us really do love our job.
5. Some days are crazy, but we will do everything in our power to pretend it isn't
I don't think people really know how crazy daycare settings can be until you have actually worked in one. There are days where poop somehow gets everywhere, every kid that walks through the door has a cold, and that cool car has started WWIII. But when we open the door we will plaster on a smile, and pretend we don't need that fifth cup of coffee.
6. PLEASE do not bring your kiddo if they are sick
Your child will rat you out if you let them stay home from school, but bring him to us. Our immune systems are pretty solid from all of the germs we are around on a daily basis, but the other kiddos that we take care of aren't so lucky. Hand Foot and Mouth is nasty, along with any type of flu, and if they have any of the symptoms, or a fever, please just keep them home. It's more important to get them healthy, and you can try an at home workout!
7. Take us seriously
There have been a handful of times that parents brush it off when we tell them little Jimmy was being mean today. We wish Jimmy wasn't behaving this way, but if we brought it up to you that means it's serious. We hate having to tell you negative things about your kid, and would much rather praise you for raising a little angel.
8. We adore your kid(s)
I have come to know a lot of these kids very well, because a lot of them have been coming to the Y since I have been there and I see them almost on a daily basis. I have developed a lot of friendships with these kids. I would do almost anything to make them smile, and they make my day. I have loved getting to watch them grow up, and I can't imagine the day when I leave. It will honestly be one of the hardest days of my life. We really do care a whole lot about these kiddos.