Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child have to go outside every day?
Health experts are unanimous on the importance of fresh air and the negative health consequences of children spending too much time in closed, indoor settings. If a child is well enough to be in the home base, the child is generally assumed well enough to go outside. Except in extreme weather, children are expected to go outside every day. The director or assistant determines whether conditions are acceptable for outdoor play.
What if I ask that my child stay indoors today?
We usually have to say no. While we would like to individualize, staff-child ratio rarely allow us to stay with one or two children while the group goes outside. It is also often difficult for the staff to try and find another home base that is staying in to care for the child (and may be uncomfortable for the child).
What about my child's health?
We understand that parents naturally have strong feelings about keeping their children healthy, which we share, but health experts agree that cool or damp weather is rarely harmful to children, and going outside is essential.
What if my child is not dressed properly?
We will try and frequently remind you when your child is lacking something. We know that things disappear, so we will also try and keep on hand extras for those inevitable times when items disappear. The program depends on children arriving with all the requisite clothing for a full active day, indoors and out.
I don't like it when my child gets bitten. What will you do to stop this behavior?
Periodically, even in the best childcare program, outbreaks of biting occur in infant and toddler rooms, and sometimes even among young preschoolers -- an unavoidable consequence of young children in group care. When it happens it's pretty scary, very frustrating, and very stressful for children, parents, and teachers. However unfortunate, it is a natural phenomenon, not something to blame on children, or parents, or teachers -- and there is no quick and easy solution.
Children bite for a variety of reasons . . .The program accepts responsibility for biting and other hurtful acts and for protecting children. It is our job to provide a safe setting where no child needs to hurt another to achieve his or her ends. Here is what we do: Some children become "stuck" for a while in a biting syndrome and it is frustrating for the parents of the victims that we are unable to "fix" the child quickly or terminate care. We try and make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and balance our commitment to the family of the biting child with that of other families.
Regarding Other Situations
Moving upstairs to the big classes . . .
As children develop and mature, their dependence on adults begins to diminish and they learn to adjust to group life. Higher ratios and group size are possible without sacrificing quality in care and education.
Separation anxiety . . .
The teacher's goal is to make each child feel welcome and comfortable as quickly as possible. Note that the teacher's first priority is the incoming child and children already involved with activities. As much as they would like, they cannot spend undue time in conversation with the parent. Also, a parent returning to the room during session may recreate separation issues for the child already involved in an activity.
End of the day reunions . . . they love you best!
At the end of the day, staff, parents, and children are all likely to be tired. Children usually have had enough of being in a group. Parents no doubt like a warm welcome from their child and a smooth and pleasant exit from the center. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, this may not always happen. Children are complex human beings. They often act as social scientists, using their behavior to experiment with how the world works and their place in it. In the process, they will both delight us and cause us concern. In this instance, one thing is certain, you are the ones they love best -- they just sometimes have a funny way of showing it.