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  #1  
Old 07-12-2011, 09:29 AM
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Default Curriculum? A Few Home Daycare Questions

I am a parent looking at enrolling my 9-month-old daughter in a home daycare. She started out in a home daycare but due to concerns we moved her to a center. We love the center, but unfortunately it is now closing (there are no other centers in town). I'm not at all happy about having to move her again, but there isn't much we can do.

The new home daycare we're looking at seems very nice. She's got a great play area and there is also a nice outdoor play area. My concerns are these:
No daily reports are sent home
No curriculum; very little in the way of structured activities apart from coloring, games, etc.
There is a TV in the playroom.

Basically I wanted to feel out some of you providers to see what you thought. I'm not overly upset about the lack of daily reports. The ones we've gotten up until now have given us pretty limited information anyway and tend to always be the same. The new provider prefers to give her reports on the child's day to us at pickup and welcomes questions at that time. As far as curriculum goes, when we first started looking at daycares I was all about needing a curriculum. Now my perspective has changed somewhat. However, I don't want my child to be left behind in any way because she's not getting this at daycare. We do plan to enroll her in preschool when she is older. Finally, there's the TV. We don't allow our daughter to watch TV at home and will follow the AAP guidelines of no TV before age 2 (and then very limited after that) and would like to make sure those guidelines are followed at daycare as well. How do we broach this subject with the new provider?

Any advice is welcome. Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2011, 09:50 AM
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I've always thought the reports were stupid. LOL. Especially in a large group. What happens, is at the end of nap time, one teacher just throws in a bunch of info that may or may not have happened that day, then tosses it in the pile and moves on to the next one. The teachers are extremely busy, and don't have time to write a daily report, so they just stick whatever they have time on the sheet.

(other than incident reports, or medication I think those daily reports are a waste of a teacher's time)

I think what you should look at is, are the other kids happy? Do the other kids have fun? Are they friends? If you don't see a happy group, then it might not be the right place. If you have any gut feelings that it's not the right fit, keep looking. Ask your friends where their kids go. Ask complete strangers where their kids go. The exact, perfect place is out there. You just have to trust your instincts.

As I type this, I have five little girls playing hot chocolate store. They are having fun... I am not intervening. If they need something from me, they ask... but, otherwise, I'm staying out of it.

At nap time, we watch a movie every day.

My daughter is in college now, and she has some of the same friends she met when she was five months old. They've been friends for over 18 years. She's going to try a new church this week with a girl she's known since they were two years old.

If I teach nothing else in my daycare, as long as they know how to make friends, and take care of their own needs, I've done my job.

*however..I do a loosely based curriculum here, so I can't pretend we just play all day and the kids just flutter happily through the day. We do opened ended art projects, and the kids all learn to recognize letters and numbers, and other basics before school starts*
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:57 AM
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I am a parent looking at enrolling my 9-month-old daughter in a home daycare. She started out in a home daycare but due to concerns we moved her to a center. We love the center, but unfortunately it is now closing (there are no other centers in town). I'm not at all happy about having to move her again, but there isn't much we can do.

The new home daycare we're looking at seems very nice. She's got a great play area and there is also a nice outdoor play area. My concerns are these:
• No daily reports are sent home
• No curriculum; very little in the way of structured activities apart from coloring, games, etc.
• There is a TV in the playroom.

Basically I wanted to feel out some of you providers to see what you thought. I'm not overly upset about the lack of daily reports. The ones we've gotten up until now have given us pretty limited information anyway and tend to always be the same. The new provider prefers to give her reports on the child's day to us at pickup and welcomes questions at that time. As far as curriculum goes, when we first started looking at daycares I was all about needing a curriculum. Now my perspective has changed somewhat. However, I don't want my child to be left behind in any way because she's not getting this at daycare. We do plan to enroll her in preschool when she is older. Finally, there's the TV. We don't allow our daughter to watch TV at home and will follow the AAP guidelines of no TV before age 2 (and then very limited after that) and would like to make sure those guidelines are followed at daycare as well. How do we broach this subject with the new provider?

Any advice is welcome. Thank you in advance.
I think that wanting a curriculum for a 9 month old is a bit much.
This is what I tell my parents...

I feel that it is more important to teach a child during these ages from birth to 5 the more important things that they won't get taugh in school. (Your child will have 13 years to learn while in school.)

few examples,
how to make good decisions, choices,
Learn how to tell the difference between good and bad
how to be a good person
how to have self confidence and believe in yourself with all that you do
how to be a friend
how to treat your friends and be a good member of society
how to communicate and understand directions
how to be trusting
exploring their feelings and learning how to cope with thier emotions

children learn best through play during these ages..
I feel that as long as every child has the opportubity to be read to, sung to, listened to, talked to and loved throughout thier day they are in a great place.

As for the TV. I have a huge TV in my DC room and it is used for our music. We do get to watch educatiuonal videos from time to time, but never cartoons.
I would question what is being watched and for how long. I don't think that TV is completley bad, it's what you are watching that matters....

good luck hope this helps some..
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:00 AM
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As a home dc provider I totally hear you. Your concerns are valid. When a parent comes to look at my home for possible enrollment they often ask me how much tv do the kids get. (because my dc is in the middle of my home, the tv is always in plain view) my responce is that they get an hour a day. Infants do not need tv nor are they really able to focus or understand it. I think tv should be limitied in a dc setting, it really contributes to inactivity and laziness with kids. If she is a good dc provider she will have a truthful answer for you. You have every right to express your concerns.
As for cirriculum, I wouldnt worry to much. Your baby will develope just fine on her own. That provider should be doing things to foster that growth and development. There is a lot of emphasis placed daycares having cirriculum (almost to much IMO). I am asked a lot if I have a program or not or if we have a structured schedule. These are valid questions and you should not hesitate to ask.
I think daily notes can be helpful but I always touch base with the parents each day as well. I agreee they can get to looking the same after a while.
I would encourage you to have a talkwith this provider and clear the air with her, after all she will be a big part of your babies life and you dont want a lot of baggage hanging around!
I hope I have been of some help. Good luck with every thing I would love to know howit all turns out.

Last edited by Michael; 07-14-2011 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:12 AM
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I should have stated that more clearly. In no way do I think a 9-month-old needs a curriculum. I'm talking about when she gets older (preschool age). We want this to be a long-term situation. I do believe she will learn the most by playing at this age. Our former DCP was all about doing little exercises and such with our daughter, yet kept the babies confined for much of the day. We loved the center because she had a huge room to roam freely in and seemed to develop much better physically there than she did at the old place. This new daycare has a huge playroom and it's one of the things we really like - she'll have plenty of space to roam and play!

We do have a friend who used this daycare for her daughters. She speaks very highly of this provider about everything from the food to potty training. She doesn't ever remember seeing the kids just sitting around and watching TV. They were more likely to be playing Uno or coloring or things like that when she picked them up.

Last edited by Michael; 07-14-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:19 AM
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I should have stated that more clearly. In no way do I think a 9-month-old needs a curriculum. I'm talking about when she gets older (preschool age). We want this to be a long-term situation. I do believe she will learn the most by playing at this age. Our former DCP was all about doing little exercises and such with our daughter, yet kept the babies confined for much of the day. We loved the center because she had a huge room to roam freely in and seemed to develop much better physically there than she did at the old place. This new daycare has a huge playroom and it's one of the things we really like - she'll have plenty of space to roam and play!

We do have a friend who used this daycare for her daughters. She speaks very highly of this provider about everything from the food to potty training. She doesn't ever remember seeing the kids just sitting around and watching TV. They were more likely to be playing Uno or coloring or things like that when she picked them up.
I see what you are saying... it sounds like this place might work out for a period of time, but then you want your child to have a place to learn as well. I understand what you are saying and its good of you to look at her care for the long haul. Change is hard on children, I think harder on the parents.

From the sounds of it, the friend that you have gave good remarks about the provider. I think that I would contact the provider and let her know your concerns... The most important thing you need to have with any adult in your childs life is open communication. You will have nothing without it!!

You are the voice for your child and you know what's best for your child too!

After talking with the provider if you are ok with her answers then give it a shot!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:20 AM
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Daily reports are overrated. I think that her verbally telling you and welcoming questions is a far better option. It gives you insight to her schedule and keeps the lines of communication open with the provider.

Curriculum. I would want basic learning ABCs, numbers, art time, music played, etc. If you plan on preschool, she will do her pre-K learning there. For a child before preschool age, I would want top notch CARE.

TV time is subjective and varies from daycare to daycare. Here, my dc kids watch about 5-15 minutes while I make lunch. I may pop it on for 15 minutes at the end of the day to calm them down so pick up time is not complete chaos. Occasionally we will watch a movie. Today we are under a heat advisory. I called a PJ & Movie day. The kids are not forced to sit down and watch the movie. I put on a G rated movie in the playroom and the kids play and watch. I don't have one child who sits in front of the TV for the entire length of the movie. Never have. My parents are comfortable with that and knew it up front from day 1.

The key to all your concerns is COMMUNICATION. Don't ask us, ask her!
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:30 AM
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You're right, we do need to ask her these things, and we will. I do want the lines of communication to be open. We put off expressing our concerns at our first daycare and that did not turn out very well for us.

Mostly I just wanted to see if anything raised any red flags for any of you. We will be asking about ABCs, colors, numbers, etc. and also whether the TV is just used for short periods of time and special occasions, or whether it is on in the background all day (which we definitely would not want).

Thanks again for your insight. It's greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:04 AM
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Sorry to hear your only center in town is closing. Personally, I think it's much easier for a baby to adjust to a new daycare than older kids. I personally would pass on the daycare you're describing for several reasons. In our state, those daily sheets are a licensing requirement - it tracks feeding amounts and diapering to parents and nap times - this helps parents track if something goes wrong with feeding or gastro and to report to their doctors during regular checkups but the main point is to report child's progress to parents. It would be too difficult for a teacher to remember this information at the end of the child's day at pick up, even if there were only 1 or 2 babies. Teachers are supposed to be putting that information at each diaper change and after each meal - not waiting until nap time. In the centers in our area, teachers complete this info immediately - I've witnessed it. The no curriculum thing is a hard one, because I'm a big believer that children should have a curriculum regardless of age. It helps them with transition, variety, skill sets - tummy time, crawling, block building, shape sorting - may sound trivial, but they're important milestones that your doctor wants to see your child achieving on time when asked at your appointments. While coloring and games are important, actual teaching and circle time are important as well. TVs aren't allowed in our state as part of the curriculum. I'd be very leary of a daycare that had one in the playroom where the daycare kids were all day - odds are they're using them as babysitters more regularly than you'd like. I know a local daycare where they have a movie and popcorn every Friday. Another one plays Sesame Street every morning as part of her curriculum (not allowed with licensed providers). Every friend I have that used a home based daycare moved to a center for preschool - not because the home daycare didn't provide "preschool" curriculum - it's because every one of their kids were behind where they should have been during their kindergarten prescreening and all of them were recommended to headstart. The parents all opted out and chose center based preschool instead and every one of their kids got caught up within 6 months of being there. I don't hire a babysitter - I hired center daycare to provider care and to teach and and measure my child's learning so they are ready for kindergarten, both academically and socially. There are home providers that run smaller center types out of their own homes with seperate areas, etc - you just have to find them. I would get recommendations from your neighbors and co-workers. If you have to drive out of town for work, maybe you could try finding a center close to your work or on your way to work, but outside of your town. Many people I know do this and are happy with the arrangement - they're able to take their kids to appts and go out to lunch with them and attend daycare events more easily. Good luck with your search. Just remember that you already found red flags with this provider - best to move on to someone else.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:21 AM
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I love all the previous posts but just wanted to add, don't forget that you can work with your daughter yourself as well when she gets to preschool age. Its not hard to research what is expected of kinder or preschool kids and you can supplement at home very easily with workbooks and other educational tools. I think you will find though that MANY preschool and kinder teachers list of "things to know" almost exclusively include social skills, handling emotions, basic care of self like knowing how to put a jacket on. Most teachers would rather have a child that is emotionally ready to learn than a child that knows all the ABCs yet cannot follow basic instructions and still throw tantrums and doesn't play well with others. Do you see what I mean? Like another poster said, there are many years for her to learn the book stuff and in addition, there's no reason that you can't find fun ways at home to work on things. You don't have to be a teacher to have access to books and websites that offer ideas on how to learn colors and shapes and whatnot.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:55 AM
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I must admit that when I first started doping home dc I did daily notes but as time went on I stopped b/c the parents stopped reading them/taking them home,One even said that they just stay in her car or get tossed, or she just looked at it here and left them. I fthey need something I send a note home but thats not very often. One tip is to find out what ages that provider takes, for example I only take until 3 y/o. That will tell you a lot! SOunds like that provider has a great play room.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:57 AM
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Excellent point about working with her myself. We already read to her a ton so I think we are on the right track there. She will crawl across the floor for a stack of books before anything else (well, except maybe the dog, haha). I pump exclusively and every morning we sit on the floor and read for 20+ minutes while I pump. She loves it! That's kind of off-topic, but I guess I was just thinking about how I was at home with my mom and never lacked for that part of it - numbers, ABCs, colors, etc. (my mom read to me constantly, too, and I learned to read at a very young age) - but I did lack social skills when I went to kindergarten. I think as parents now we're trained to think that our children need to be taught from a very young age rather than learning on their own a lot of the time. It's ingrained in us that we'd better get them started young with the book learning if they're going to stand a chance. But the more I think about it, the less that is starting to make sense to me. Sorry for rambling. It's really helping me to get all these thoughts out!
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:20 PM
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We always, ALWAYS look at her daily reports. I like to track her eating and sleeping schedules, amount eaten, and diaper changes at home, along with my pumping record, so every night I transfer the information off the sheet we are given at daycare to our home report. I will look into what is required here in my state regarding daily reports.

I really am heartbroken that our center is closing. I felt really great about dropping her off there and she was excited every morning to see the teacher and other kids. This is a very small town so there are only 8 licensed providers. I work here in town and my husband does drive out of town but to an even smaller town than this one and I don't really know many people there. I'd rather keep her here in town where I am close by.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:07 PM
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We always, ALWAYS look at her daily reports. I like to track her eating and sleeping schedules, amount eaten, and diaper changes at home, along with my pumping record, so every night I transfer the information off the sheet we are given at daycare to our home report. I will look into what is required here in my state regarding daily reports.

I really am heartbroken that our center is closing. I felt really great about dropping her off there and she was excited every morning to see the teacher and other kids. This is a very small town so there are only 8 licensed providers. I work here in town and my husband does drive out of town but to an even smaller town than this one and I don't really know many people there. I'd rather keep her here in town where I am close by.
There are daily reports you can print off for free that just have checkmarks. Things like "last BM", or "How many ounces she ate". I bet if you printed them off, she'd be happy to fill them out. It's hard to get in the habit of doing it, but she probably wouldn't mind at all.

Otherwise, just give the verbal communication a shot and see how it goes.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:22 PM
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Okay, so when asked about structured activities she said she doesn't do any, she just lets the kids play. She also said she doesn't let the kids watch TV often but when she does it's Nickelodeon or Disney.
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:44 PM
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I would pass on a dc that doesn't offer structure. I would also NOT enroll my child in a DC that allows viewing of those two channels. Especially nickelodeon. Those two channels show horrible shows that offer no educational programs I would think teach anything.

I take back my previous post an keep looking for another DC.

Just because it's dinsney or nick does nor mean it's child appropriate
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:45 PM
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everyone has very valid points. I just want to point out that just because daycare rooms have tvs doesn't mean children watch them. I have one, but my own kids use the room after (right now during summer vac.) but I use it more as a noise factor. I know it sounds funny but some kids just love the noise from the tv, don't ask I have no idea why.

I love talking with my parents at pick up time thats why I don't think you need a paper report, by talking to your provider you get to know each other and you can work together if there is a problem.

as for cirriculum when they are older, I wouldn't worry too much, your child won't be behind unless there are some issues. Education keeps being shoved down the kids throats so early that they lack other stuff like sharing, making friends....

and remember always go with your gut!!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:47 PM
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I would pass on a dc that doesn't offer structure. I would also NOT enroll my child in a DC that allows viewing of those two channels. Especially nickelodeon. Those two channels show horrible shows that offer no educational programs I would think teach anything.

I take back my previous post an keep looking for another DC.

Just because it's dinsney or nick does nor mean it's child appropriate

those are awful channels for littles, I don't even like it when my own older kids watch them but they are way older. Doesn't anyone watch barney anymore.
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:07 PM
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No structure whatsoever? Does she not have a daily routine for meals, naps and whatnot?
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:41 PM
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Default Yes, I see red flags.

I would not enroll my child with a provider that didn't have structured activities or much of a schedule. There are times of day to "let them play" but generally kids do well with routine and schedules.

I also wouldn't care for the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon viewing. I don't let my kids watch that at home. Especially my little ones. We Netflix shows we want to watch but most stuff on those channels are mindrotting garbage.

I mean, are there any other providers you can talk to who are more in line with what you're looking for?

As far as progress reports, though, just print one off and ask any provider to do them. I'd fill them out for any diaper aged kid I had full time if a parent asked me to, but I don't currently fill them out. I usually care for only school aged or preschool aged kids (I prefer not younger than 3, and I prefer potty trained).
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Old 07-12-2011, 02:47 PM
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I would pass on a no structure daycare. There should be a routine in place that is followed everyday. Drop off, circle time, snack, free play, outside time, storytime, lunch, nap, snack, outside time, pick up. Its basic but it lets the child know what is coming next. Kids thrive under a routine.

Kids also like activities. Sitting in the same playroom day after day doing free play constantly would become stagnant. Kids need new opportunities to explore, learn, & grow. You want someone who offers art time, music time, outside time, etc. It offers her opportunities to learn naturally without curriculum.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:34 PM
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JenNJ - YES, that is exactly what I want. I don't think that's really too much to ask?

I am not getting a good feeling about this at all now. The TV comment really puts me off. If she had said that sometimes the kids watch Sesame Street or had a movie day, I'd be fine with that. But Nickelodeon is basically junk, right? (I don't know, I've never watched it.) There's an ad in this week's paper for another daycare and we're going there to visit tomorrow. I had to convince my husband since it is a mile out of town and he is worried about getting there in the winter. I just think we at least need to give it a try. Sadly, we're kind of in panic mode here, because with the center closing there are a lot of families who are going to be scrambling to find care and we don't want to be the last ones standing and have no care at all.
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:07 PM
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JenNJ - YES, that is exactly what I want. I don't think that's really too much to ask?

I am not getting a good feeling about this at all now. The TV comment really puts me off. If she had said that sometimes the kids watch Sesame Street or had a movie day, I'd be fine with that. But Nickelodeon is basically junk, right? (I don't know, I've never watched it.) There's an ad in this week's paper for another daycare and we're going there to visit tomorrow. I had to convince my husband since it is a mile out of town and he is worried about getting there in the winter. I just think we at least need to give it a try. Sadly, we're kind of in panic mode here, because with the center closing there are a lot of families who are going to be scrambling to find care and we don't want to be the last ones standing and have no care at all.
have you talked wtih the center to see if they are giving out referrals? Or maybe talk to the other parents to see where they will be sending their child???

Don't panic, I am sure things will work out just fine. You are doing a great job by researching all you can with DC for your child... you found the perfect site to come to for you to ask questions.

Like someone else said follow your gut!! Mommy knows best....
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Old 07-12-2011, 04:28 PM
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Are you sure she means NO structure? Or just that they don't have a structured curriculum?

Surely they must do everything at the same time each day. (within reason) and eat, nap, clean, free play...??? I can't imagine just WINGING it all day.

Like nap... I can make it til about 1:00 p.m if something is going on... but, somewhere between 12:30-1:00 I realize why naptime is so important to daycare providers. I'm pretty sure I tell all the kids too.... "I can't wait til nap time!"
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Old 07-13-2011, 06:48 AM
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Meal/snack times are structured and there is an afternoon nap time. There are no scheduled activities such as circle time, story time, outdoor time, crafts, etc., like JenNJ mentioned. I think we're going to pass on this one, based on lack of activities and the TV issue. I'm hopeful about the one we are visiting today. There is also a chance that our center will stay open but we're unsure about what to do there. While we don't want to move her, if we wait around we could be stuck with no care at all three months from now. I'm going to have a chat with the director about it when I pick my daughter up this afternoon.
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Old 07-14-2011, 01:43 AM
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How did the one you visited go? I also would steer clear of this one. I am all for free play and kids being kids, but structure of some sort is a must IMO.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:35 AM
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The second visit went much better. I got a much better vibe there. I don't know how to describe it. It was a very inviting environment and I instantly got a good feeling from the provider and her family. This one does have a more structured day and a curriculum for the older kids. She said the TV is usually on for a little while in the morning during arrival time to keep her own son occupied (she admitted it was a bad habit), but after that it is turned off. They had a neat outdoor play area. Interestingly, my daughter seemed to feel right at home there, too. She got right down on the floor and started playing with a neat toy. At the other one we visited, we tried to put her down to play but she wanted to cling to us. It could have just been that she was in a different mood, of course. I'm an idiot and forgot to ask about the daily reports but it's pretty low on my list of priorities right now so I'm not worried about it. I've read through her policies and contract and everything looks good. Now we just have to make a decision. There's so much uncertainty regarding whether our center is actually closing or not. We hate to pull her and then have it stay open, but at the same time we don't want to wait around too long and then miss a chance at getting into this daycare. I feel like we're between a rock and a hard place. I'd go with my gut, but it's pulling me in two different directions!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:03 AM
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I'm glad you felt more comfortable there!!!
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:53 AM
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Every friend I have that used a home based daycare moved to a center for preschool - not because the home daycare didn't provide "preschool" curriculum - it's because every one of their kids were behind where they should have been during their kindergarten prescreening and all of them were recommended to headstart. The parents all opted out and chose center based preschool instead and every one of their kids got caught up within 6 months of being there.
If they all "caught up" in six months they weren't behind in the first place.
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:44 AM
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You have every right to have your individual expectations for your child at daycare. As a parent you are your child's advocate and understandably want the very best for them. It is extremely important to have an open line of communication with your childcare provider whether it is center based care or a private in home program. When you interview for any placement, look for the specific things that will and can be a deal breaker for you. Ask questions! But please understand that a program does not have to change its daily routine, policies, or curriculum to meet your needs.

It is very hard for a child at any age to make frequent changes. A child develops a trust with their caregiver and so do you as a parent. The caregiver needs to learn each child's needs and will learn specific ways to comfort a child as they get to know them. At 9 months of age, it is more important for them to be in a nurturing environment where their physical and emotional needs are met. As their development progresses, your child will move forward in different areas and will need stimulation to help them grow.

There are positives for centers and home based programs. Centers (at least the one I was at) are geared for specific age groups. Infants with infants, toddlers with toddlers, etc... The staff work with that age group and work with those areas of development. There are different staff members that care for your child during the day. The turn over is more frequent due to work schedules and time limits. Your infant is exposed to the development of the other infants as well. A lead teacher in my state can be in charge of up to 8 infants, 4 by themselves. It can be challenging to give each child the individual attention they need when they need it and want it.

Home based child care is different and meets the needs of a child in a different way. Your child is exposed to a mixed age group. Because the group of children can range from school age to infant, your child is allowed to try the next developmental stage and even if they don't participate in that activity, they observe what is happening and a lot of learning goes on. It has been my experience that my toddlers move ahead quicker in their development because of that they are allowed to try. My toddlers (12 mo - 2 years old), have their own journals to color in because the other children have them on a daily basis. We have circle time and learn songs and finger plays, even though they can't talk they can dance and do the movement with us. They know it even though they can't say it. Their language tends to develop quicker for me. My preschoolers read books to the younger children and the younger ones strive to do the same. They can't read words but they "read" the pictures to my older ones. We play outside and my littlest ones ride the bikes (by pushing with their feet they are too short to reach the pedals), push trucks, write with chalk, run, roll and play. You get the idea.

The notes can be a big deal to parents with infants, I understand that. If that is important communicate that, but remember with a home based child care provider you will get their individual time at the end and beginning of each day to talk about your child. Your provider will listen and give feedback. If they don't and you need that, it isn't a good fit. You need to remember that caregiver (center or home based), is responsible for more than your child. They need to be attentive and supervise everyone in their care. I do a monthly newsletter or sometimes every two months depending on how busy we are to let my parents know what we are doing. But that is just my program, the best part of daycare is finding the unique place that fits you best.

A parent needs to be open minded but have specific expectations for the care of their child. You sound like a loving parent that wants a quality program for their child. But remember a child's development progresses in a certain manner and can't be pushed beyond its limits. A child's development grows in so many different ways, it needs to happen in little steps. They need to master one level before moving to the next and no steps can be missed. Also they will regress in one area as they move ahead in another.

I don't want anyone to think I think center care is inferior to home based care but I made the change to develop my own program because of the stringent scheduling and the pressure to conform the children to what the board of directors felt was most important and that was $$$$. I could provide a program at my home, developed around the needs of the children in my care. If we didn't want to paint at 10:00 we don't have to. If I don't want to base an entire week of curriculum on one subject I don't have to. I could expose the children in my care to different cultures and the foods they have as well as celebrating holidays and expanding their world. It just works better for me.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:20 AM
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If they all "caught up" in six months they weren't behind in the first place.
Yes, they were behind according to the school district's voluntary kindergarten prescreening sessions - and it's their program, not yours, so they made the call and that's what they said. I believe licensed teachers who've been doing that job for 10+ years over a daycare's opinion anyday.

How do you figure a 3.5 year old not knowing any letters, numbers, colors or shapes and can't write their own name isn't behind for their age? (without any teaching beyond 3.5 on these areas)

Yes, it's possible to catch up in 6 months, because the headstart program is designed just for that, academically speaking, social aside for now. School starts in September and is done in June - that's roughly 9 months - there's been counless numbers of children who were determined by the prescreening to be behind and joined the head start program and were caught up by June in time for Kindergarten. So you're saying that every one of those teachers and their system is wrong? Do you believe headstart is just a scam or something? Then why are states moving to 4K if they don't believe in early academic and social intervention for kindergarten readiness? That's really the whole premise of the 4K program. Headstart is prescreened for at age 3.5 in many school districts and those children deemed to have a mild learning delay in certain areas (mentioned before) or social delays are referred to that program.

These particular parents I was talking about chose not to enroll in the head start program and choose to leave home based daycare and joined a center based daycare instead and all of their kids got caught up and they were thrilled, because they were voluntarily retested the following year to be sure they didn't need the summer session. Their daycares all tried to tell them their kids weren't behind while the school district could have sent their kids to special education because of the severity of learning delays these children had. I personally talked to these parents and they were beside themselves for choosing a "babysitter" versus a center curriculum based daycare with preschool program. Another thing, I've spoken with teachers who told me they know which children were referred to headstart and parents didn't enroll them because it stays in the child's folder - I was told that virtually every time, they're the kids who don't know any letters, numbers, colors or shapes and cannot write their own name in Kindergarten. Every packet I've every gotten for Kindergarten has said the school district wants the kids to know a certain pool of things. And doctor's screen for these items during wellness checkups.

How do you figure on your thinking? You baffle me sometimes - like only your opinion is the correct opinion. You were a nurse - you've never been a licensed grade school or high school or college teacher. I think their expertise far outweighs yours.

I don't want this OP making a wrong decision and I'm glad that she decided to pass on that daycare. I think she made the right decision.
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Old 07-14-2011, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Doodlebug View Post
You have every right to have your individual expectations for your child at daycare. As a parent you are your child's advocate and understandably want the very best for them. It is extremely important to have an open line of communication with your childcare provider whether it is center based care or a private in home program. When you interview for any placement, look for the specific things that will and can be a deal breaker for you. Ask questions! But please understand that a program does not have to change its daily routine, policies, or curriculum to meet your needs.

It is very hard for a child at any age to make frequent changes. A child develops a trust with their caregiver and so do you as a parent. The caregiver needs to learn each child's needs and will learn specific ways to comfort a child as they get to know them. At 9 months of age, it is more important for them to be in a nurturing environment where their physical and emotional needs are met. As their development progresses, your child will move forward in different areas and will need stimulation to help them grow.

There are positives for centers and home based programs. Centers (at least the one I was at) are geared for specific age groups. Infants with infants, toddlers with toddlers, etc... The staff work with that age group and work with those areas of development. There are different staff members that care for your child during the day. The turn over is more frequent due to work schedules and time limits. Your infant is exposed to the development of the other infants as well. A lead teacher in my state can be in charge of up to 8 infants, 4 by themselves. It can be challenging to give each child the individual attention they need when they need it and want it.

Home based child care is different and meets the needs of a child in a different way. Your child is exposed to a mixed age group. Because the group of children can range from school age to infant, your child is allowed to try the next developmental stage and even if they don't participate in that activity, they observe what is happening and a lot of learning goes on. It has been my experience that my toddlers move ahead quicker in their development because of that they are allowed to try. My toddlers (12 mo - 2 years old), have their own journals to color in because the other children have them on a daily basis. We have circle time and learn songs and finger plays, even though they can't talk they can dance and do the movement with us. They know it even though they can't say it. Their language tends to develop quicker for me. My preschoolers read books to the younger children and the younger ones strive to do the same. They can't read words but they "read" the pictures to my older ones. We play outside and my littlest ones ride the bikes (by pushing with their feet they are too short to reach the pedals), push trucks, write with chalk, run, roll and play. You get the idea.

The notes can be a big deal to parents with infants, I understand that. If that is important communicate that, but remember with a home based child care provider you will get their individual time at the end and beginning of each day to talk about your child. Your provider will listen and give feedback. If they don't and you need that, it isn't a good fit. You need to remember that caregiver (center or home based), is responsible for more than your child. They need to be attentive and supervise everyone in their care. I do a monthly newsletter or sometimes every two months depending on how busy we are to let my parents know what we are doing. But that is just my program, the best part of daycare is finding the unique place that fits you best.

A parent needs to be open minded but have specific expectations for the care of their child. You sound like a loving parent that wants a quality program for their child. But remember a child's development progresses in a certain manner and can't be pushed beyond its limits. A child's development grows in so many different ways, it needs to happen in little steps. They need to master one level before moving to the next and no steps can be missed. Also they will regress in one area as they move ahead in another.

I don't want anyone to think I think center care is inferior to home based care but I made the change to develop my own program because of the stringent scheduling and the pressure to conform the children to what the board of directors felt was most important and that was $$$$. I could provide a program at my home, developed around the needs of the children in my care. If we didn't want to paint at 10:00 we don't have to. If I don't want to base an entire week of curriculum on one subject I don't have to. I could expose the children in my care to different cultures and the foods they have as well as celebrating holidays and expanding their world. It just works better for me.
One of my points, exactly. In Kindergarten, children don't have the choice. The schedule is the schedule and it's critical that children understand that they have to mind that and transition to the next part of the curriculum.
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Old 07-14-2011, 12:25 PM
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9 month old??? Curriculum??? Are you kidding me? What is it exactly that you are looking for? If this is the only center in town and they are closing, clearly you live in a small community. Finding that "perfect" daycare that is going to do everything you want them to do isn't very likely.

Sounds to me like you need to weigh out the pros and cons of this daycare. Maybe you even need to interview several others just so you can see how each are run and what you like about one over the other, etc.

I understand your concerns regarding TV...everyone's lifestyle is different and so is everyones daycare. I would consider talking to the provider and asking how often children are permitted to watch TV and what programs they allow. I highly doubt a 9 month old is going to watch TV anyway but if this is a substancial concern, address it.
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Old 07-14-2011, 03:07 PM
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9 month old??? Curriculum??? Are you kidding me? What is it exactly that you are looking for? If this is the only center in town and they are closing, clearly you live in a small community. Finding that "perfect" daycare that is going to do everything you want them to do isn't very likely.

Sounds to me like you need to weigh out the pros and cons of this daycare. Maybe you even need to interview several others just so you can see how each are run and what you like about one over the other, etc.

I understand your concerns regarding TV...everyone's lifestyle is different and so is everyones daycare. I would consider talking to the provider and asking how often children are permitted to watch TV and what programs they allow. I highly doubt a 9 month old is going to watch TV anyway but if this is a substancial concern, address it.
Um, I don't even know how to respond to your post, wdmmom. If you had actually read the whole thread, you would know that I do not expect a curriculum for my 9-month-old. I am choosing a daycare with a curriculum with her future years in mind. I see reading here that "curriculum for a 9-month-old" was picked up and spouted in another thread, too. And not only have I weighed the pros and cons of this daycare, I have interviewed with another daycare that I liked much better. My goodness, the conclusions that have been jumped to! Thank you to those of you who have been helpful, anyway. I really appreciate it.

Last edited by Michael; 07-14-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:16 PM
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9 month old??? Curriculum??? Are you kidding me? What is it exactly that you are looking for? If this is the only center in town and they are closing, clearly you live in a small community. Finding that "perfect" daycare that is going to do everything you want them to do isn't very likely.

Sounds to me like you need to weigh out the pros and cons of this daycare. Maybe you even need to interview several others just so you can see how each are run and what you like about one over the other, etc.

I understand your concerns regarding TV...everyone's lifestyle is different and so is everyones daycare. I would consider talking to the provider and asking how often children are permitted to watch TV and what programs they allow. I highly doubt a 9 month old is going to watch TV anyway but if this is a substancial concern, address it.
Yikes! Did you read the thread? She said curriculum but in follow up posts, she stated she was really looking for basic teaching, structured activities (art, music, outdoor exploration, etc.) and a routine. Don't attack her for being new to the subject of daycare. She is a first time mom to an infant and does not have the daycare "language" down yet.
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:30 PM
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[quote=How do you figure on your thinking? You baffle me sometimes - like only your opinion is the correct opinion. You were a nurse - you've never been a licensed grade school or high school or college teacher. I think their expertise far outweighs yours.[/QUOTE]

I agree, I am also baffled by her responses at times. Your way of doing things may work great for you.. But that does not mean it is the best way or only way of doing things and that is how you come across..
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Old 07-14-2011, 05:43 PM
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How do you figure on your thinking? You baffle me sometimes - like only your opinion is the correct opinion. You were a nurse - you've never been a licensed grade school or high school or college teacher. I think their expertise far outweighs yours.


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I agree, I am also baffled by her responses at times. Your way of doing things may work great for you.. But that does not mean it is the best way or only way of doing things and that is how you come across..
Ummm is this for me?

I "am" a Nurse.

From your first post you said you were planning on putting your baby in preschool so why the concern about curriculum for your current day care?

You said "As far as curriculum goes, when we first started looking at daycares I was all about needing a curriculum. Now my perspective has changed somewhat. However, I don't want my child to be left behind in any way because she's not getting this at daycare. We do plan to enroll her in preschool when she is older."

That's the part that confuses me.

You don't want her "left behind" in any way because she's not getting this at daycare.

To me this sounds like "what curriculum do you have for my infant?"

When providers hear that... they KNOW what that means.

Last edited by Michael; 07-14-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 07-14-2011, 06:18 PM
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First of all, the two unregistered posts you just quoted were not me (the OP). Secondly, you seem to be looking for a fight and I'm really not in the mood. Do you have anything helpful to add or do you just want to point and laugh at the stupid parent?
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:32 PM
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I see that you're struggling with the decision to move to a new daycare because you're uncertain if your current center will stay open. Before I started doing daycare, we were in this situation twice. The first time, my daughter was just about a year old and we were seeing signs that things weren't going so well for our provider (long story). We decided to start looking to see what was out there "just in case". Well... the "just in case" scenario came and she gave us one week's notice. Fortunately we found a daycare that we loved and they agreed to take us on after an interview on short notice. The second time came a couple years later with several month's notice but the end date was not determined because it was based on when our provider was offered a position that she would accept outside of her home. We decided to find another daycare before we had to scramble. We felt bad leaving, but felt with our daughter beginning preschool that same year, it would be best for her to be transitioned to a new place before starting school.

Anyway... my point is, you may be better off finding something now, otherwise you may be scrambling later. Just my two cents.

Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:27 PM
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I am a parent looking at enrolling my 9-month-old daughter in a home daycare. She started out in a home daycare but due to concerns we moved her to a center. We love the center, but unfortunately it is now closing (there are no other centers in town). I'm not at all happy about having to move her again, but there isn't much we can do.

The new home daycare we're looking at seems very nice. She's got a great play area and there is also a nice outdoor play area. My concerns are these:
No daily reports are sent home
No curriculum; very little in the way of structured activities apart from coloring, games, etc.
There is a TV in the playroom.

Basically I wanted to feel out some of you providers to see what you thought. I'm not overly upset about the lack of daily reports. The ones we've gotten up until now have given us pretty limited information anyway and tend to always be the same. The new provider prefers to give her reports on the child's day to us at pickup and welcomes questions at that time. As far as curriculum goes, when we first started looking at daycares I was all about needing a curriculum. Now my perspective has changed somewhat. However, I don't want my child to be left behind in any way because she's not getting this at daycare. We do plan to enroll her in preschool when she is older. Finally, there's the TV. We don't allow our daughter to watch TV at home and will follow the AAP guidelines of no TV before age 2 (and then very limited after that) and would like to make sure those guidelines are followed at daycare as well. How do we broach this subject with the new provider?

Any advice is welcome. Thank you in advance.
Nine month olds don't need a curriculum. What are you worried she will miss out on, or not get because there is no curriculum?

Did you ask questions while you were there? IE: Why is there a tv in the room.. how much is it used?

I have no curriculum for infants, I think the whole idea is absurd personally. Let's see.. they play, they eat, they nap, we go for walks and play outside, we read very simple books. We are constantly talking and interacting. Whatever naturally comes from the activity we're doing. The most structured I get with kids that age is playing with blocks, etc. We do have the tv on sometimes, sometimes it's on an actual show, but more often than not I have it on a music station. We clap, sing and dance with the music. At Christmas I had the "fireplace channel" on..lol. It was nice and relaxing.

I much prefer face to face discussion about a child's day. I used to fill out daily journals until my hand hurt, with real information about the child's day. I invited parents to use the journal to communicate if they wanted to as well. (Reminders of days the child would be away, did they have a rotten night's sleep.. whatever.) After the first week of care I don't think the journals were even read. They end up being nothing but a waste of the provider's time. Talking to parents is far more valuable.
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:36 PM
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It depends on what you are looking for.

I do not do curriculum, and I won't. I am not a teacher. Also I only watch until preschool age (my daughters will go outside the home for preschool as well) because I am not a teacher. If you are worried about what she is getting once she is preschool age, why not go to a preschool at that point??

I DO have scheduled meals and naps, circle time, art and crafts, and we do work on letters, numbers, colors, shapes etc, large and fine motor skills, silly songs, tons of stories, outside time etc! So just because I don'd do 'curriculum' doesn't mean we aren't continuously learning. I want my girls to know letters, numbers, etc before they get to preschool and do the same for the DCK's. BUT if it is wonderful weather one week or something, we will be outside all day! Because it is fun, and once school starts kids don't get to do that.

I turn off the TV once all of our friends arrive around 8:30 (my girls watch prior. Honestly I am not anti-tv, and they have learned things from it as well, just another tool if you watch the right stuff. But in moderation, and not during the day) I do not do tv at all after that, and would not be comfortable doing so. I, too, would be concerned about that. Trust your gut! Good luck.

ETA- I do daily reports. I like them, also write needed supplies or issues about mood/behavior (not warranting a call or email) since I am many times too busy to have a discussion at pick up time. My parents read them, comment about food or diapers, etc.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:34 PM
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OP, don't be hesitant to ask whatever questions you have of any potential provider. That person will spend a lot of time with your child.. you have to be comfortable and happy with the arrangement. Hopefully the potential provider will understand that you are new to this. Ask away.. it's the only way you will find these things out, right? Also, read any information you are given carefully.

What you're looking for as far as scheduling and routine "should" be pretty common. To start with yes you said curriculum, and I responded to that earlier. However, I now see that you explained more what you meant.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:22 AM
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I wanted to add that if you're getting attitude out of the provider because you're asking reasonable questions, move on. Maybe the provider has been doing this for years but you haven't. The last thing you need is a provider who acts like or treats you like you're a PITA because you're new to daycare.

I see so often providers talking about respect, and I agree with it completely. But it's a two way street - if you don't feel respected by the provider then you don't want to be there.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:43 AM
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I got confused with all the "unregistered" posters...so, I've lost track of where this post got out of hand.

The OP wasn't looking for a curriculum for her infant. She's looking for a structured environment for her daughter to grow up in until school starts.

The OP doesn't want to keep moving her to different schools before the poor kid is in kindergarten. Her gut feeling was that this first lady just didn't have everything she wanted for her kids as they grow.

But, then the rest of the post got murky. I just wanted to say that I understood the OP's post in the first place.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:50 PM
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I've always thought the reports were stupid. LOL. Especially in a large group. What happens, is at the end of nap time, one teacher just throws in a bunch of info that may or may not have happened that day, then tosses it in the pile and moves on to the next one. The teachers are extremely busy, and don't have time to write a daily report, so they just stick whatever they have time on the sheet.

(other than incident reports, or medication I think those daily reports are a waste of a teacher's time)

I think what you should look at is, are the other kids happy? Do the other kids have fun? Are they friends? If you don't see a happy group, then it might not be the right place. If you have any gut feelings that it's not the right fit, keep looking. Ask your friends where their kids go. Ask complete strangers where their kids go. The exact, perfect place is out there. You just have to trust your instincts.

As I type this, I have five little girls playing hot chocolate store. They are having fun... I am not intervening. If they need something from me, they ask... but, otherwise, I'm staying out of it.

At nap time, we watch a movie every day.

My daughter is in college now, and she has some of the same friends she met when she was five months old. They've been friends for over 18 years. She's going to try a new church this week with a girl she's known since they were two years old.

If I teach nothing else in my daycare, as long as they know how to make friends, and take care of their own needs, I've done my job.

*however..I do a loosely based curriculum here, so I can't pretend we just play all day and the kids just flutter happily through the day. We do opened ended art projects, and the kids all learn to recognize letters and numbers, and other basics before school starts*
As a parent with a 1.5 year old in an in-home daycare I have to disagree about the daily reports. I get a daily report with the type of each diaper (wet/BM), what he ate that day at each meal and snack, and how long his nap was. This is also how she lets me know when she's running low on his supplies. All the other kids are older and don't get the daily report since they're potty trained and eating fine so I know she has the time to really keep track and gives me truthful information. And it is extremely helpful to me. It allows me to know if he'll need to go to bed earlier because he had a short nap, allows me to plan his dinner so I'm not duplicating (I'm big on nutrition and variety), and allows me to adjust his diet if he's constipated (which he's prone to). I also speak with his provider every time I pick him up but there's usually a couple of parents picking up at the same time and so its hard to get all the details. It also helps when DH picks him up because he often forgets what she told him I definitely don't think its a waste of time for a provider if they really put the effort into it. I would be concerned that a provider was overloaded or just getting burned out if they couldn't do something as simple as scribble a few notes on a piece of paper throughout the day.
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Old 08-08-2011, 01:51 PM
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Default Sorry, long one, but felt I neede to post, parents please read. Thanks.

I found this site awhile ago & love reading the posts, but have not really posted much. I am a daycare provider of 29 years & all of my parents love what I am doing. I don't do structured as they do get the educational learning in preschools or kindergarten. Yes, they do make parents think they need all that before they start school, which puts a lot of pressure on the kids to know everything before school. BUT it is life fundamentals these kids need to know before they start school. They need to know how to play nicely and get along with the other kids,how to behave & not have tantrums, how to be polite to people, have manners, which no one seems to want to teach their children anymore, how to tie their shoes, put on a coat & especially get the LOVE & Attention that they deserve at this age & know that what they do matters & can be proud of the things they do. They also need to have play so that they can use their imagination & have fun just playing. I do teach colors, numbers and that sort of thing, but I do it in a fun way that makes it fun for them to learn and they learn better that way. Kids need to be kids as long as they can, they grow up so fast and so much is expected of them these days. They have 13 years of schooling to go through,so why not let them have the first 5 years of their life be filled with just being a kid. I know I am rambling here, but I just believe children need the fundamentals of life first to help them cope with life when they do get to school & know how to act & get along with others. Social skills are so important and the learning will come in those 13 yrs of school. I just hate when I see a child being rude or misbehaving these days & parents do nothing about it. We are the people that take care of your children while you are out working, we give them love and care, but it is not our job to teach them everything, that is YOUR job as parents, and so many parents these days are just, not all of you, but some are so into yourselves and want us to bring up your child so you don't have to do the work! It is alot of work to raise a child and you have to give them your full attention, not just when it is convenient for you. A nine month old is really just finding out they are alive and taking everything in, they don't need structure at that age, they need love and a caring daycare provider that gives them attention and PLAYS with them. Wouldn't you much rather have your daughter well cared for, feed when is hungry and diaper changed when needed and felt loved, rather than being taught the abc's! I would and that is what I do. I love the little ones and they feel that they matter.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I found this site awhile ago & love reading the posts, but have not really posted much. I am a daycare provider of 29 years & all of my parents love what I am doing. I don't do structured as they do get the educational learning in preschools or kindergarten. Yes, they do make parents think they need all that before they start school, which puts a lot of pressure on the kids to know everything before school. BUT it is life fundamentals these kids need to know before they start school. They need to know how to play nicely and get along with the other kids,how to behave & not have tantrums, how to be polite to people, have manners, which no one seems to want to teach their children anymore, how to tie their shoes, put on a coat & especially get the LOVE & Attention that they deserve at this age & know that what they do matters & can be proud of the things they do. They also need to have play so that they can use their imagination & have fun just playing. I do teach colors, numbers and that sort of thing, but I do it in a fun way that makes it fun for them to learn and they learn better that way. Kids need to be kids as long as they can, they grow up so fast and so much is expected of them these days. They have 13 years of schooling to go through,so why not let them have the first 5 years of their life be filled with just being a kid. I know I am rambling here, but I just believe children need the fundamentals of life first to help them cope with life when they do get to school & know how to act & get along with others. Social skills are so important and the learning will come in those 13 yrs of school. I just hate when I see a child being rude or misbehaving these days & parents do nothing about it. We are the people that take care of your children while you are out working, we give them love and care, but it is not our job to teach them everything, that is YOUR job as parents, and so many parents these days are just, not all of you, but some are so into yourselves and want us to bring up your child so you don't have to do the work! It is alot of work to raise a child and you have to give them your full attention, not just when it is convenient for you. A nine month old is really just finding out they are alive and taking everything in, they don't need structure at that age, they need love and a caring daycare provider that gives them attention and PLAYS with them. Wouldn't you much rather have your daughter well cared for, feed when is hungry and diaper changed when needed and felt loved, rather than being taught the abc's! I would and that is what I do. I love the little ones and they feel that they matter.
Nicely said! I couldn't agree more!
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:57 PM
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Dahlia Dahlia is offline
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I think the word curriculum encompasses a wide variety of possibilities, and isn't necessarily restricted to a formal out-of-the-box kind of thing, at least in the minds of parents like me, who don't necessarily have all the lingo down yet.

When I ask about a "curriculum" for my 19-month-old, I want to know what you're going to be doing all day and that these things are developmentally appropriate and are going to be good for my child. If you're going to be reading stories, singing songs, counting, talking about colors, going on walks, or whatever, then say that -- that counts! Open-ended play and age-appropriate toys count too, as do sharing, getting along with others, and various social skills. It's an opportunity to show off your experience and tell me why your setup is happy and healthy for my little one and how learning is going to fit seamlessly into that environment, just like it would if I were at home with her myself, counting her toes, singing her the ABCs, and pointing out the green trees and the red apples. I'm not looking for SAT-prep or anything, but I do want to be convinced that you're good with kids, that you know what is good for kids, and that you're not just turning them loose to fend for themselves until feeding time.

Yes, a formal, age-appropriate, well-researched "curriculum" adds legitimacy, and I admit one place I visited did have me totally convinced my kiddo would be learning Calculus before she was potty trained and love every minute of it, but if a caregiver comes across as engaged and interested in whatever it is they do and like they're making some effort to incorporate appropriate learning activities, it really goes a long way, I think. "I just let them play" isn't giving yourself enough credit, IMO, if you're doing those things (which it sounds like you all are, which is great to hear).
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dahlia View Post
I think the word curriculum encompasses a wide variety of possibilities, and isn't necessarily restricted to a formal out-of-the-box kind of thing, at least in the minds of parents like me, who don't necessarily have all the lingo down yet.

When I ask about a "curriculum" for my 19-month-old, I want to know what you're going to be doing all day and that these things are developmentally appropriate and are going to be good for my child. If you're going to be reading stories, singing songs, counting, talking about colors, going on walks, or whatever, then say that -- that counts! Open-ended play and age-appropriate toys count too, as do sharing, getting along with others, and various social skills. It's an opportunity to show off your experience and tell me why your setup is happy and healthy for my little one and how learning is going to fit seamlessly into that environment, just like it would if I were at home with her myself, counting her toes, singing her the ABCs, and pointing out the green trees and the red apples. I'm not looking for SAT-prep or anything, but I do want to be convinced that you're good with kids, that you know what is good for kids, and that you're not just turning them loose to fend for themselves until feeding time.

Yes, a formal, age-appropriate, well-researched "curriculum" adds legitimacy, and I admit one place I visited did have me totally convinced my kiddo would be learning Calculus before she was potty trained and love every minute of it, but if a caregiver comes across as engaged and interested in whatever it is they do and like they're making some effort to incorporate appropriate learning activities, it really goes a long way, I think. "I just let them play" isn't giving yourself enough credit, IMO, if you're doing those things (which it sounds like you all are, which is great to hear).
I like you
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:37 PM
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harperluu harperluu is offline
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OP: I think you are on the right track. Trust your instinct. As a home child care provider, I wouldn't want my children watching any TV during the day under the age of 5. There are lots of things to do with the children while making lunch that does not involve the television. Playdoh is my favorite because they will play endlessly with it and hands and table are washed before meals anyway. I might take out a big floor puzzle for preschools and bean bags and buckets for toddlers.

Most home child care providers are always thinking, as they plan for their day. I know a floor puzzle for the 3-5's is a great way for them to practice cooperative play, while the toddlers are working on gross motor skills tossing those bean bags over and over. No formal curriculum. Just me standing at the counter, stirring spaghetti sauce offering encouragement and guidance.

The children in my care typically like each other. They look forward to the daycare friends they will see each day. They learn life skills and how to treat each other fairly and kindly. They have the benefit of being in a multiage group where others are modeling talking and walking and eating and sharing. There's always someone in the group that has just passed the milestone their currently striving for.

The little ones have more of my attention because the older ones no longer need as much. They've learned to be a little bit more independent, picking up their toys and putting on their own shoes. Proudly announcing, I cleaned it all by myself Kathy. Look it's so clean!

And then someone spills their milk and there are tears and messes. Here they learn compassion for each other and no big deal I spill my milk too sometimes. These are the things children can learn in a home setting. It's a lot like home. Less institutional. More cozy. We don't need a formal curriculum because the kids show me what they need and I have enough education and training to provide it.

But without TV. I watch plenty of that myself after my own kids go to bed!
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:36 PM
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MommyMuffin MommyMuffin is offline
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I just wanted to say when I was a parent bring my child to a home daycare I LOVED the daily notes. Even if there wasnt much on it or it was somewhat the same each day.

When I pulled in the driveway at home I would open the note and see what she ate, I would also see who or what she played with and I would smile. It made me feel a little closer to her since she was too young to tell me how her day was.

So now in my daycare I provide notes because they were special to me. Love em!!
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