Issues: Daycare The Good -The Bad -And The Ugly

By on January 29, 2017

By Lisa Wild. Over the last few years, we have heard of situations from friends or media, where
children have walked away, been left behind, or suffered abuse in daycares.
Sometimes we hear of a daycare where kids watch TV all day, toys are never visible, or
we see daycare children hanging around while their babysitter talks to friends day after
day . As they grow older, it becomes apparent that some children and teens have lost
their way. If you think back to their early childhood situation, could things have been
better?
More often than not, people summarize that children are adaptable or won’t remember
those early years, or even that they will make up for it in elementary school.

It is a very rare situation when a child, growing up in a bad situation, comes through on
the other end, unscathed. It just doesn’t work like that. The effects of trauma, poor adult
interactions, little stimulation, and inappropriate learning in the early years; always show
up throughout the lifetime. Society tends to distance themselves from the problem, but
it is everyone’s problem in terms of issues of mental health, crime, high-school drop-
outs, and so forth. We should all want the best for children.

Having children in a licensed daycare does not always guarantee quality, though it is
a good start. In B.C., no one may care for more than 2 children (unless it is a sibling
group or blood relatives) without being licensed by the provincial government. However
a license hanging on the wall only shows that the facility met a list of health and safety
guidelines at the time of inspection.

There are many other factors that an annual visit by licensing doesn’t catch, which really
affect a child’s ability to negotiate the world in the long term. For example, does the
childcare actually have toys appropriate for learning and are kids actually allowed to
play with them? Is there age-appropriate learning taking place (for example: who does
the craft, the child or the careprovider)? Or, does the careprovider offer feedback to
the child on their behaviour and actually follow through on what they say? Is the child a
priority to the careprovider, or does the careprovider run other businesses or chat with
friends (in person, online, on the phone) throughout the day.

Children thrive when they have learning environments and experiences that mean
something to them. They need to have an attached relationship to a caregiver that
allows them to respect that adult enough to listen to them. Children learn best when
they have many different, interactive, experiences (colouring sheets and a television
screen are on the low end of interactive). Children learn repercussions for their good or
inappropriate behaviour when an adult cares enough to follow through.

It is really tough for a parent to figure out if all of this is going to happen in a short
Daycare interview. As time consuming as it is, parents really must take the time to
check out a daycare and the caregivers thoroughly. Caregivers should have thorough

written policies and procedures, from which parents can see the bigger picture of what
happens in the daycare, in many different ways, over the months and years a child will
be enrolled. If you interview other daycare parents for references, listen to their words;
are they saying ‘good enough‘ or are they providing descriptive examples. The cost of
daycare should never be the deciding factor on where you place your child, though it is
often a crucial piece of the puzzle.

Study after study shows that what happens in the early years for children, is the most
critical in the lifespan of a person. It virtually can not be erased. Having a child ready
to start school, and gain the most benefit from school; means having a child who can sit
quietly, learn independantly, listen carefully, speak at appropriate times, and who has
had many different experiences…one of the most crucial being interaction with books.

There are many local and provincial organizations that help parents to learn about and
locate quality childcare:

Child Care Resource and Referral click Here.

Maple+Ridge/
Fraser Health Licensing Offices
click Here.

Online Chid Care Regulations

North Fraser Family Child Care Association click Here.

If you have concerns about a daycare call 604.476.7000, Maple Ridge Public

Health Unit, 22470 Dewdney Trunk Road, Maple Ridge, B.C. V2X 5Z6

How to Report Child Abuse click Here.

If you have any questions or ideas for future topics of discussion, you may contact me Lisa Wild wildfamilydaycare@shaw.ca

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