readers say about The Daycare Handbook
Editors Choice: a comprehensive
and much needed guide.
The Globe and Mail, Toronto
Everything a parent needs to know to find
The Toronto Sun
Worth every penny.
Bitty Bum Ditty, Diaper Service Newsletter, Montreal
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from The Daycare Handbook
Finding good daycare is not a Saturday afternoon
excursion like buying a crib. Daycare is confusing and complicated,
and the stakes—the well-being of your child and your own equanimity—are
When you begin, finding good daycare
will feel like a gargantuan, mind-boggling undertaking. But the
longer you spend at it and the more you see, the less overwhelmed
you will be. Suddenly everything will make sense, the choice will
become clear, and you’ll be very glad that you made the effort.
In Canada today daycare is a fact
of life. The majority of women with school-aged children are employed;
the majority of women with preschool-aged children are employed;
and the majority of women with children under three are employed.
Women often have careers before they have families; and they value
themselves as wage-earners and members of the work force. They depend
on and enjoy the income they generate, and they take maternity leave
rather than abandoning their jobs when they give birth. Chances
are, if you are reading this, that you are a working parent or planning
to be one.
When men and women went to work
in olden times, they counted on their numerous relatives to help
with child care. But these days an extended family—especially one
that lives in the vicinity and is available during working hours—is
almost a curiosity. Our families have shrunk, and no one among us,
male or female, is at home to take care of the children. We have
structured our lives so that we need daycare in order to function.
Without it, we have to give up either our work or our children—which
we simply are not prepared to do. We are really and truly stuck.
When you have a job and a baby,
no matter what your gender, you immediately metamorphose into
a consumer of daycare services.
Research shows clearly that good
daycare is good for children, and bad daycare is bad for them.
You therefore want good daycare for your child, and that is what
this book is about. When your child has high quality daycare,
you can go to work without worry, knowing that he is in a safe,
healthy, loving, stimulating environment where he can continue
to learn and develop into that wonderful special person that he
The key to finding high quality
daycare is knowledge. Once you know what is good for your child,
you will be able to recognize it, demand it, and find it, even
when there isn't enough to go around.
This book will give you that
knowledge. Because it is easy to be deceived by smiling directors
and freshly painted buildings that resemble little red schoolhouses,
we will describe high quality care in scrupulous detail. We will
advise you to notice the teacher’s face, posture, tone of voice—and
where she puts the Kleenex. We will tell you about daycare centers,
sitters and nannies, family or private home daycare, and school-age
child care. We will tell you what the research and the regulations
say, what parents, teachers, and daycare directors say—and we
will help you to discover what really matters to you. Then we
will provide you with checklists and contingency plans.
Even after your child is happily
settled in the daycare of your choice, it is possible to get stuck.
You want and need your daycare arrangement to work so that you
can work; and if you never examine it closely, of course it appears
to function perfectly. It is always easier to turn a blind eye
than to look trouble in the face. But daycares change; directors
and caregivers move on; children grow. When we don’t watch our
children and don’t pay attention to their surroundings, they can
get hurt, physically and emotionally.
As John F. Kennedy once put it,
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Having
a child in daycare means watching closely. We will describe strategies
for keeping in touch with your child’s caregiver, explain health
issues and daycare politics, and help you to figure out when to
Parents who want and demand good
daycare will help to create more good daycare and will make good
daycare better. If we refuse to settle for bad daycare, bad daycare
will have to improve or lose its customers. Governments that write
the regulations and hold the purse strings will have to sit up
and take notice. Like any other product, daycare will respond
to the voices of the consumer.
An informed parent is an empowered parent. When
you know what you are doing, you will have and make choices that
are good for you and your child.
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Copyright © 1991 by Barbara Kaiser
and Judy Sklar Rasminsky. This material is copyrighted and may not
be reproduced in any manner or medium without written permission.
For information, contact jud...@challengingbehavior.com.
SPECIAL OFFER: $10.00. You
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