Thursday, July 19, 2012
This may not sound like anything newsworthy to you, but for our family, it's a big step.
A's reflux troubles forced me to look for childcare that offered her a lot of one-on-one time. I needed a childcare provider who believed in attachment parenting, because my daughter did not respond to anything else. At one year of age (when I was preparing to head back to work), she still could not put herself to sleep for a nap, and had to be rocked. Her reflux issues had gotten better, but she was on a restricted diet, with no soy or dairy products.
We ruled out a large daycare centre immediately. A was sensitive to everything - loud noises, too many children and bright lights would have been difficult for her to manage at such a young age. So we began to look into private (licensed and unlicensed) daycare providers in our area.
I thought the search would take months, but we found someone almost immediately. I knew right away over the phone that she was the right childcare provider for us - her voice was kind, and she sympathized with A's constant crying and fussing. Although I'm sure she was wondering what she'd gotten herself into, she took on my daughter like another child in her family!
Lately, however, there are clear signs that A needs a different environment. First of all, she's a very spirited little girl, and like most first-born children, she requires a lot of guidance with activities. Playing by herself is not something she does very often. In a home environment, there is always time needed to prepare activities and clean up messes. Daycare centres are better equipped to deal with all the painting, claying, crafting and toys, as lessons/activities are planned well in advance.
As much as I wish I had the energy to be a crafty, homeschooling Mom, I know that it's not in my nature. I'm a bookworm, I like a lot of quiet, and my idea of a fun time is to listen to music, strum away on my guitar or try a new recipe. I'm definitely not cut out for exciting, daily craft ideas or inventive/educational games. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy playing with my daughter, but I certainly don't feel capable of providing her with an enriching educational environment, day-in and day-out.
So, with maternity leave approaching, we decided it was time to transition A to a preschool centre, where she will stay until it's time for Kindergarten. Financially, it's a little silly to keep your children in daycare when you are at home and perfectly able to care for them. But mentally and emotionally, I think it makes a lot of sense. I have been saving money for over a year now, just to be able to pay to have A in part-time preschool while I'm on maternity leave (and maybe I'll explain more the reasoning behind this decision in another post!)
Like any mother, I am anxious about the transition, and fretting over how she will fit in. Will she get along with the other kids? Will she scream and cry when I drop her off? Will she learn how to nap in a roomful of children? These are all unknowns, and right now, I'm trying to tell myself that things will find their own way of working out. Until then, we are talking about "school" a lot, and discussing how things will be different in September.
How did your child transition to daycare/preschool? Did anything make it easier on you or them?
Posted by Misty Pratt at 11:50 AM