Day Care Centers Do More
Day care centers are doing a lot more than changing diapers and feeding kids nowadays ... they're also feeding the parents and cleaning their clothes, too!
Something useful, nothing new continued...
Alan Simpson, spokesperson for the National Association for the
Education of Young Children (NAEYC), agrees. "Many early childhood
educators recognize that the children in their program need a lot more than
just early learning services," he tells WebMD. "Educators want to work
with families to make sure children are getting all the things they need to
foster their development."
What's new is apparently the resources used to assist families.
Aronson singles out web cameras, while Simpson points to the errands that some
day care centers run for parents.
The NAEYC does not keep track of child care programs that offer
additional services, but Simpson says there has recently been much discussion
at early childhood education conferences about novel ways to help families.
Lee Scott, a representative of the Primrose Schools, says the
extra services have arisen out of demand, and produce a win-win situation for
parents, kids, and centers. "We find our families are just rushing
constantly, and if we can ease some of that, it creates a good feeling about
the school, and of course, it creates customer loyalty," she tells
Finding Quality Child Care
Ellen Palumbo's 7-year-old son attended Primrose in Cary, N.C.,
when he was younger, and now her 3-year-old daughter is a student. She is
grateful for the free take-out dinners that the school gives out from time to
time, but she mostly appreciates the fun activities and lessons that her
children have learned. Her son learned to volunteer for community events, and,
so far, her daughter has learned to not open doors to strangers.
Early childhood education experts hope that more parents will
have Palumbo's mindset of thinking of children first in choosing a day care
center. There is worry that some people may become distracted by the glitz of
services catered to attract busy moms and dads.
"Parents usually choose cost and convenience rather than
quality," says Aronson. "The difference between good quality and what
is mostly available in this country -- which is mediocre quality -- is about
One of the main problems, explains Aronson, is that young
parents are expected to make decisions about early education for their children
without much experience on the subject. She says early care should be seen as
part of the education continuum that involves the elementary, secondary, and
college levels, and not separate from them.
Aronson also recommends that parents look in the American
Academy of Pediatrics web site for advice on how to choose a good early care