What Providers Wish Parents Knew.....

..... But were afraid to tell them!

Submitted by the members of Provider's Playground Facebook Group

      I wish parents understood that they are paying for a 'slot' or 'enrollment' space in my child care. A year-round space that is held for them unless they or I terminate the arrangement. Many parents seem to act like they are paying for each individual day and sometimes each individual minute. I have encountered so many parents who appear to want to utilize every single minute of care because they are 'paying for it.' If they have a day off, they bring their child because they are 'paying for it.' If their child is ill and cannot attend, they don't want to pay because they are not utilizing every single one of their 'paid-for' minutes.
      We deserve to be paid promptly just like they do! Could you imagine if it was payday at their work and their boss told them 'oh I forgot to bring my checkbook.' LOL, I don't think so! We are a business!
      We are not babysitters and don't like to be called that. We are professional child care providers.
      I wish parents knew how much we actually cleaned and disinfected. It bothers me when parents automatically assume their child's illness is because of daycare. Couldn't be that dirty shopping cart their child was sucking on last Saturday at Walmart.
      That just because the kids are all sleeping doesn't mean I'm sitting around eating bonbons and watching television, there is always something going on or something to do.
      Yes! I agree! We don't get a break. Or if we do it's rare. We work very long hours. For most of us that means 10 - 12 hours per day! And that doesn't include all of the 'extra' hours we put into this job after the children leave. IF we can get all the children to sleep soundly at the same time (and we are very lucky if we do) for naptime we have paperwork to do, phone calls to make and return, emails to respond to, kitchens to clean up, snacks to ready, preschool preparation or cleanup, cleaning, and so on and so forth. For those providers with infants in care, a break of any sort is even rarer.
      I wish parents knew how hard their little ones have worked on that project, coloring page, or gift for them. It means so much to them to make these things for you. Please take them home and proudly display them. Do not throw them on the floor of the car, in the trash can, or leave them at the child care providers home. It takes only a minute to tell them how much you like their work and to hang it on the fridge. You will be glad you took the time to do it!
      When you bring home a new baby.... it is VITAL that you allow your toddler to bond with the newborn. It is so stressful to come to daycare every day for 11 or 12 hours, knowing that mommy is home with the new baby. Maybe keep your toddler with you and the new baby one afternoon a week or perhaps one full day a week would help tremendously!
      I wish parents would realize how much money we spend for the childcare we provide. For instance just things for arts & crafts would be: construction paper, crayons, paint, glue, craft foam, glitter, markers, scissors, play dough, cookie cutters and these are just the basics I have several other things as well and this is just the arts & crafts this does NOT include ALL the printing which means LOTS of ink, paper and oh laminating it all. This still does not touch on what a childcare provider spends on food each week and then there is our precious time that we spend planning and putting everything together because we love their children and want the best for them.
      That when we need more money for our family it is not as though we can pick up more hours at work, get a promotion or get a second job when most of us already need to be at home 10-12 per day. We can't just take on another child because we have extra expenses. There are rules for the number of children in care (as there should be) and the most we can hope for is our $5/week yearly raise without complaints from parents. As we all know this $5 doesn't amount to much as everything else we pay for daycare also goes up in price.
      It bothers me when parents have said things like "I leave home when it's dark, get home when it's dark - I'm gone this many hours." It seems they assume that because we are home it is different for us, we're not really working. We too are "gone" that many hours but in our own homes. Some days I wish part of that "gone" time involved listening to the radio on my way to and from work or that sometimes I could take an hour-long lunch break & maybe go out with a co-worker.
      That just because we are home with our children doesn't mean they get so much more attention than a mother working outside of the home. I may see them all day but many times they come second to the children in care, there are definitely days when I go until close without getting an opportunity to hold my toddler other than for routine care.
      That it isn't fair to us to request a sibling discount. Your newest addition to my daycare isn't going to receive less care, less food, fewer activities, etc while in my care.
      I don't like it when parents complain about their daycare fees, and the rules regarding my fees..... when they live in a huge expensive home and are driving a brand new shiny convertible purchased just 'for fun.' I'm sorry they have bills and expenses but so do I and if they don't like my daycare fees and rules regarding fees, they shouldn't enroll with me in the first place.
      I wish some parents wouldn't nitpick and question every little thing within my daycare. I'm human and they make me feel inferior when they do so. Like I'm being given the third degree. It makes me feel on edge and nervous about the most minor of incidents.
      I wish parents realized that although we love their children, what we do is a profession and they should treat us with the same respect they would anyone else that provides them with a service; by paying us in a timely fashion, respecting our policies and procedures and just showing some common courtesy.
      I wish they were more understanding when time off is needed for appointments like Dr and dentist. I always try my best to make them for after hours but that is not always possible. We don't have a "lunch" hour where we can set up appointments for that time frame.
      I wish parents would realize that when their child is running a temperature or have a very yucky green mucus excretion that there is something going on with your child, like SICK possibly. Do not mask the symptoms so as a provider we find this out later and have to call the parent and all the other children are exposed already.
      I wish parents would realize that we are not working robots. We too deserve personal time off and we do have a life and family past taking care of their child and we have family emergencies that happen and we can't change when it happens any more than they can.
      1. That we do deserve time off (holidays and vacations) and they should be happy to give it. 2. That we do know when their child is sick (we spend more time with them than they do-they can only do so much masking). 3. That what goes on in their house does come to ours (so if you behave badly, have a loud house, cursing, sexual stuff, etc. we will eventually see it). 4. That we can tell if you are teaching and enforcing what we do at daycare (kids pick up lessons quick from their parents-we should only enforce- I'm talking curriculum, letters, colors, shapes, etc.). 5. That we should be considered as important a bill as the mortgage.

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