Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gradual entry into day care

This week we are introducing Tristan to day care a few hours each day. We started going yesterday and so far, there doesn't seem to be any problems. Yes, I am there with him so he doesn't flip out but I try to wander around and I let him do the same. He only clung onto me a few times but it was around the time of his nap and he hasn't been sleeping too well lately. We can clearly see two more teeth coming out so that may have something to do with it too. Some of the day care workers mentioned that they think he will be okay when I leave him at day care. I sure hope so.

The day care is pretty laid back. It's too cold right now and since a lot of the kids don't walk very well, none of them will go outside. They basically just roam around the room and play with various toys and interact with the staff members. There are 8 infants in the group and at least 2 staff members there at all times. They have to maintain the 4 to 1 ratio. From what I can observe, there are usually more on the floor, some times even 5 people since some of the staff from the other group come by to sit around too. Currently, there is a girl that is being trained there as well so there will always be 3 staff.

In a way, it is so strange being there. It's a bit boring because all you do is sit around all day, unless there is something to do like feeding or changing diapers. I think what it is is that the place is baby proof so you don't ever have to get up to chase babies away from things that could be dangerous. That is sort of what makes my life harder being at home alone. The staff interacts with the kids by reading to them, cuddling with them, singing, or whatever and some times they even just socialize with other staff members. Things are under control and the pace is rather slow. Pretty much everything we stay-at-home moms do, they do. Because of the nap schedule, it's rare that all 8 infants are up at the same time. During the lunch period, they are all expected to be up and eating together and that is the most hectic time of the day. I never really thought about what a day would be like at day care so I didn't know what to expect.

I'm running out of questions to ask so I'm not sure what to do with myself for the rest of the week. I think I will just try to encourage Tristan to play more with the others. I know he can play well independently but I want him to learn how to share and play with others. I could try to interact with the other kids more too but then I would just feel like one of the staff members. Some times, I feel like maybe I should ask if they need help with anything but I don't think that should be my role. I should probably just stay out of it and be more of an observer. Man, If I feel like this, I can't imagine Jean-Louis doing this with Tristan :) He would feel totally uncomfortable and totally out of place and want to end gradual entry after a day!

Here is a summary of what I have observed so far:

  1. Friendly staff
  2. Staff doesn't lose their cool (ever!)
  3. Babies get to do crafts
  4. Staff uses baby sign
  5. Lots of small toys and books
  6. Don't see anyone using their cell phones or tech gadgets
  7. Baby kisses are given on their neck or heads
  8. Highchairs are spray cleaned and disinfected after each child

  1. No one takes off their shoes in the room and a lot of babies are crawling
  2. Only 4 highchairs in the room
  3. The room is pretty small and they stay in it all day
  4. Strollers need to be parked outside the building (due to fire hazard)
  5. Don't see water being offered to children regularly

I'll report some more by the end of the week. I kind of feel like a spy. I have never done this before so it's a learning experience for me too. I hope Tristan will interact with everyone and become more comfortable with all the staff members by the end of the week. It's a nice change for him this week to be out and playing with others. If anything, I hope he has a good time.


Malika Risley said...

If I were you, I would look for a different daycare in the area. The fact that the room is too small and teachers don't take off their shoes is a little odd.
When I was taking my daughter to daycare, I noticed that the staff caring for infants under one were required to wear cloth booties over their shoes in that room.

Susan said...

Thanks for bringing that up. It actually bugged me more after you brought it up. I asked about it and it seems the only option for them is to have inside shoes for the staff to change into so I may bring that up to the owner of the center.

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