The TSL Kids Crew Blog
It happens all the time in childcare. More often in summer camp. Parents eager to provide their child with the best program possible to meet their child's needs do varying amounts of homework in advance, but sometimes not enough.
In one recent experience, a parent enrolled their kindergarten child into one of our summer camps. They must have read about our reputation or heard about us from a friend and thought that we sounded ideal. They didn't tour the facility, ask how many children were in the program, who was in charge, how to get a hold of someone in case of emergency, if we travel, or any of those pre-enrollment questions that most families ask. They just...showed up, equipping their child with a tracking bracelet, but not telling us. So when police showed up on our program doorstep thinking the child was abducted because we took a group of summer campers (the child included) to the local park a quarter mile a way, we suddenly were the worst program on the earth.
Every year we have pockets of families who hold centers responsible for not meeting their child's needs, or their personal expectations. Yet, they have done nothing in preparation to make sure the center they are selecting will meet their full body needs.
When you have your kitchen redone you get a few estimates, you look at different colors for cabinets, decide on marble or granite countertops, what kind of backsplash you want, whether you want an island or not. You ask about financing, discounts, timelines for completion, if the workers have the proper insurance, and a host of other questions. It's only after all of this research do you pull the trigger. They don't just look at the Home Depot website and schedule the install.
If a family goes through this much trouble to remodel a kitchen, why then would they not go through comparative research to find the perfect childcare or summer camp, and hone in on a camp that they trust will fulfill their own personal requirements, and answer their child's needs? For instance, if you are worried your child is going to be abducted during camp hours, is a new day camp setting that you know nothing about the right choice?
When choosing a childcare (and we are OK if it is not ours, though we want your business if we are right for you!) parents need to a lot of leg work. They need to ask the right questions, know their child, tour the facility, schedule phone interviews or in-person interviews, visit a site during program hours, review all of the information provided on the company website, among many other preparatory things before just assuming that a particular provider will be the best fit.
Parents of young children need to do research, in general, to better understand what a day camp (in particular) is, and what it isn't. They need to understand the significance and struggles of children transitioning from daycare to a summer day camp setting. Talk to other families who have children in summer day camps, explore a year in advance and perhaps observe a summer day camp or a child daycare prior to enrolling their child.
The more preparation a family can do to assure their comfort level is met, the better because where your children are concerned, you can never do enough. It is also helpful for providers as well when parents do their homework. That way, a given provider does not have to contend with not meeting the expectations of someone whose expectations were never defined in the first place.
The Ideas Written About In This Blog Are Based On The Personal Opinions And Philosophies Of The Contributor Who Has Taught Elementary School For Twelve Years And Has Run A Recreational Childcare Business Since 2009.