Monday, June 16, 2014

Please Stop Calling it Daycare

I don't know about you, but as an Early Childhood Educator, it bothers me when I hear a parent refer to a Preschool Program as Daycare. I understand that each school runs differently, and some schools are in fact Daycare Centers. And babysitting children is what they do, but when students are in my care, they are in Preschool, an environment for learning and exploring. Students are learning all facets of Early Childhood and being in a classroom.

I noticed that when parents refer to Preschool as a school, the students seem to come ready to learn. But when they say Daycare, the students feel like it's a babysitting service and it's a free for all. Meaning that there were no schedules to follow and they were free to do whatever they wanted to do. I've even had some of their older siblings tell me that it wasn't school, it was a Daycare.

 I understand that simple wording can't always discourage students from learning, but my concern is, if a parent is referring to a place as a Daycare, what else is being said at home, because some of the students are certainly not taking the learning process seriously. I also understand that they may not be ready to learn, and learning through play is also effective, but sometimes the behavior that they bring, suggest to me, that they only want to play, and not follow the structured program that is presented to them.

I also understand that the way one handles their classroom has a lot to do with whether students are engaged in the material and ready to learn, but  the stigma that preschools are simply babysitting services has been very difficult to overcome. That's why I think it is important for parents, teachers and others to refer to preschool as school or an Early Childhood program.

It is our job as Early Childhood Educators to get students ready for the next level of the learning process, and some of those students are heading toward kindergarten. We need to implement some kindergarten instructions into our classrooms so that everything won't seem so foreign to them when they walk into a Kindergarten class for the first time. Part of that, is getting the respect as teachers from our parents, and stopping the stigma that Preschool is a daycare and a babysitting service.

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