We recently reached out to a large number of the educators we get to partner with for CleverStuff. We asked them some simple questions – what do you wish the parents in your service knew about early learning, what are some common things that you believe people get confused about in the industry and, if you could say anything to the parents of the children in your care what would you say?
Here’s a quick run down of the 5 most popular answers though :
We love your child and are invested in them (and your family!)
Play is how a child will learn – playing is GOOD!
Please label all items of clothing and belogingings!
Your child is perfect – they will all learn things at different rates – please don’t worry.
If they are sick – please keep them home (just like you would expect others to do for your child).
The answers we far and varied (we had over 100 responses!) but here are some of the more notable ones we came across.
That their babies are learning everyday, not just playing with no benefit. It’s play based learning, not just play.
That we love their child. That we grow to know and love them during their time with us and so we don’t ever ignore them or let them fall through the cracks, that we advocate for them, and that we bend over backwards to ensure that the child and their family knows how much we care.
Overdressing in winter will not prevent your child from getting a cold.
That children grow differently
When parents over under 2's stress because their child can't focus... their brains not yet developed enough to stay focused and that is normal and okay
That even though it can be very hard to say goodbye in the morning, the longer you take to do it, the more upset the child gets. Quick but heartfelt goodbyes are best for everyone. And even if your child cries at drop off, they are usually settled within five minutes of your leaving.
Playing outside won't make your kids sick
Waterplay won't make your kids sick
Getting messy is half the experience
Kids don't need to write their names and know their abcs by 4
If we notice things involving your child’s behaviour and address it to you, we aren’t attacking you or your child, we are only trying to help and find a solution for them.
I Don't know where your kids socks are!!!
There are probably 50 children in the centre, that's 100 socks to keep track of and half the kids don't have matching ones to begin with - plus nobody claims the 30 odd sitting in the found sock box
We have seen it all before, your child is not the first we have seen with that behaviour (biting, not eating, sleeping), it is all part of normal behaviour but we can work together to get through it
That we are interested in your child and that we care. We are working hard to provide a program that is built on your child’s interests, developmental stage and abilities. We want to push them to achieve their best but at the same time cuddle them so they feel loved and safe.
If you don’t want your child’s belongings going missing please label them all including socks
Developmental theory is an extremely old theory! Just because Piaget states children must be crawling/walking etc by a certain age, doesn’t mean your child is developmentally delayed, it means your child is learning at their own pace...
Playing is still learning. We weren’t born to sit behind desks and learn, we need to learn from our environments and explore the world we live in, fine tune our brains to adapt to our individual lives, develop our language, communication, social skills, emotional skills and allow brain development to reach its maturity level for standardised schooling expectations
That there is no such thing as too cold for playing outside only bad choice of clothing
The way a child learns and interprets their surroundings is more important to us than how they draw/write. Your child could “scribble on a page” and tell us it’s a picture of you, and you better believe we will accept that it’s a picture of you, because that is their representation to their abilities.
Your child is eating enough. We have guidelines, policies and procedures to every aspect of children’s care and that includes policies about nutrition, food, and portion sizes. And no, we will not feed your child chocolate if you sneak it into their lunchbox...
We understand a lot more than we are given credit for. We understand why children fight/bite/act shy/don’t socialise/have trouble making friends. We’ve seen it before, we’ve dealt with it before, and sometimes it does come down to the child’s home environment and social lives outside of care. But we won’t tell you that, we will work with your child, you and anyone we can to resolve these issues❤️
Give yourself the credit you deserve. As educators we’ve seen some of the best, and some of the worst. We’ve seen parent guilt in many forms. We understand why you need to put your child in care, and we don’t judge you for doing you!
PUT YOUR CHILDS NAME ON A.L.L OF THEIR BELONGINGS. I have 32 children. 80% have paw patrol socks – if your child loses one I can’t help that.
We do our very best, our job doesn’t stop when we leave: we think, dream and plan over your child we constantly have them in the back of our heads: if they’ve had a bad day we strive to make it better... we don’t believe everything they say and you probably shouldn’t either 😂 everything we do has forms of intentional teaching behind it! It’s never just drawing... it’s pencil grip, line formation, shape recognition! I’m not singing because I think I’m good at it 😬 I’m singing because it captivates your child, involves them and has them learning without effort and because of that they can now tell you the days of the week, months of the year, count to 20 and sounds that letters make...
Accidents happen including bites and falls - and no we won’t tell you the child’s name who hurt them.
How important it is to communicate with educators and be honest. We are here to support them and their child and if children are exhibiting behaviours and we do not know what is the trigger or if they are having similiar issues at home, it is challenging to pin point how the child is feeling or why and how we can help or support. It is also important for them to know that consistency both at home and at kindy is very beneficial for children understanding boundaries and what is acceptable and how they can express themselves.
Just because your child doesn’t have a temperature, doesn’t mean they are not sick with their constant green runny nose and cough. Sometimes they need a day at home to rest.
Just because your child goes to sleep at 9.30am sharp and sleeps until 12pm everyday they are at home.. does not mean that they will when in care, as much as we try to keep them in the same routine and follow your expectations, sometimes there is just so much going on, it can just be too exciting for your child to want to sleep at that exact time.
If we believe your child needs extra support or a second opinion, it is because we genuinely want the best for them and their future. We are not bullying or singling your child out
We will support you and accept you and we recognise that you are busy! We don't mind if the children come in pjs without breakfast, we will sort it because we are there to try and make things just a little easier! We value your family!
Don’t sweat the small stuff, talk to the Educators - share information- no judgement as we are working towards a common goal, to help your child feel belonging. That way you will feel comfortable as well. No one has a parenting handbook, but by working together we can help your child become confident and feel valued! You will also feel this connection! It’s all about understanding and respect for each other!
So, there you have it. The notable opinions from the children who CARE for your child.