A step-by-step guide explains the mysterious world of day care.
Rioux and Parylak aim their debut book at first-time parents undertaking the always wrenching process of transitioning their child from home care to a day care center. The authors draw on their own extensive experience in education and child care to break down the basics of what is naturally an intimidating and bewildering move: handing a youngster over to comparative strangers for large chunks of the day. The book addresses every conceivable detail those nervous parents might encounter, from the unsavory (head lice and playtime biting, among many other horrors of childhood) to the practical (don’t forget to turn the car’s engine off before escorting the child inside; make sure the youngster’s microwaveable lunch is packed in the right container; and always remember the all-important precaution of labeling literally everything). The authors adopt a thoroughly confident and cheerful tone throughout, firmly but happily reminding jittery parents that caregivers are people too, often busy folks watching many children at the same time all day long—and gently admonishing overly demanding mothers and fathers (the type wanting minute-by-minute accountings of how their kids spend each visit). At every stage, Rioux and Parylak encourage communication between parents and workers (“Bulletin boards are posted either in your child’s classroom or just outside it. This board highlights important notices or information. Please read them daily”). The useful volume tells parents that there are no silly questions but also consistently reminds them throughout of their own responsibilities—for carefully laying out any problems or special requirements their child might have (rather than counting on the staff to be mind readers), for explaining to workers any factors (such as divorce or illness) at home that might affect the youngster’s behavior at the facility, and even for informing caregivers of any change in the person who’ll be picking up the child at the end of the visit. Parents facing this switch from home care to a center often become frazzled and worried by the change—and hence prone to mistakes or oversights. This book, lavishly and wonderfully illustrated by Graf, should be on every new parent’s nightstand.
An indispensable manual for parents venturing into the unknown territory of day care.