The Changes Needed In The Daycare System
The typical nuclear family in today’s world consists of a dual-earning parent system. This means that both parents are working and contributing to financial obligations. Because of this transition to dual-earning, most parents do not have the time to take care of their children during the day. Daycare seems like the best option for these couples; however there is a lot that they do not know about the current daycare system and how it may affect their child’s health. Studies show that the majority of children in today’s society will spend some of their childhood under the supervision of a stranger. Although this is sometimes a necessary accommodation for parents who work full-time, it proves to bring some negative attributes to children’s well being. In this research narrative, we will go into depth on four main health related issues in the daycare setting; the first will be how easy it is to contract a sickness, the second will be the lack of food quality given to children, the third will be about violence or antisocial behavioral patterns in children, and the last issue will be about the parent to child involvement needs.
The first thing we will discuss in this paper is how daycares are not doing a sufficient job at avoiding sicknesses in the daycare setting. It has been proven that children are more likely to get sick when they attend a daycare, and these sicknesses could include; meningitis, whooping cough, and hepatitis B. This is not completely the daycares fault; parents often times bring their kids in knowing that they are sick, and the daycares usually have to accept them. Even adults working at these daycare facilities often get sick. Daycare settings are overall a risky place to be when it comes to avoiding colds or viruses. Having these contagious colds around makes it hard for families to send their children to daycares, but it is something they typically do not have a choice about. However there are certain steps that daycares could take to be more cautious when dealing with children’s health.
Some simple solutions would be to clean their toys more often, encourage and enforce more hand washing and tidying up for children, and sanitizing surfaces on a daily basis. When I worked at a children’s museum, we only cleaned our toys every few weeks. Instead of cleaning every two weeks, I think that there should be a mandatory thirty minute cleaning at the end of the day, and a more thorough clean every week. By cleaning the toys more often, it could help prevent the spreading of germs. Encouraging children to clean up after themselves could also be beneficial when trying to reduce sickness in daycare. Children will be given help hints such as; washing hands more often, not putting toys in mouth, not putting their own hands in their mouth, and covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze. It should also be required that there be numerous sites around the daycare that have available hand sanitizers for the workers who take care of these children.
The second issue to be discussed is the lack of food quality. According to one newspaper in Toronto, children at a specific daycare are being fed every day for under four dollars. The parents are appalled at how price come before quality at this daycare. Not only is the food they feed them important, but things like giving candy out for prizes or good deeds is also influencing an unhealthy lifestyle. The rate of obese children has been on the rise for the last twenty years, and it is a very serious problem. Kids all around American are being fed unhealthy meals, and they are taught that it is okay to eat that kind of food. We need to be feeding our children healthier food of a better quality and it is important that these children are being taught how to eat better and how to take care of themselves.
Instead of giving candy out for correct answers and cleaning, daycares need to think of a better way to encourage good behavior, they also need to teach the kids better eating habits, and there should be a mandatory play time where kids run and play sports. Daycare providers can award good behavior with stickers or with other toys. They could even award someone a special task, or give them the week off of cleaning if they do a good job the previous week. When it comes to the food, there should be a class taught in schools or daycares that teaches the kids what kind of foods they should be eating, or even food to avoid. There should be a mandatory play time where kids are able to run or play sports. It is important that daycare providers are doing everything they can to create healthy eating habits and making physical activities for children so they can stay fit.
The third issue with the current daycare setting is violence. There was a story of a three year old boy who came home from daycare with bite marks and scratches down his arms. The daycare did not seem alarmed by this, but instead said it was normal behavior and the children would learn on their own not to hurt each other. Sending their children to daycares are usually not something that most parents are excited about, and having to worry about the safety of your child is something that should not be happening. This is a huge issue; daycare needs to be a safe setting where adults feel comfortable with their kid being cared for properly.
These children need to be taught how to have good behavior and manners, and there should be strict policies that reprimand children who are not following the rules. If a kid is caught being violent, the daycare providers need to contact parents and have a meeting with them about their child’s actions. Children who continue to be aggressive need to be kicked out of the daycare, and possibly go to a specialized daycare. There are some daycares that cater to specific needs of children, this includes behavioral problems. These daycare providers are trained to take care of these children, and it is their job to enforce safety.
The last issue to discuss in this paper is the lack of involvement we are seeing with parents with their children. These parents are not getting involved with what their children are doing at daycare or school. Studies show that children often report negative memories of daycare and positive memories of time spent with their parents. This proves how important it is for parents to get involved with the children more. Families are no longer connected like they used to be; so often it is hard to even sit down as a whole family and have a dinner. Kids are having difficulties in daycare and school that their parents are completely unaware of because they are not getting involved with the daycare. The dual earning family that I talked about earlier is extremely common and these parents have no other choice than to send their children to daycare; however it is both the parents and the daycare provider’s job to keep these parents informed and part of the daycare system.
Daycares need to make activities or events more available to parents so they can become as involved with their children as possible. There should be a biweekly event that involves parents doing an activity with their children at daycare. This could be a game of volleyball, drawing a picture for an art activity, or learning the food chart. It is important for parents to know what their children are doing at daycare all day long. Having the parents more involved will help create more bonding time and it could be something that the children look forward to every two weeks. Another thing that could help increase the amount of time parents spend with their children would be to shorten the hours that the daycare center is open, or only allow children to spend a limited amount of hours at the center per week. This could be hard for parents, but overall would increase the happiness of their child and it would help them be more connected as a family.
There are safe, affordable, fun, and reliable daycares, but it is important that the majority of daycares raise their standards when it comes to taking care of other people’s children. The issues raised in this paper are just a few of the serious problems that are happening in our daycare systems every day. These children need a change; their health is riding on the line because of the quality of care they are receiving. Daycare should not be a place where children get sick, hurt, fed unhealthy food, or lose contact with their family. Daycare should be a safe place where parents can take their kids when they are at work. Dual-earning families need daycare; however these daycares may bring more negative aspects than positive.