I’ve been an early childhood educator for three years. I began teaching children who were between the ages of 3 and 5, but soon found a passion for working with infants and toddlers.
The main difference between the two age groups is the wants, wishes and (sometimes ridiculous) demands of the parents.
I want to start off by saying I love and respect all of the parents I work with, and know they ultimately just want what is best for their child. It is hard as educators to put ourselves in the parents shoes who may not have the experience or understanding that there are also sometimes 11 other children who must be cared for as well. Here are some of my (least) favourite things to hear from a parent:
- 1) “I let my child sleep in this morning. I hope they nap for you today”. Yikes. In other words, they will be singing or laughing on their cot or crib while their friends are trying to take their much needed naps!
- 2) “My child has a runny nose and a bad cough” …but you brought them to school anyway? Please please please for the sake of your child, the other children and the teachers, keep them home!
- 3) “I forgot to bring my child a jacket and she’s getting a bit of a cold, can she stay inside today?” I fully understand that you want your child to recover quickly, but unfortunately it’s a licensing regulation to go outside every day. It is also one of the children’s favourite parts of the day.
- 4) “My child has never slept on their own”. This is a tough one. I am all for co-sleeping, however if you plan to bring your child to daycare it would make everyone’s lives (a lot) easier if you start sleep training your child before they start attending.
- 5) “My child had a fever/diarrhea this morning but it’s just from teething.” Are you 100% certain of that? And even so, your poor baby needs to be at home in bed where they’re comfortable 😦
- 6) “No one has RSVP’ d to my son’s birthday party. Can you ask around?” As much as I hope your son has the best birthday ever, I feel very awkward and uncomfortable doing this.
- 7) “I might be a little late picking up today”. If you are able to tell me this at 9 in the morning, you have 8 hours to arrange another way for your child to be picked up on time. Maybe an aunt/uncle? Grandparents? Spouse? I completely understand if you are in a one time bind, but please remember we teachers are humans too with our own lives, and many have their our own children waiting for them at home.
- 8) “Would you mind rocking my child to sleep?” If they are 12 months old or younger, and the other children are settled, sure! They are small enough that it won’t kill our backs (too badly) and I know they may need the extra snuggles to doze off. However, if they are 2 years old and almost half my size, then unfortunately no. There is just no way.
- 9) “My child has been sick so many times since he started coming here.” Refer to #2. Unfortunately this is what happens in a group childcare setting. 12 babies bringing in germs from 12 different places. Also, I’m not quite sure how to respond to this statement.. Are you asking me why? Are you complaining? Do you want me to try and fix it?
- 10) “I forgot my childs comfort item and I don’t have time to run home and get it!” Oh no. We are all human and forget things, but when a teacher hears this they know it is going to be a rough day, especially if your child relies on it for sleeping or self-soothing.