Every Friday before Mother's Day is the day of child care provider appreciation. A great day to choose for the appreciation of the children's caretakers when their parents have to go to work.
I am a mom of two, a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old. When I had my first child I remember thinking, how do child care providers do this all day with multiple children? Then I had my second and I am in even more disbelief.
How do child care providers care for these children with such grace, respect and empathy? It is pure magic to watch them diffuse difficult situations - all. day. long. These moments run the gamut of the hysterical child not wanting to say goodbye to mom, the child continuously asking when daddy is going to pick them up, the children battling over whose turn it is to play with "that toy," or the child who has willfully hidden themselves in the play structure because they don't want to go in for naptime.
They skillfully observe and listen to children learning how to interact with each other - "Suzy, we don't use our hands for hitting," "Are you ok, Johnny? Johnny, did you tell Suzy that you don't like how she used her hands and that she hurt your body?" Suzy, ask Johnny if there is something you can do to help him feel better?"
Stopping in the moment these children need guidance to teach them how to treat one another.
Child care providers diffuse these situations (all. day. long.) all while changing diapers, washing hands, talking to parents, kissing boo boos (then writing the ouchie report for the parent), setting out lunch boxes or cooking the lunch, setting out nap cots and....
Child care providers, you are exceptional people and your chosen career path is changing the world one loved child at a time.
Thank you for taking care of my kids, thank you for caring for our community and thank you for being who you are.