So, my school is going to be opening its own day care center in a matter of months (prospectively), and it is intended for teachers' kids and children of other school employees. Here's a question: Should schools offer such services, first of all? Despite state regulations that the school will undoubtedly have to comply with, is this really something that a typical school should embark upon, or should they just leave it to professionals? The cost will be lower than what my wife and I currently pay, but I worry about the quality and standards that may or may not be present. Your input is valued -- Is day care at schools a good idea, bad idea, or does it just depend on how they're doing it?
It's hard enough to be a teacher, and any services provided to teachers are helpful. This allows for some interesting programs in school, such as teaching and childcare classes. It also gives students with babies a way to stay in school, and pregnant students a way to learn how to care for their kids.
I would like to think that a school would not open itself up to the liability of providing a day care center if it was not going to provide vetted, qualified people to run it. That being said, I think it's nice that while schools cannot always offer financial perks, they can think of other ways to help aid teachers.
My daughter is in a school day care, and it is great. I like that I know the parents of the other children, and that works as a check and balance for the day care program -- we are all watching and responding to what is happening there. This center is fully licenced under state laws and is now NAYCE accredited, so it really proving itself.
I agree with post #2 in that it completely depends on the site. If the first year went along without a hitch and under the tutelage of quality teachers, then it might be a wonderful proposition. In fact, if the implementation of this program entices quality teachers who truly care about children to work within the school system, then I would be all for it! But is it a school system's responsibility? No, but it could be a wonderful perk for both moms and dads with small children! I suppose the key is to evaluate the program as you would any other where the welfare of your child is concerned: the result must be much higher than "acceptable."
The private school where I taught had a daycare that was available for children of teachers and staff as well as children from "outside" the school, or siblings of children who attended the school. It was a system that worked well because it was very convenient to school staff, as well as parents who had students that attended the school. It's also nice if you're a parent just to know your child is not that far away, in case of emergency. The cost was cheaper for staff of the school, but they still had to pay. It was also nice to get young children accustomed to the school if they were going to attend once they reached Kindergarten age.
I enjoy our school's daycare, as it offers us a convenient place to leave our little girl during the work day. She is one of four little girls who are smothered in attention by 7 periods of Child Development classes which lead to State Licensure in childcare.
However, there are a few concerns which should be noted: should a teacher ever have an issue with the way his/her child is being cared for at the center, it is more complicated than lodging a complaint with the director of a private daycare; You're dealing with a peer or co-worker, and gossip can spread pretty quickly around campus.
For an example, our little girl happened to let fly a four letter word, which is not so unusual for young children. However, rather than simply reminding her that such language is not proper for the classroom, the teacher told her students, "well, you all know where they pick up THAT sort of language!" It was embarrassing, and has caused some real strain in our relationship with the C.D. teacher.
A final word... not all daycares located at schools are cheaper; ours is about the same, if not ever so slightly more expensive, than those in the area.
I think it's great! I have two children--9 and 7--and would have loved having a daycare on my school campus before they began formal schooling. First, you have the added emotional calming effect knowing your children are close to you. You don't have to race all over town in the morning dropping them off...they're right there with you. That's also a plus if you're breastfeeding or if some accident occurs during the day. Having them geographically closer is just easier all around. Second, you would probably have lower prices for daycare than if you had to take them to another location. Third, if your school offers child psychology or childcare classes, they would have real, live kiddos to work with in a real-world situation under their teacher's supervision.
It's a win-win.
I am inclined to agree with #3. We are so strapped with cost as is. The books in our classrooms are in need of replacing, the desks are falling apart, there are a lot of other things that the money could be going toward. I really commend the idea of schools offering childcare to it's employees, but other companies don't do that. There are some that do, but for the most part, that is why there are childhood care centers.
On the flip-side of that though, I did attend a high school that had a day-care for STUDENTS who had children and the teachers had the option to have their children watched there as well. THAT, I think is an okay idea since the need for the day-care is present in order to ensure the return of the teenage mothers to school since they have help with child care and are enrolled in specific classes to help learn how to raise their children.
I just dont think that the schools should incur more costs than necessary given the degree of underfunding we have as is.
I'll try the other part of the question. I do not think that providing day care is part of a school system's responsibility. I feel that schools have already taken on many responsibilities that used to belong to the family. These all take precious resources ... and we all knows that these are shrinking in our present economy. Having a child in the same building might also be a distration.
That being said, if there were endless amounts of money available and endless space in the building, it might be something that would attract and keep teachers in the system.
It totally depends on each individual site. The fact of the location says nothing about how well the facility is run. I had my oldest daughter in such a day care for a brief time. The teachers had to be certified in early childhood education, and the students at the high school who were enrolled in child care classes came in at certain times during the semester both to learn and to help out. Both age groups seemed to enjoy the other.
Personally, I think having your child under the same roof would be a benefit. You can check on how things are going, be close at hand in case your child gets sick, and better monitor the situation in general.