I secretly rolled my eyes at my dayhome provider
April 20, 2015
Childcare is an industry that starts from one undeniable truth: the childrens’ parents have returned to work. Childcare is a service that allows parents to prioritize their career aspirations or their financial needs over staying at home with their children. Without that childcare, many parents would find that the career and the life that they’d spent so much energy building, vanishes.
This is predominantly the lot of women in the workforce since, biologically, they are the ones taking time away from work to have children. And yet it is often the career-minded, pre-kid women who are the first to look down on those who, even after returning to work, choose to prioritize their children over their work. One such woman was Katharine Zaleski who chose to apologize publicly about how she behaved before she had kids. Her plea for a more caring and understanding outlook on mothers in the workforce is a passionate one. And yet, it leaves me wondering how she treats her childcare provider?
“There is no way you can work…without support, usally from another woman” – Katharine Zaleski
How many times have you felt patronized; patted on the head and told how cute it is that you get to play with children all day. This is the same “death by a thousand cuts”, as Zaleski describes, that women who return to work suffer at the hands of non-mothers. And yet, it is often these same mothers who rush from the office at 4:30 to the rolling eyes of their co-workers, who question the importance and the professionalism of the women who look after her children.
Despite the fact that they bemoan the fact that their co-workers only value hours logged in the office rather than the work actually done, these mothers only value work out of the home, rather than the value to the children and to the family that these women provide.
“It’s death by a thousand cuts – and sometimes it’s other women holding the knives” – Katharine Zaleski
As parent’s, it’s important that we acknowledge the hard work of the people we entrust with our children’s early lives. Their work is what allows us to go out and pursue our dreams.
As dayhome providers it is equally vital, though, that you exhibit the qualities that a parent looks for as signs that you are not just playing with kids all day. You need to show that:
- You think and operate as a business, with the contracts, receipts and branding to prove it
- You have an educational program that you use to mould those little minds as they get ready to face the big, wide world
- You have a well layed out space that fosters the kids minds and bodies
- You think about how you feed these children, proving you have the children’s best interests at heart, inside and out
And in the end, you have to believe in the value that you bring to the table is as important to your parents as what they bring to you. Without you, the world they work so hard at every day will vanish. What’s that worth to them?