As a working mother, I always had my fears of leaving my little one at a day care centre. Because of the diminishing support system and nuclear families, there is little choice left behind if you still decide to work. Given the kind of inflation and cost of living, it has also become mandatory for the couples to keep working. Though my kid enjoyed being at her day care, I always had the trouble of her falling sick quite often. At one stage, she ended up with Leptospyrosis and fought for life at the age of 3, with full blood transfusion, and her vital organs getting infected, all because she drank the water in the bathroom. Cant imagine, but still had to live with it. Where as my nephew enjoyed his day care, where it was just a home away from home. Today the 9 year old loves being with Gokula- his play home, than at home for he got his peer group who grew in the same home for last 9 years. So what makes the difference.
Its the attitude of the people who run the day care centres. Some do it religiously with care and caution trying for comfort of the children and parents. Where as few do it just for the money making and leave the children to the mercy of hired servants. There are play homes that also act as nursery schools where as there are creaches which put kids to sleep by giving cough syrups etc...
Few Do's and Don'ts:
So as a working parent, please do complete background check of the place before you leave your child under someone's care and control.
Inspect the place, talk to the people openly, put your fears in words, and explain to them your expectations.
If the child needs special attention, or alergic to something, be specific.
Provide adequate clothes, home made food, and the kids time tables.
Once in a way make surprise visits to ensure everything is alright. Its no harm, for after all its your child's welfare that matters.
Do not think that your responsibility ends once you leave the child in the day care. Talk to the day care people on how your child is reacting, responding to being with others, managing your absence.
You may also have to handle the child's prankiness and stubborn tantrums till the child settles with the new place. So do not lose your patience and end up in frustration causing a damage to you and your child.
Do not send a sick child to the day care, remember there are other vulnerable children as well.
Never do sympathise with the situation and gain self pity.
Remember the most successful people are the children who learnt to be independent from a very young age. Let the cocoons fly as beautiful butterflies, till then, handle them with care!