There is always someone to judge out there. Of course, I’m being judged by some because I’ve chosen to send my child back to daycare now that it’s reopened.
One of my top rules with anyone is to “be kind.” It doesn’t take a lot to stop before judging. Parents do things differently to me, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
Right now, it’s almost impossible to know what to do. Schools and daycares have been closed for months around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here in Ontario, they’re talking about plans for school in the fall, but daycare is back open. There are some strict restrictions, but the doors are open and kids are allowed back.
My daughter was the first one back, excitedly holding the Zip-Lock bag with suncream and changes of clothes. No normal bags (which is good, because hers broke during lockdown due to the kids playing with it!) but something that is easy to spray and wipe down without being damaged. It feels weird not having the bag there and back, but it’s actually quite nice not to have it at the same time.
And with these restrictions and others I know are going on, I have no regrets about sending my child back to daycare.
Isn’t it disappointing for the child?
Oh, definitely not! There are a lot of parents worried that their children won’t be able to cope with the restrictions in place. I wondered how my Peanut would cope without dance parties and singing.
Well, she’s coping. She comes out every day with a smile on her face, clutching the drawings and artwork she’s done that day. The first day was a photo frame that she decorated for her sister. Today it was just a bunch of drawings and paintings.
I used to ask her what she did at daycare, and she’d tell me “I played, I ate, I slept.” That was it.
Now I get a full list of what she’s done. She’s done artwork, she’s read a few books, she’s played a little outside. She tells me all about the food she’s eaten and the fun she’s had. Every day, it’s become easier and easier getting to daycare and back. Every day I know that I’ve done the right thing sending her back to daycare.
Hasn’t she had to wear a mask all day?
There are a lot of talks about whether children should be made to wear a mask all day in school and daycare. Ontario hasn’t put that in place. Our local by-law says that children under five don’t need to wear them, and my daughter is four. That’s probably why she’s not wearing a mask inside.
But if you asked her to put a mask on, she’d be happy to. In fact, she was upset that she didn’t get to take her mask with her on the first day. She has a PAW Patrol mask that she absolutely adores and puts it on when asked all the time.
I’m of the opinion that there’s nothing wrong with masks on healthy people. There’s nothing wrong with masks in general, but I do understand why some people aren’t wearing them. I hate having things around my face and neck so feel uncomfortable, but I suck it up for others. Peanut was worried she wouldn’t be able to breath, so we got her a mask to practice with in the house and she realized how easy it was. If she struggles at all, she pulls it away for a couple of quick breaths and puts it back on.
But she’s not wearing one in daycare. I’m not sure if any of the adults are, but if they have to do any care for the children, like putting a Band-Aid on a scrapped knee, they have to completely suit up in PPE equipment.
But aren’t you putting the adults at risk?
The daycare didn’t open right away when it could. We waited about a month before we got the email to say the daycare would be reopening. Within that time, things were put in place to protect the staff.
Like I mentioned, they have to completely suit up if they need to do anything for the children. They don’t do family-style meals anymore but plate everything up for the children. They’ve got rid of the toys that are likely to hold the germs.
There are definitely no dance parties. It’s a shame for the kids and adults, but it shows the steps that are in place for the day-to-day activities.
There’s also extra cleaning. And there are fewer kids. Our daycare is allowed eight children in a room with their two adults looking after them. There are three children right now. That’s it. Most parents simply can’t afford the daycare to go.
Plus, I know plenty of in-home, unlicensed daycares that continued throughout the pandemic because they were allowed to. As long as protocols are in place, I trust that the adults are looked out for as well as the kids.
I’ll also note that we’re in an area with very few cases. Maybe that affects my decisions subconsciously.
Why I’ve sent her back to daycare
So, now that I’ve gone through all that, you’re wondering where my reasons are. Why am I “putting everyone at risk and being selfish” (because I know that’s what some of you think). Well, there are multiple reasons:
- It is safe
- The kids are loving their daycare (but do miss some of their friends)
- It’s not as depressing as many fear
- My house needed her back in daycare (not just me, but her sister needed some time to herself, too, and it wasn’t possible otherwise)
- She needed to get back to her routine
- I’ve been able to pick up more work back off my colleagues
At the end of the day, you choose to do you and I’ll do me. Back to daycare has worked for us. It might not work for you. But please, just be kind!