Daycare — such an emotionally charged and such an important topic.
When mine were little and I’d drop them off at daycare, I’d sing a little song to them called, “Mamma comes back.” I blatantly copied it from a video called, “Baby Songs” that another working mom, brilliant, caring, wonderful woman, had given me. My kids, now in their teens, remember every word of this song and have talked to me about how much the message meant to them.
My Mamma comes back.
She always comes back.
She always comes back to get me.
My Mamma comes back.
She will always come back.
She never will forget me.
I am tearing up even writing those words again. It was such a wrench to leave them when they were little. When they would cry and ask me to stay. It was brutal. But I (like you maybe?) didn’t have a choice, I was divorced and trying to keep my own house together; I had to work. And I KNEW I had chosen a high quality center (more on that later) and I KNEW kiddo was happy once I left.
So we would sing the song together, our little refrain of reassurance, and it helped.
I’ll post the video and, if leaving at daycare is an issue for you, you may want to get the little DVD “Baby Songs.” It’s $14.97 on Amazon right now and worth its weight in gold, in my opinion.
The quality of daycare matters. A lot. The quality of the place you leave your kids in will have a powerful and lasting effect on them. For you researchers out there, here is a link to a 15 year study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. For those of you who don’t want to read the entire thing, they essentially say that the quality of your daycare matters. This long term study showed that high quality care is generally good for kids, that low quality care is equally bad for them, and that the effects last for years after the kids leave daycare.
My sister used to be the director of a large care-providing organization. She oversaw 36 different centers at the apex of her career. When it came time for me to choose a daycare, she advised me to make unannounced visits and just watch to evaluate the quality of care at the different centers, “Just show up and spend half an hour there. You’ll know.” she said.
Here’s a link to the whole study:
So choose your daycare carefully, trust your gut, and when your kids are at home, let them know that they are the most important people in the world to you.