Not Everyone Can Successfully Provide Care
Providers often bristle at people who think they know how to run
a day care, who think they have all the answers about childcare.
Yet critics abound and providers are genuinely miffed when they
hear compliments that sound like comparisons, questions that
sound like statements and even the all-too-common aside,
"Anyone could do that work."
When such "grades" are posted and providers take their D's on
their methods of ministering to children's needs, teaching,
buying equipment, hiring, firing, meal plans and the day-to-day
activities from persons not engaged in childcare, strong
providers can laugh it off, imagining the critics in a room filled
with children all by themselves.
Other providers often advocate the "inclusive delusion" profile in
protest of the critics they adopt the sophisticated clean sweep
of gray paint view: all providers are good, decent wonderful
people each with his own talents and gifts to share. Each
provider should be held in highest esteem, they feel, just
because he's given his time, talent and treasure to be a
However kindly the inclusive delusion version sounds, it, too,
only works in fantasy land. The truth is, like any job, providers
are not all equal, nor are all providers really good. Some are
excellent, some are good, some are bumbling and some are
And it follows, too, that some excellent providers have no
business sense. And that some with business sense can't
Running a childcare facility takes not only a jack of all trades,
but a willing and able jack of all trades and nothing less. It
takes someone who knows how to do a multitude of things well
for people who are not yet altogether reasonable.
Now, the element that makes the show close with a profit? It's a
clear understanding that the business end absolutely never,
ever overrides the human element. The first and foremost
priority of any childcare provider is the integrity of the families
who depend on her. That means quality, and that makes
success, which ultimately means profit.
Without her families, there is no need for a provider. Providers
know that. An empty daycare facility or an emptying facility is a
sign something is not right, and it probably begins with the
provider. "What have I done and what have I failed to do?," are
the first questions of the day.
Providers who succeed know that the most important concern
of parents is the care of their child and that that's exactly what
they provide. It's called "whole-childcare" and there's a plus to it.
It's a great big plus a particular kind of extended care that
involves not only the child, but the whole family. But that's hard
to find and it's hard to do.
Whole childcare takes a personal commitment. It takes
someone who is able to be emotionally, spiritually and
intellectually attached and involved with the child and his
Not all people are able, or even willing, to reach out to others
because self gets in the way. It's not everyone who can
successfully run a childcare facility. It's not everyone who
If you need help picking good daycare, you can order Judy
Lyden's booklet, "Looking for Day Care," by sending a
self-addressed, stamped envelope to Day Care, The Evansville
Courier, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, IN 47702.
(Judy Lyden is a licensed day-care provider. Write to her c/o
The Evansville Courier, P.O. Box 268, Evansville, IN 47702, or
e-mail her at email@example.com.)
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