On today’s post I want to share some of the challenges I experienced while looking for a good educational Daycare centre for my babies.
I’m a big believer in early education for children, as my first born, Ayomide started going to daycare as early as 8months! I know some of you might think it was too early but it was deliberate on my part after a lot of research.
I first noticed she had a tendency to be shy around her fellow toddlers yet she was totally at ease with adults probably because she didn’t have any consistent interaction with them. In hindsight it shows that she had become comfortable only in adult company which is not bad, but since it is her peers she will eventually have to interact with we decided day care that it was the best thing to do for her. And guess what? It totally transformed her and now she’s the first one to say hello. She is not that shy awkward kid anymore and it’s been amazing to watch.
In order to back up my long narrative, studies have shown that the period from newborn to 5 years is a critical time in a child’s ultimate development into adulthood. They are akin to sponges soaking up everything they are exposed to and it is truly up to us Mums and Dads alike to give them proper exposure to well supervised, highly skilled and learned play. This can be done at daycare or playgroups.
This is in addition to a good home environment where the mother and father play an active role in their child’s development.
Armed with this new knowledge and experience, yet another added task in the joys and challenges of motherhood, is finding the right daycare facility or playgroup or crèche or a hybrid of all for your precious little ones. Believe me it has nothing to do with being abroad or here in Nigeria. The real issue is which one out of so many? In recent times in Nigeria especially, there’s a daycare on almost every street corner – due to increased demand borne out of both parents working away from the household. Typical concerns are: Do they have the perfect balance of reasonable cost, love and care, educational value, hygiene and cleanliness, ratio of children to adults, location, proximity for easy pickup, etc?
With Dasola, our younger daughter, things were not so easy the second time around in this regard. Generally I trust my gut instincts about things and most times I’m spot on. But I found that with regards to choosing schools, it made my task of finding the right one harder, not only because of the aforementioned criteria but it just had to feel right in my spirit as well.
I looked at 8 different schools before I settled on where she goes now. Phew! In addition I had to do this starting from when she was 6 months old so I would go and check out each one in between filming takes and breaks, which are fewer and further between these days. This put me under a lot of strain and stress because this is my precious little cargo we’re talking about and it’s not easy to find people or institutions that share that same vision.
There were two schools I went to and they were really nice and new, but in the first one, there were too few students in class, the second one I really liked but there were too many kids crammed into a small space which made me uncomfortable, especially when you think of the fact that we’re now in an era of easily spread diseases, germs and the like.
Another school I really liked, was very nice, but would have been a logistical nightmare because it was too far away. I believe you get the picture now.
Now coming to the end of my long story, when I walked into Dasola’s current playgroup it just felt right. It was the best balance of all my criteria and it felt like a family and not just another potential pay-check for them. The proprietor is really warm, lives on the premises, and wasn’t ridiculously expensive. I’ve seen a lot of growth in my daughter and she loves it there, thank God! Or could it be that I was just fed up at this point? I’d like to believe the former rather than the latter!
So please share your own thoughts, experiences and challenges in the comment section, let me know if there are any topics you would want to see shared on this blog. And for more information on pregnancy, baby and toddler visit http://www.mumsworldafrica.com
Benefits of early child development