So long and thanks for the memories

Today is the last day of summer program for my kids. The program is an offshoot of the preschool they both attended, and since Mim starts kindergarten next week, this is goodbye. My kids have both flourished in this environment so it is hard to say goodbye to such a supportive group of people.

I was fortunate to only need part-time childcare. The truth is with a little shuffling I wouldn’t have needed day care at all, but I firmly believe that my kids and I are both better for the time they spent at in this program.

This post from Julie at The Mom Slant rang true with me on many fronts, but I especially like this quote

” . . . Print and broadcast media have taken up this viewpoint for years – that day care is harmful to children – citing sensational stories and studies to back them up. Even the most tenuous evidence is used to play upon mothers’ fears that they are doing their children a disservice that will have long-lasting consequences.

Such views offend me deeply – not because I’m fearful or guilty, but because I have deep and sincere appreciation for child care providers. I hate that people unintentionally belittle the work they do while simultaneously belittling the parents who employ them.”

People who work with children don’t do it for the money. Those who are good, do it because they love the work. Ms. Amy, the program director came up the hard way. Today, she holds a masters degree and teaches college courses in addition to overseeing the curriculum and operations of the school. She believes in the value of early childhood education and the importance of staff development and it shows in the high staff retention rate. Many of the staff have been there the entire six years my kids have been there and some even longer.

The staff was not only good to my kids, but they were solid resource for me. How can I ease the transition to being a big sister? How do I explain death to a preschooler? How do I potty train a stubborn boy? How can I support my daughter as she deals with queen bees and cliques? How can I help my son battle the wiggles? They were ready with suggestions based on experience with my kids. I know that they will still be just an e-mail away but I will miss the reassurance of having unbiased input on my kids from multiple people.

I’m excited for my son, he’s absolutely ready for kindergarten and he has a great teacher. He will do well at the elementary school. This is just the first of many new beginnings for him and the last of early childhood for me. We are now solidly entrenched in the school age years. ONWARD!!

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