Childcare centre myths debunked

By: Miles Hector

When it comes to picking a daycare, there’s always going to be apprehension. You’re leaving your child with new people, after all! It’s perfectly natural to have worries, and other parents’ horror stories can lead you to believe a lot of myths. The thing about these myths, however, is that they’re usually not debunked until you experience the reality yourself. 

Most of what people think they know about child care centres comes from other parents’ horror stories. Don’t get us wrong — the experiences of other parents is an invaluable tool for selecting a child care provider but it shouldn’t be your only one. 

Getting caught up in myths can make you more likely to pass up on the best providers, or even turn you off from child care centres altogether. Here are 5 of the most common child care centre myths debunked, so you can make the best decision for you and your child.

1. Your Child Will Miss You Immensely 

We are not saying your child won’t miss you at all! You’re just overestimating how much.

It’s perfectly natural for you to have some worries about leaving your kid alone all day. You definitely spend a lot of time making sure they’re happy. But remember that even the most emotional kid will usually calm down in under 30 minutes of being dropped off at daycare. 

Yes, they will cry and complain, but daycares are loaded with fun and distractions for this very reason. After a few hours spent trying out new toys or playing with new friends, you may find pickups are more challenging than drop-offs! 

2. They’ll Be Closer With Staff Than They Are With You

This can be a big fear for parents, especially first-timers. If your child spends almost half of their waking hours during the week with daycare staff, how could they not form a close bond? 

Well, it’s simple — your kid is not the only kid there. All the “love” childcare staff have is divided between all of their students. When parents spend meaningful time with their children, they create a bond that can’t be threatened by any child care program. After all, children switch teachers pretty much every school year with zero to very little emotional response! They are definitely closer to their parents.  

3. Childcare Workers Have an Education in Childhood Development 

There is no educational requirement for regular daycare workers in Ontario. Only daycare supervisors are required to have a two-year diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) from an approved Ontario college. Most parents are simply unaware that most child care facilities do not pay well enough to attract applicants with bachelor degrees. 

However, regardless of their education, most child care staff members are dedicated to providing the best care to the children in their charge. When you’re doing your research, focus on providers with the appropriate early childhood educators (ECE) license.

4. Daycare Staff Potty Train

Potty training begins at home. It can take months for a child to be considered potty trained, and even then accidents can still happen. While almost all daycare staff are willing and able to help with potty training when necessary, many would prefer not to. It isn’t uncommon for daycare centres to request that your child be diaper and accident-free before enrolment. 

There can also be some inconsistencies between potty training methods that you use at home versus ones used at daycare. Do they use pull-ups, diapers, or underwear? Will they reward kids for using the potty in ways you don’t? How do they handle accidents? 

There can be a lot of questions regarding potty training so it’s best to rely on your foundation, not daycare staff. 

5. All They Serve Is Junk Food

While there are many places that take the easy route and serve cheap junk food, the belief that all daycares do the same is a myth. A good child care centre will make meals that are both nutritious and delicious.

It’s important as a parent to seek out which ones are offering the best food options. Here are some requirements to remember for Ontario centres: 

  • Meals, snacks and drinks provided must meet the requirements set out in Health Canada documents “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide” or  “Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants” where applicable.
  • Drinking water must be available at all times. 
  • Current and planned menus should be posted in an area visible to parents with substitutions listed directly on the menu. 
  • All food or drink must be stored and served to retain maximum nutritive value and prevent contamination.