Benefits of Back-up Child Care & Daycare
“It’s Miss Jackie Day!” my daughter exclaimed as she ran into my bedroom. Miss Jackie was my daughter’s primary teacher for three years at Bright Horizons. When given the choice between roller skating with her Daisy troop or spending time in Miss Jackie’s room during a recent day off from school, my now first grader chose Miss Jackie. It might have also helped that Madalyn knew this was it. This was the last day she could go to Bright Horizons for back-up child care. Next week she turns seven, marking the day she officially ages out of the center.
I still remember dropping her off that first day in for full-time infant care, although “dropping her off” would probably mean I would have had to leave. I didn’t…at least not right away. That first day, it took me almost an hour before Maddie’s primary caregiver, Miss Betsy, convinced me it was okay to leave. And while I cut back on my “drop-off” time, I still hovered around the 30-minute mark for quite some time. Drop-off was more about “my” drop-off than my daughter’s. She was fine – she loved her infant teachers and all the fun activities she was engaged in, but I struggled with mother’s guilt. The teachers always supported whatever I needed to do to be comfortable (and provided me with lots of answers to my thousands of infant development questions).
By the time we got to toddlers, Miss Joanna, a Bright Horizons Janice Hill award winner, was the primary teacher – she gave me wings and sent me on my way each day. Miss Jackie must have heard about me before I even arrived in preschool. She was armed and ready to make the morning transitions smooth. She had her own bag of tricks to distract Maddie and ease transitions. It also helped that from the moment my daughter met Miss Jackie, it was clear their bond would be like no other. For two years, Miss Jackie helped raise my daughter. She taught her so much and knew exactly how to continue to spark her curiosity. Miss Jackie is one of the reasons my daughter is so passionate about learning. Transitioning to Kindergarten was tough and Maddie ached for Miss Jackie, but we’ve been so fortunate to have the back-up child care benefit through my company. Madalyn has been able to spend select days off at Bright Horizons – until now.
Her last day with Miss Jackie and Miss Melissa was as special as she expected. She got to help with a small group of kids during group time. She had the chance to use the Smart Board again. She was proud to fill out her own daily note and honestly, she was a bit of a celebrity. During nap time she got to sneak off to read to the infants and during gross motor time, she was able to help Miss Melissa take the mats off the rock climbing wall. She also enjoyed pizza day and loved spending the day with her younger brother. Most of all, Maddie cherished every minute she had with Miss Jackie. She was physically and emotionally exhausted by the end of the day but was also smiling from ear to ear.
In catching up with Miss Jackie the next day, it was especially nice to hear how much Madalyn has matured. Of course, it happens slowly over time so as a parent you don’t always noticed it, but Miss Jackie did. She found Madalyn to be more patient, more understanding when she couldn’t get what she wanted, kind and helpful with the other kids, and of course much more advanced academically. My husband and I aren’t sure what we’ll do the next time school is out, but for now, we are thankful we’ve had the back-up child care option. Thank you, Bright Horizons. Thank you, Miss Jackie and Miss Melissa. And, thank you to all the teachers who have touched my daughter’s life. It takes a village to raise a child and I’m blessed to have such a wonderful village.
- E-family news: Choosing & Starting Child Care – How to Adjust as a Parent
- Bright Horizons Solutions at Work: Back-Up Child Care