So our daycare journey has been a little turbulent to say the least.
my little one didnt get a place in a daycare in March as we had planned, so the council offered us a temporary daycare which turned out great but was only open for 4 months.
After the summer we got a place in a new one,a local swedish daycare, right across from our house which we excitedly visited ,
My first impressions were off,
The school itself looked great, wonderful yard, spacious and equipped,
but the 'vibe' was off
the teachers were subdued. In fact they were sitting on a bench when we walked in and no one rose up to show us around
The lady who finally did show us round, said the minimum to us.
The enthusiasm and energy I expect from teachers was non-existant.
I have worked in preschools myself,
my husband has as well so we know the drill..
something just didnt sit right
I always follow the warning signs in my head and so i immediately started looking for an alternative private daycare.
I got us registered and visited the place even before the end of the summer so that it was ready to go in case my gut feelings proved true.
And so come august,we started the Swedish Local Day care full of anxiety and happy anticipation.
my daughter was then almost 2 , she shrugged off her shy reservedness and took to the school with curiosity and openness.
she visited all the rooms and inter acted with the children and teachers,
well she tried...
there was no one to help negotiate the new relationship between her and the other children
and the staff only initiated one activity with her..a puzzle
In addition, the staff were constantly sitting and barely gave us any information like where to sign in when we drop her in the morning,
where they change diapers,
what activities they do each day..
nothing but the bare minimum..
I feel the worst was the lack of interaction with the children,
i noticed one or two teachers who actually played with the children
when the kids argued over sharing , i was the one who finally stepped in twice..
they didn’t do any normal activities either, no singing, drawing, dancing, painting, circle time, nothing..
we sat at the same lunch table with another child and a teacher and she said a total of 5 words to us the entire time.
it was clear to see the 2 staff who had been there the longest and also the newer staff who seemed eager to do something but needed guidance.
we wish they could all share her enthusiasm.
I basically left after the 2nd day feeling ignored and underwhelmed but my daughter was making the best of it ..
the third day a little boy in the playground referred to my husband as a chocolate ball ..and wanting to eat him up ( there is a popular swedish dessert that has been source of much controversy as it was originally called the n*** ball)
so my husband told him, its not really nice to want to eat anyone up.
to this the little one screamed
" everyone in this daycare should kill this man"
and then nothing happened...
I mean the staff or adults around , no one reacted
my husband packed up, dressed our daughter and came home..
Naturally, I gave all the Heads a piece of my mind on the following Monday and we started the new 'back up' daycare within a few days.
On our last day there, as i walked to drop off my girl with my heart in a knot, i saw the one teacher playing football with the kids and the rest of the teachers ,sitting on the stairs drinking tea/coffee from their mugs..
I should add that during our brief time there, I saw the little ones ignored ,again and again,
I saw girls being mean and no one being around to negotiate the situations
I spoke to other parents about feeling ignored and i was told more than once that "that’s just the way it is, and i gets better"
She spent about 5 days in that school and perhaps only did circle time twice AFTER I had yelled at the Head and that’s it , nothing more..
I realize we took a risk putting her in a 'regular local' school in an area that isnt that multicultural but i always have faith that adults will protect and stand up for her.
I realize racism and cultural misunderstandings will be a part of her existence but i am determined to delay it as long as humanly possible.
In this new school which is Swedish speaking but private, I see a welcome smile every morning when I drop her sniffling and crying..
They comfort and hug her,
She learns something new everyday
I think back to when I worked in pre school , I remember feeling like an extra parent, I taught them how to wait, how to eat with a fork, how to count, how to hold a pen, I sang them to sleep and changed their diapers, I negotiated anger tantrums and danced to Justin Bieber with them. I applauded every painting and encouraged their growth
To be honest I loved my kids dearly
Its therefore doubly important to me , to know that she is loved for those 7 hours ,everyday she spends in the care of her teachers.