I’m not sure why, but the old fashioned term “Day Care” drives me crazy. I think because the title doesn’t even refer to the child is one reason. In more recent years our industry has made attempts to use terms such as Child Care and Early Childhood Education. But still I cringe when I receive a phone call from a distributor looking to sell me products for “my day care children.”
I truly believe that if we early educators are going to gain respect and support for this crucial industry, we must set the tone! We need to insist on using more appropriate terms and explain to the public what we do. I am sure that for some people, they believe that caring for children is easy. Oh-if they only could walk in our shoes for one day …then they would realize that patience, dedication, kindness, love, creativity, endurance, energy, commitment, ability to multi-task, knowledge in social, emotional, physical and academic development, ability to be attentive the entire time you are with children, and passion are all requirements of working in our industry.
Early childhood education is not a career that one chooses because they need a job to “pay the bills.” Educators choose this field because they truly love assisting a child in growing and developing into the best person he/she can be.
I found it interesting when going to www.wikipedia.com to discover the description that was given for “Day Care.” The old-school way of thinking was reflected somewhat:
"...is care of a child during the day by a person other than the child's legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child's immediate family. Day care is typically an ongoing service during specific periods, such as the parents' time at work. ..."
"...means caring for and supervising child/children usually from 0–8 years of age. In the United States child care is increasingly referred to as early childhood education due to the understanding of the impact of early experiences of the developing child. ..."
This gave me a little more hope that our society is heading in the right direction, but don’t settle folks for the title Day Care Worker…..you do much more than care for children everyday…you prepare them for life…so insist on modern terms such as Child Care Specialist, Early Childhood Educator, or my favorite….Experts in preparing Young Children for productive and successful lives!