Food Allergies, Daily Info, and Pickup Times can be confusing in a daycare setting. Is your child starting daycare and do they have food allergies? Are you having a hard time coming up with the right questions to ask? Are you a parent who always seems to be missing the memo on daily information like your child’s day or the field trip next week? Are you always present at pick up time? In the final post in this series I will be providing you with questions to ask about food allergies, how you can stay up to speed on daily information about your child and their classroom happenings, and why it’s so important to be present at pickup time.
The Ultimate Guide to Daycare: Food Allergies, Daily Info, And Pickup Time
Food Allergies: What to Ask Your Daycare
Food allergies in children has become a very prominent thing in recent years. Parents have to monitor everything that goes in their child’s mouth. This is a very easy thing to do in the home, but what about day care? Here is a list of questions to ask to make the transition from home to school much easier.
- Do I have to bring my own food?At the day care I worked at, children did not have to bring their own food. The kitchen staff was aware of everyone’s allergies and adjusted food accordingly. However, this is not the case everywhere.
- Is there an allergy list in each classroom? There should be an allergy list in each classroom where your child attends. This should also be posted in the kitchen as well. It should be updated regularly.
- Is the kitchen staff aware of my child’s allergies? It is important that the kitchen staff is aware of your child’s allergies. An allergy list should be posted in the kitchen and you should have the freedom to speak to the kitchen staff whenever you wish.
- Is this a nut free center? Some day cares will be nut free across the whole center while others designate just certain rooms where the allergy is contained.
- Are other parents aware of the allergies in the center? It is important that notices are posted as to weather the entire center is nut free or just a few rooms. This helps bring the allergy to the attention of other parents so that they do not bring in items that are processed in a factory that also processes nuts. Sadly, this does not always help.
- Where does my child sit at lunch? In the day care I worked at, all the children sat together. Since food was adjusted accordingly for those with allergies, this was not a big problem. Once again, every child care center is different.
- Where is the medicine for my children’s food allergy kept? All medicines should be kept in a locked box on a high shelf where they cannot be reached.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what questions to ask your daycare. Food allergies and day care questions go hand in hand, it is always good to formulate a plan ahead of time. By asking the above questions, you can send your child to school with peace of mind that they will be enjoying a day that is good for their mind and body.
Why You Should Check Your Kids Cubbyhole
Parenting is not for the faint of heart. We live in a very fast paced world. Every day you are rushing to get out the door, drop the kids off, get to work, maybe you have to do errands on your break and the list goes on. In the evenings it’s not much better. Once again you are rushing to get the kids picked up and heading home. It is easy to forget things. Later on that evening, you are at the dinner table talking to your child, when they mention there is a field trip tomorrow. They tell you that you need to sign the permission slip and they need money. Another one of your children may need something special for the ‘letter’ of the week or to bring for show and share. Maybe they need to bring something special for a craft project. Maybe your baby is out of diapers or wipes. Once again, you realize you forgot to check their cubbies at day care/school. It’s okay, it is so easy to do. Yet, it is really important. There are so many things that show up in a cubby including:
- Art Projects
- Candy (From holidays or sometimes as potty treats)
- Hats/Gloves/Scarves in the winter
- Sunscreen/Sunglasses/Ball caps in the summer
What to Check For
To really important things like:
- Permission slips/requests for field trip chaperones
- Daily sheets
- Special announcements from directors and staff
- Progress Reports
- Accident reports
- Opportunity for improvement (behavior)
- Invitations to birthday parties from classmates
When personal items get left behind and important forms don’t get seen, it is frustrating for everyone. Teachers too. Teachers have to account for permission slips, money for field trips and fundraisers and make sure all the necessary information is on daily sheets.
Why Daily Sheets Are So Important
As we all know, the mornings and the evenings are probably the most hectic part of the day. In the mornings we are getting ourselves and the kids ready, packing lunches, making sure the dog went outside to go to the bathroom, etc. The evenings are not much better. We’re getting off work, picking up the kids, going home to eat dinner, do homework, etc. It is the same for your child’s teachers, especially day care teachers. Sometimes we are talking with another parent and don’t get to address an issue during the day. Sometimes we are busy changing a child or disciplining someone and don’t get to talk to you. Other times, you are in and out the door before we can catch you.
This is why daily sheets are so important. On them you will find:
- What your child did during the day
- What they ate
- How they ate
- When and how they slept
- Notes about being out of diapers/wipes (if applicable)
- When they went to the bathroom and what it was
- Notes about upcoming events
- Notes about their behavior
This is one of the best ways we have to keep everyone on the same page. It is frustrating for everyone when there is no communication and a child does not have the things they need. Some centers use electronic apps to communicate with parents like KidsReport.
Why It’s Important to be Present at Pickup Time
A few years ago a daycare posted a sign that parents were not allowed to be on their phones at pickup time. This cause quite an uproar, from people feeling it was an invasion of their privacy while others felt their parenting was being judged. The bottom line was, how did this affect the child? It’s important that you are present during pickup time for many reasons.
The Day Got Off To A Bad Start-Maybe you had a rough morning and you yelled at your children. Maybe you were running late and couldn’t say goodbye at drop off time. Maybe your spouse brought your child instead of you. Regardless of the situation, your child has missed you all day. They probably can’t wait to get a hug and kiss from you and have you ask how their day was.
Your Child Is Trying To Tell You Something– Your child could have had a really great day. He or she could have gone on a field trip, had a special guest come to speak to the class or even shared in a birthday treat. They also may want to talk to you about something that went wrong that day.
Your Child’s Teacher Wants To Talk To You-It is important to check in with your child’s teacher at the end of the day to find out how their day was. You need to know if they are struggling or doing exceptional. It’s always good to check in to make sure everyone is on the same page. We appreciate your presence too.
Being Present vs. Having Presence
To Show Your Child They Are Important-There is too much negativity in the world. Your child could have had the worst day ever.
Being able to give them five minutes of your uninterrupted time after school is very important. It gives you a chance to relax, breathe, and reconnect for a minute before the your evening moves into the hectic chaos of dinner, bath time and homework (if you have older children).
Another Parent Wants To Talk To You-Another parent may want to talk to you about setting up a play date or inviting your child to a birthday party.
The next time you’re driving to day care to pick up your children, pause and reflect how it was when you were a child. If you had a Mom that stayed at home, didn’t it feel good to be able to sit down with a snack and talk to her about your day? If you were with a single Dad, didn’t it feel good to crawl on his lap at a young age and talk about your day? Or to sit around at the dinner table with your family and get caught up?
We live in a fast paced world where time flies and moments pass way too quickly. Moments that cannot be recaptured.Parents, make a habit of being present at pick up time so your absence during the day won’t be so hard. It is important to be present not only at pick up time but all the time.