14 July 2011
As not only a parent but also as someone who works from home the education and care of my daughter is very big on my radar. I have found using ECE and then in home care to have its own pros and cons but overall I am satisfied with our experience with both of them.
However, I would be cautious that as a parent and therefore Generation X, we are all very keen to outsource everything and this to some extent includes our child’s education. It is easier to put the power in someone else’s hands than to sit down and actually spend time with our child with giving them our knowledge.
There is no pressure to use ECE but I think it comes down to price and location of most ECE or in-home care services. It is hard to get a gauge on what is being taught from a third party provider or know what their curriculum is unless you stay there for the whole day and actually test out what they teach, but if you are like most parents you just don’t have the time and inclination to do so.
We have used both home-based and centre-based ECE and I would say that most days I have felt capable as an educator compared to some of the people that have crossed my daughter’s path, but at the end of the day there was no pressure it was simply about what is best for both child and parent, and that is exactly why we have now come back to ECE.
It is not something that has been forced upon us but more of something we would like to be involved in. We also do our own education outside of paid-for ECE and this is due to the fact that we would like to give our little person a head start.
I think if we had to rely solely on the centre-based or home-based care system we would be questioning exactly what she has been learning. However we feel comfortable with the experiences she gets at daycare along with the experiences we give her and it is a good balance.
Being a capable parent and educator is the most important thing and if this means that I need to change things around, then so be it. If it means asking my home-based educator to help with providing support with educating then so be it.
But at the end of the day whether or not it's centre-based or home-based care or staying at home as a parent at some stage you will need to make sure your child gets a good education. This is something that as a parent I need to take seriously. Parents really do need to start taking an interest in what their child is learning.
* Scott has one daughter and is a stay-at-home dad who has also used both centre-based and home-based care.