After working in three different child care centers across the country and as my first child grew, I understood more concretely how my decision to leave my child in the care of others would impact him. It is the personal choice of my husband and I to not use day care.

This choice does not mean that we think that parents who send their children to day care in homes or centers are bad parents. We just choose differently, and if you do too, you may relate to these reasons why I don’t use daycare.

‘Daycare kids’ can thrive and be successful. We just don’t want to risk missing anything or give parenting power to anyone other than ourselves.

My opposition to the use of daycare does not mean I want parents who utilize it to fail at parenting.

I certainly want all children to grow up to feel loved, supported (if they are choosing positive avenues to explore in life) and be successful. I want all parents to cherish their roles as parents and the time they have with their children. I want all parents to have a strong and positive relationship with their child throughout their lives.

Babies seated in a row. Text reads Why I do not use daycare. A former daycare workers thoughts on why she does not send her children to daycare.

Why I Don’t Use Daycare

1) I do not know the caregivers personally.

 If I was still living near the daycare centers at which I worked, I would know caregivers in each room and would feel good about leaving my child in the care of an adult that I trusted here and there when I needed a babysitter.
The fact of the matter is, we are teaching children to trust strangers when we leave them in the care of an adult that we don’t know. I understand after day 1 in a new child care center the caregiver becomes ‘known,’ but it is different than an established, trusted relationship.
Yes, I know that when my child enters school his teacher will not be well known by me. We can’t compare the understanding of an infant or toddler to a child who is 5 or 6 years old.

2) I would be teaching my child that trusting a stranger is acceptable and necessary.

Adults in childcare centers have passed background checks, sure, but I have worked with these caregivers and I would not want some of them caring for my child.
I was able to observe co-workers on numerous occasions over a year or more of time. Most parents don’t sit in the child care room even for a few hours when they drop off a child…a 6 week old child who is defenseless and helpless.
A precedent is established that whatever adult you as the parent choose to leave your child with, is trusted and safe. (Yikes!) And we wonder why so many children ‘go along’ with inappropriate situations with adults.
3) The ‘daily grind’ is too much stress for a little one.
Adults always complain about ‘the daily grind’-wake up, get dressed, drive to work, drive home, make dinner, fit in family time, and go to bed, just to do it all over again the next day.
I don’t want my children having to experience this adult grind as young children.
4) I don’t want my child to be in a situation where he is defenseless.
I am actually planning to send my son to preschool. He is enrolled because he is potty trained and can verbalize to me if something happens at school that we need to discuss further. He has an understanding of his personal space and that it is only for him. We have taught him that his private parts are not for anyone else to see or touch.
In the child care centers where I worked, there were not doors in the bathroom to allow each child privacy. Children are too exposed in child care for my liking.
Infants need sleep when they are tired, not alarm clocks. 
Toddlers need secure, consistent caregiving as they begin to figure out how they can get their hands on the world around them.  
Preschoolers need to understand that their body is their business and be independent in self-help with this area. 

My brother was a clerk for a State Supreme Court Justice out in Oregon. I mentioned to him that I felt like such an odd ball since I was the only mom I knew (in my circle of close friends) who had never placed my children in child care. He told me that my apprehension was warranted. Of all the child abuse cases that come across his desk, most involve a person who had easy contact with a child.

I don’t wish failure on the parents or children who utilize child care outside of the home.
Maybe they know their caregivers, can balance the stress of working outside of the home better than the rest of us and still keep their family formed as one cohesive unit.  I just want to empower moms to realize how precious are the first 5 years of our children’s lives. We, and they, don’t get them back. 
Learn how to host a playdate to meet mom friends and keep postpartum depression and loneliness away.
What are your thoughts on daycare? 
Some moms choose daycare. I don't. As a former daycare caregiver, I chose to stay-at-home for a few reasons related to my daycare experiences.

Check out these posts for more on each developmental stage:
Infant Development
Toddler Development
Preschool Development



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NEW BLOG POST 4 reasons why a former daycare caregiver does not use daycare.