I am NOT a babysitter! I rarely sit, and when I do, it is never on the baby!
Trusting your child to a babysitter will cause even more stress and uneasiness than attempting a cross-country trip in an old Ford Pinto! Early childhood care is as far removed from babysitting as a 1973 Ford Pinto is from a new Cadillac. The trip from point A to point B in the Pinto will cause you to arrive stressed and disheveled due to the close quarters and uneasiness of whether you will even arrive at your destination. The trip from birth to Kindergarten with "just a babysitter" will bring your child to the first day of school unprepared, with a serious doubt that he will even arrive at his destination: high school graduation!
On the other hand, the trip in the Cadillac will allow you to travel in comfort with no worries regarding reliability or personal safety, causing you to arrive calm, cool and collected at your destination. Entrusting your child to an early childhood professional relieves worry and stress because you know that he will be able to succeed in school and life because of the solid foundation that has been laid in his early years.
Back in the early 70’s we were considered to be a notch above the rest if we had completed the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Class. This taught us how to hold a baby, change a diaper, give a bath, and who to call for help. By adding the Basic First Aid class, we also knew how to clean and bandage a wound and splint a broken bone.
Today’s Early Childhood Professionals are people that are dedicated to nurturing and educating children in the first years of life. They are required to have gone through training in Pediatric First Aid, Adult and Child C.P.R., Universal Precautions, and Medication Administration. They have completed coursework in such areas as Child Growth and Development, Family Relationships, Healthy and Safe Environments, Cultural and Individual Diversity, Guidance, Developmentally Appropriate Practices, and Professionalism. Many of them have gone through additional training and have submitted themselves and their programs to a high level of scrutiny in order to be rated and/or accredited.
These professionals spend their days teaching and caring, nurturing and challenging, guiding and respecting children and their families. I call them professionals because the job that they are doing is as critical to the future of our society as any other profession you can name. Excellence in this profession is not just a personal aspiration on the part of a few highly motivated individuals; it is the bar that has been set to which all aspire. Our children, even our society as a whole, deserve no less.
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