I operated privately and did not contract with an agency so I could prioritize partnering with parents to meet the individual needs of each child, while meeting the needs of the group as well as my own needs. After all, providing home childcare is typically a nine to ten hour day, with no formal breaks and also requires an additional commitment of time on the evenings and weekends to sustain the business.
While it is time for me to move on with the next chapter of my life and my family's life, I am also disheartened by the direction that the Ontario and Canadian governments are setting for childcare.
I wish the focus was on fostering childcare programs that helped children grow up in the context of relationships and neighborhoods, walking, exploring, meeting people and discovering the unique benefits that each community and/or landscape has to offer.
I wish the well-being of the predominantly hard-working women providing childcare services were of equal of importance to the well-being of the families using childcare services. Home childcare providers are private contractors with no rights or protections in the public or licensed system created by the Ontario Government.
Again, thank you to all those who were a part of and/or supported Sarah’s Family Daycare! It’s sincerely been a pleasure! Now I would like to share one final quote from Neufeld’s relationship-based, developmental approach. This is one of my favourites!
You can have all the buildings and houses you want with beautifully landscaped lawns but this does not ensure you have a community. Community is about connections between people and it is the natural context that children were meant to be raised in. For children the attachment village is an invisible matrix in which they mature and develop a sense of rootedness, belonging, and connection.
While we can’t turn back the clock to days past when we lived in attachment villages, we can purposively and constructively create them for ourselves. The benefit of today is that we have the freedom to construct the attachment village for our children and family. We can be conscious of who we choose to be aunties and uncles, ensuring ones that will fit with our parenting philosophy and values. We can matchmake our children with those who will play a surrogate parent role, ensuring they never have to feel away from home when they are with them.