No, It’s Not Rocket Science

Welcome to day 10 of 30 Days of Writing, a creative writing challenge that makes grown men cry.  Woohoo! We are 1/3 of the way through! Today’s prompt is “The Babysitter”. Enjoy, and don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you’ve participated in today’s challenge so you can play nice with the others.

No, It’s Not Rocket Science

rocket ride, park ride, children's ride

I could definitely operate those rockets.

I was an Early Childhood Educator for nearly 12 years. I worked with a variety of children from ages 18 months to 5 years old. I loved what I did and I was fortunate that I worked at a fantastic daycare with a great group of people. I chose to move on, however, because I realized that it was not something I could do for another 30 or so years until I retired. It’s a physically and emotionally challenging position and I often found myself too tired to really enjoy my time with my own kids.

When I started working in daycare, there was very little recognition for the profession. My first job, I got paid about 30 cents more than I would have made working at McDonald’s. There were no benefits, no paid sick days and precious little recognition. I was considered the babysitter.

I received my college diploma in Early Childhood Education. As the title of this post says: no, it’s not rocket science. But I studied child psychology, child development, health and nutrition, art, psychomotricity, and a number of other courses that enabled me to evaluate each child’s abilities and needs so I could design a program of activities to help stimulate their cognitive, emotional, creative and physical development.

How many babysitters do you know who do that?

Luckily, things changed dramatically over the years. Before I changed careers, conditions had already undergone significant improvements.  Today, in Quebec at least, educators receive decent salaries, benefits and are even  entitled to pedagogical days. More importantly, societal attitudes have changed and educators are considered to be professionals. Gone is the job title of babysitter.

Sometimes I miss working with kids. Then Max will pitch a fit because I refuse to buy him a dragon and I miss it a whole lot less.







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    With that being said…no snarky remarks on my graphic today.  I have made a poster. Not specifically about babysitters…..more about the expectation that people should handle kids with care.

  • I think taking care of children IS rocket science.  Anyone who has done it knows.  YOU are my hero!

  • Believe me, the ages between 18 months and 5 years are more important than rocket science any way you look at it.  Those are the formative years.  We end up with the results in new prison facilities when things go wrong even that young.

  • My hat’s off to anyone with the patience and understanding to look after children.

  • Pingback: “Baby”Sitter « Live Life in Crescendo()

  • To me, working with kids is the hardest job on earth. I couldn’t do it. For one, I don’t have the patience and two, being responsible for other people’s  kids makes me a nervous wreck. I admire teachers and day care workers. They should be paid extremely well.

  • OMG…Same name and now THIS?  This must be fate!  I worked in a daycare center for 10 years, beginning in high school until I was pregnant with my youngest.  People called us Glorified Babysitters and it pissed me off!  I had my Child Development Associates (CDA).  I was the program coordinator for 3 toddler rooms and I was the lead teacher for my own class of older toddlers.  I spent at least 10 hours of unpaid time there just preparing plans, decorating the room, cleaning the toys, etc.  I started at minimum wage…sooo…the people at McDonald’s actually made more than me.  But I obviously wasn’t there for the money.  I loved the kids, I loved the parents (mostly) and I (again, mostly) loved the staff.  No, it isn’t rocket science but rocket scientists wouldn’t have a clue as to how to do that job (no offense for anyone who happens to be a rocket scientist).  It is challenging and difficult and incredibly rewarding.  

    I recently earned my Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Rochester.  It is a highly respected university and stupid expensive.  And sometimes I am consumed with wanting to go back to working in childcare.  My husband would kill me (did I mention that the UofR is stupid expensive?)!  My body and mind also do not have the energy for that kind of work anymore but I do miss it so much sometimes. I think it is in our blood.  And by “our” I mean “people named Nicky, Nicki, or Nikki.  But not Niki.  I didn’t work with any Niki’s at the daycare.

  • Wendy

    Couldn’t agree wit hall the other posts here more. It is a highly demanding job, and  I firmly believe that the years before 6 are critical to a child’s development.  Thankfully, there is more recognition of that.  

  • Oh just buy the boy a dragon already!…I can say that; he’s not mine. Why just yesterday my 16 year old announced that he’s in love and going to marry this one. I’d rather he have a dragon.

  • I don’t think I could EVER handle working with kids.  No thank you!

  • mikewjattoomanymornings

    “I chose to move on, however, because I realized that it was not something I could do for another 30 or so years until I retired. It’s a physically and emotionally challenging position and I often found myself too tired to really enjoy my time with my own kids.”

    Have you considered the possibility that it’s your kids — and I’m counting Jepeto here — who burned you out on your job?


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