Advertised as a guide to empowering parents who are placing children in day care for the first time, this book from child-care professionals Rioux and Parylak delivers more of a lecture, paternalistic in tone, on how to make a day-care provider’s day run more smoothly. There are a few tips that new parents can benefit from, such as bringing children to the day care before enrollment to acclimate them to the setting, but most of the entries sternly remind parents to pay on time, avoid being late to pick-up, and otherwise behave appropriately. These suggestions are unlikely to greatly affect the child’s experience or ease a parent’s concerns. Many of the tips focus on details or procedures that would help directors or teachers run their operation. They are not, however, matters that an anxious parent should be feeling stress over. Rather than turning to this litany of commandments, most parents would be best advised to ask their day-care providers directly for advice. (BookLife)
This visually pleasing title for day-care parents does not disappoint. Coauthors Rioux and Parylak have a combined 45-year track record in child development and education, experience that will help parents get the most from their day-care years. Suggestions range from the seemingly obvious (don't dress children in overalls if they're in toilet training) to advice for avoiding questions such as, "Mommy has to go to work now, OK?" Each point contains a key idea, summarizes the information's importance, and provides real-life examples. Charming illustrations and book recommendations are included throughout. VERDICT Leaving one's child in the care of another can be nerve-wracking, but the authors' upbeat, long-term perspective will assist parents in valuing their providers and doing best by their offspring. For all libraries.
A step-by-step guide explains the mysterious world of day care. Rioux and Parylak aim their debut book at first-time parents undertaking the always wrenching process of transitioning their child from home care to a day care center. The authors draw on their own extensive experience in education and child care to break down the basics of what is naturally an intimidating and bewildering move: handing a youngster over to comparative strangers for large chunks of the day. The book addresses every conceivable detail those nervous parents might encounter, from the unsavory (head lice and playtime biting, among many other horrors of childhood) to the practical (don’t forget to turn the car’s engine off before escorting the child inside; make sure the youngster’s microwaveable lunch is packed in the right container; and always remember the all-important precaution of labeling literally everything). The authors adopt a thoroughly confident and cheerful tone throughout, firmly but happily reminding jittery parents that caregivers are people too, often busy folks watching many children at the same time all day long—and gently admonishing overly demanding mothers and fathers (the type wanting minute-by-minute accountings of how their kids spend each visit). At every stage, Rioux and Parylak encourage communication between parents and workers (“Bulletin boards are posted either in your child’s classroom or just outside it. This board highlights important notices or information. Please read them daily”). The useful volume tells parents that there are no silly questions but also consistently reminds them throughout of their own responsibilities—for carefully laying out any problems or special requirements their child might have (rather than counting on the staff to be mind readers), for explaining to workers any factors (such as divorce or illness) at home that might affect the youngster’s behavior at the facility, and even for informing caregivers of any change in the person who’ll be picking up the child at the end of the visit. Parents facing this switch from home care to a center often become frazzled and worried by the change—and hence prone to mistakes or oversights. This book, lavishly and wonderfully illustrated by Graf, should be on every new parent’s nightstand. An indispensable manual for parents venturing into the unknown territory of day care.