Sharing- the RIE way

Knowing if, when and how to intercede is the dance of the Educarer. Here, two Early Toddlers demonstrate that when it comes to conflict, an adult isn’t always needed for resolution.

“When we make a child share, it is not sharing. This is a difficult concept for most of us, and yet I have found that when I have given the children a choice to share or not to share , with no repercussions, their inner-directed responses tend to be far more generous and giving.”

-Magda Gerber, DEAR PARENT: Caring for Infants with Respect, p.131

On Community Wellness

Dear Parents-

Please disregard this message if you fully understand and adhere to the sickness policies in place at LLL and MMP.  The sickness policies we have at the school enable us to care for groups of children on a daily basis while also safeguarding the health and well-being of other children, the teachers, and extended family members.

We are having to send out this notice because over the last two weeks with at least four families, some of our sickness policies were forgotten or ignored.  We wanted to highlight some of our experiences when this occurs:

1. a sick child can not engage in activities and often seeks and needs one-on-one comfort throughout the day, leaving the remaining teacher to attempt to meet the needs of the rest of the group.

2. children attending sick may spread contagious diseases to other children resulting in those families also having to care for an ill child and miss valuable work time.

3. sick children expose our teachers to illness resulting in our teachers missing work.  This negatively affects the quality of care we can provide in their absence and also increases the costs of providing services to our entire community.  In some cases, the teacher may not be compensated for missed time from illness, resulting in a loss of wages.

While it is not always possible to know if your child is sick and true that symptoms may arise after an exposure has taken place, we depend on a trusting and open communication in this regard towards our general health with all members of our community.  Please note-

  • If your teacher voices a concern regarding your child’s behavior or well-being chances are it is something to check out.  Many times your teacher’s observations of your child foretell of an upcoming illness- we are structured to observe and get to know you child intimately, so if something is amiss, we will let you know.  In some cases, even without a fever present, you may want to ask, “Do you think she needs to be at home?
  • We know we are supporting many working families and may be your only resource outside your family structure.  We value your work time and only call when we feel that your child needs attention- either immediately, or for something to keep a watch on.  We also understand that in some professions and matters of self-employment- getting back up coverage in case of a child’s illness is difficult.  If you are not able to find a resource, please contact us and we will help guide you in the process of an “on-call” caregiver.
  • It is not OK to medicate your child prior to sending her to school for the day.  If your child is too uncomfortable to come to school without medication (tylenol, cough syrup) – chances are she is too uncomfortable to be at school.  These medications also mask the symptoms and interfere with your child’s self-regulatory abilities- making it very difficult to provide responsive caregiving and guidance baed on her  cues.  When the medicine wears off mid-day- typically a time of transition- the child’s discomfort is multiplied.  In the case of allergies and/or medications for previous illness, please let us know in order that we can be sensitive to any side effects.

Please also note that we should be able to reach at least one parent by phone at all times that your child is within our care.  In the event that we need to leave a message, we expect to have contact within the next five minutes in order to communicate any needs your child may have.  We may also send an email with information pertaining to the care and well-being of your child.  If your child needs to leave school due to an illness- we plan for that to take place within 30 minutes of our communication.  In the event you are not able to be reached by phone or in the event you travel beyond a 30 minute response time, please designate an alternative contact person in case of an emergency.

I apologize for the tone of this email, but feel it is necessary to communicate.  The greater majority of our families are very sensitive in following the policies we have in place for the health and well-being of the school community and we thank you for that.  However, a minority of families may not understand the severity of the consequences when these policies are not followed- including negatively impacting teacher morale.

You may find our Parent Handbook an outline of common illnesses when children should remain at home and for how long.  We also have a more complete list in the office from DHEC on other illnesses not covered in our handbook.

Thanks for your understanding and cooperation.  If you have any questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact us.