Letting Them Go With Confidence

This post is sponsored by KinderCare.

As parents we love our children more than anyone else. Not only do we care about their well-being, but we know them through and through…all their quirks, preferences and special needs. We know it all, which is why sending your child off to school and into the care of someone else who is not you – their parent – for the very first time can feel incredibly overwhelming and emotional.

I experienced these emotions for the first time in my six years of parenting this year as we sent our oldest off to Kindergarten. She hadn’t attended Pre-K since my job flexibility allows me to be home with my kids and gave me the opportunity to work with her on Kindergarten prep at home. Because of this, going to all-day Kindergarten was a pretty big jump and I had a whole lot of feelings going into it.Was she going to be safe? Would she feel seen and valued? Would her teacher help her with zipping up her jacket for recess since she still has some trouble with that?

Big questions and small ones swirled through my head as I sent her off into the unknown and I’ll admit that it was hard during those early days and weeks. Over time though, I’ve learned that it really is such a gift to be able to send my child to a place where she is surrounded by other adults who are able to help her learn and grow in ways that I never could. It is so sweet to have a teacher’s assistant share with you how impressed they are with your child’s ability to take initiative and problem solve and it is wonderful to see your child developing autonomy and independence as they discover who they are apart from you.Even though this was my first time personally experiencing these feelings/worries/concerns about sending a child away to school for the first time, I was certainly no stranger to them. You see, a long time ago in a far away land (i.e. before I became a parent with children of my own) I was an early childhood educator myself. I worked at a child development center where I taught a classroom of three and four-year-olds and grew accustomed to assuaging the worries of new parents on a regular basis. These parents were placing their children in my care and trusting me to not only care for them, but to truly see them and teach them as the individual masterpieces that they were.And I did my very best to deliver that, because I knew how important my role was and how much faith these families were placing in me and also because I loved my students and seeing them learn and grow. That is the special thing about quality early childhood centers and educators – they are in it for the love of teaching and for the love of the children and KinderCare is definitely that type of center.

I’m sure most of you, like myself, have heard of KinderCare, but I hadn’t really delved deeper into just what their centers were about until recently. I have to say that from my research, I am honestly so impressed with the quality of programming they have within their centers as well as how they have grown and changed along with the times in order to provide children and families with the very best experience and education.

KinderCare has been around since 1969 and has grown over the years into a community of 1,400 centers in 38 states has a proven track record of of providing confidence in care – both to parents who can feel confident in leaving their children with quality educators and to children who are being taught confidence in themselves. This commitment to giving kids confidence for life is even written into their manifesto:

“We are care-givers. We are educators. We impart a lifetime love of learning. But we are so much more. We are builders. Of confidence in parents. Of confidence in children. Of unshakeable self-worth. Of conviction they carry with them as they take their first steps…and every step towards taking on the world.”
 That last sentence totally made me tear up, because it is so true. Building a child’s confidence is literally a lifelong gift that they will take with them into every aspect of their lives in the future. This is why KinderCare has a commitment of hiring quality and dynamic educators…because teachers are so much more than “just teachers” and they can make all the difference in a child’s life. They are in charge of knowing and learning just who each child in their care is. They learn what makes them tick, what things trigger them, what makes them laugh, because they genuinely care about every child in their classroom. They find unique ways to reach each child in ways that they learn best and they build relationships with families and are a big part of making a center feel warm and welcoming.
Currently, I don’t have a need for daily childcare or a pre-K program for my younger children, but I realized that Kindercare actually offers a ton of unique options for families outside of the typical daily child care I had expected. They have their own Kindergarten, Before and After School Programs for K-6 students as well as school break solutions and they even have a Bilingual Mandarin Immersion program for some locations.
One of the most unique programs I came upon though and one I am interested in further exploring for my little ones who don’t necessarily “need” care, but could certainly benefit from great teachers and fun opportunities to learn, play and explore, is their Learning Adventures Enrichment Programs.
These programs provide children with new skills and confidence in a variety of areas in order to improve academic skills, build school readiness and instill confidence through learning in fun ways and includes: Phonics Adventures, Reading Adventures, Math Adventures, Conversational Spanish Adventures, Cooking Adventures and Music Adventures. Definitely going to be checking these out!
 I am so thankful that there are quality educators and child development centers like KinderCare that can give children the confidence they need as they go through life and parents the confidence they need to know that their children are being well cared for, because in the end that really is all a parent can ask for. If it can’t always be us with our kids, it’s important to know there are good people who can be with them in our stead.

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