Your educator is an important reference person for children. Photo: Bigstock
If the favorite teacher is there and welcomes the child with open arms in the morning, it is much easier to say goodbye to mom and dad. But it also means: If the trusted reference person is suddenly no longer there, tears can flow – and unfortunately, a constant change of staff is a fairly normal everyday life in many facilities.
There are many reasons for this: dismissals, illness, maternity leave, moving to another day care institution … As understandable as the reasons for changing caregivers can be, it is always a big change for the kids.
Many parents are concerned about this and wonder what the consequence will be if children constantly have to get used to new educators.
According to a comprehensive study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the ideal care ratio (the ratio between caregivers and children) in a crèche with children under 3 years is 1: 3. According to the Federal Statistical Office, the childcare ratio has improved markedly in recent years, but in many day care institutions it is still far from ideal.
Poor care conditions in turn lead to stressful working conditions and a high workload for employees. The result: another staff change. An evil circle.
But what are the consequences of high fluctuations in day care for my child?
It is clear that a constant replacement of staff is exhausting for children. After all, they need a stable environment for their development. As a result, many parents worry about the impact it can have on their child if they constantly have to say goodbye to their favorite teacher. The good news: A study by UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute came to the conclusion that most children survive a change of care in day care well.
The researchers found no evidence that infants and toddlers who experienced staff changes later had difficulty adjusting. “This may be good news for parents who are concerned about high turnover of teachers and other professionalsSaid Dr. Mary Bratsch-Hines, one of the leading experts.
Change of facility worse for children than change of staff
What, on the other hand, can negatively affect children’s development is a frequent change of facility. “This may be because when children move to a different care environment, they have to adapt to a new environment, such as different facilities, other toys, different games and new routines – in addition to being exposed to different peers and other caregivers.”
Does this mean that children do not mind a constant change of caregivers at all?
After all, it’s not quite that simple. For although (according to current knowledge) long-term injuries are rare, the constant goodbye is still stressful. After all, it takes months afterwards before a secure bond with the new educators can develop again.
It is therefore important that parents follow the change of caregiver as well as possible and lovingly support their child in this change.
What parents can do to help their child in such a situation
It is crucial that parents show understanding of their child’s feelings. It also helps if mom and dad are kind and open to the new caregiver and show their child that they can trust the stranger.
At best, there is a smooth transition, and the children can get to know the new person in the day care institution in advance. In addition, there should be a comprehensive farewell to the former caregiver. This helps the little ones deal with the situation as it becomes more predictable. From the age of three, it is still easier for children to interpret and process the situation.
Tell us in the comments how you experience this in your daycare: Do you also have a constant change of staff? We look forward to the exchange!
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