I have been going through old emails and found one that reminded me of one of the reasons I started Birdsall House.
At the time I was the lead teacher in an infant classroom. When parents enrolled their child in my class they were told that the child would stay with me for the first three years, that I would move with the child to the next classroom. This didn’t happen.
The parents were given no real say in this. There was one family that I had advocated for quite often about things like what they could send for their child to eat and other small issues. After their child was moved from my class I continued to help the family navigate things though I had less power over what happened in other classrooms.
One of the emails I found was from this mother and there was one line that really spoke to one of the biggest issues I have seen in centers where I have worked. That line was “I feel like we have no real say in what happens with our child.”
No parent should feel this way. No parent or guardian should have to leave their child in a place where they don’t feel they are listened to or where they feel they have no choice but to let things happen that they are not happy with.
One way we addressed this issue at Birdsall House is by having no classroom. All of our children play together and interact with all of our staff. We have staff that may spend more time with the infants but they also play with the older children. Children are never moved to another classroom where they don’t have access to a teacher they have grown close to.
We understand that in the first three years of life the most important thing for healthy development is trusting relationships. If a child does not trust that the caregiver they are with loves them and will keep them safe, the child will be less likely to explore and experiment with their environment. Having consistent care givers in the first three years allows a child to feel safe enough to take risks and try new things. As well as allowing for strong relationships between parents and caregivers, we allow for parents to have say in what their child does and to feel confident that their child will be well cared for.
Every parent deserves to feel that way!!!