How controversial are pets in your Family Day Care scheme?
I believe in family day care we have an opportunity and an obligation to offer experiences to children that broaden their thinking, excite their emotions and develop an understanding on other creatures within their world.
When contemplating or programming, your scheme policies needs to be read & re-read and active communication and documentation is a must with parents and coordination units. It really is very doable to offer exposure to animals in a safe and positive way for your Family Day Care Children.
I thought I would document three of our favourite pet experiences but as you saw on Wednesday I quickly realised I have many more to choose from then I first thought. So I will give you a list of animals that have been a super positive experience with the children over the past few years and I will be offering these animal experiences in my FDC service again.
Frogs- Silk worms- Butterflies (Chrysalis kits)
Wonderful for life cycle awareness, easy to find, keep alive and to set free or give away when the children’s interest has moved onto something else.
Hermit Crabs- Fish-snails- worms
Super for adding when focusing on sea themes, or when wanting an experience to follow up from a holiday, or focusing on the environment.
Dogs/puppies – Pony
These are a much bigger commitment and if you are not already experienced or interested in these size and types of animals then maybe a polite visit to a friends or group excursion is in order.
Lamb- Guinea Pigs- Chickens
Now, when it comes to these three I am a complete softy, and we have had all three of these living inside in the cold weather. (They need an area away from the Day Care children).We care for a poddy Lamb for a friend and hatch chickens in the spring.
Galas- Goats- Donkey
Our elderly neighbours are very friendly and kind, they are welcoming to the children, we walk to feed their animals regularly.
If all else fails and you decide that offering a live ongoing project is too much why not include a visit to the local Reptile show or our Bird society often hold displays with their show birds.
We as educators have so many special gifts we can share with our Day Care children. An understanding of some of the other creatures in our world is, I feel, a very important one. I hope to instil in my Day Care Children a strong understanding of kindness towards animals, nature and a desire to explore our world.
I’d love to hear about your experiences and other animals you have shared in your service….
Does pets in childcare reflect part of your philosophy…