Child Care Resources Honored Me for 15 Years of Service

My remarks from the CCR Luncheon on Friday Nov 2

I want to thank the CCR staff and board and everyone here today for this recognition. While I am being honored, it is really the dedicated and caring CCR staff who do all the work and who should get the credit.

You might ask why I have supported Child Care Resources for so long. Let me explain: how many of you have a child or know of a child who started kindergarten this fall? Raise your hands.

Starting Kindergarten is a big transition for a child – and for her parent. I also had a big transition this year. My youngest child went off to college. So I am officially an empty nester.

But when I joined the CCR board, in January of 1997, my kids were 2 1/2 and 5 years old. During the previous five years, we had lived in 3 states and 4 cities. So I looked for child care — a lot.

Usually it worked out. But sometimes it did not. William’s first infant care was a disaster. And when we moved to Bellevue, I chose what I thought was going to be a perfect place for my daughter. But I dropped in unexpectedly and discovered they were understaffed. The toddlers were walking around in soiled diapers. Disgusting.

Fortunately, in each situation, I had the resources to take a few days off of work and to pay for expensive temporary care until a new arrangement could be made.

William ended up in a fantastic family child care where he built towers and rockets and airplanes. He also learned his letters and numbers and shapes and colors. More importantly, he learned to listen at circle time, to deal with frustrations, to ask his teacher for help. So I was confident he would be okay when I dropped him off the first day at Kindergarten.

I put Sarah in another wonderful place. She loved the art and the dress up and her teachers and her friends. And when it was time for her to go to Kindergarten, I knew she was ready too.

But now I want you to imagine yourself as another child. Close your eyes and imagine. It’s your first day at school. You have your back pack and you’re all excited to go on the bus with the big kids. But when you get to school, you have a hard time.

  • You can’t sit still to listen to a story.
  • You have trouble with the blocks and start to throw and kick them in frustration.
  • The other kids laugh at you because you hold a book upside down.

By the end of the week, the teacher knows that you are one of the kids who is not ready for school and she can guess that you are one of the kids who will not graduate from high school.

Imagine: Being destined for failure at age 5.

So, this is what I know about child care: good child care is wonderful and bad child care causes a lot of stress – even if you as a parent have plenty of education and resources.

And this is what I know about our children: No child should be destined for failure at age 5.

So why do I support Child Care Resources? Because CCR’s mission is to ensure that at age 5, every child — regardless of her address or the color of her skin or the language she speaks — has a future of hope.

I said at the beginning that I am an empty nester. I thought you might want to see my kids now – William is a senior studying physics at Brown University and Sarah is a freshman at Lewis and Clark.

Thank you.

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