During the past two weeks, we opened our newest center—Chesapeake Child Development Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In an effort to ensure that we are “Doing It Right” on every level, I have been in the center for several weeks along with many of our senior staff.
Today was no exception. I was in an infant room before lunch and had the beautiful privilege of rocking an angelic infant to sleep. Later, I had the unique opportunity of allowing a great young man to chew on my arm as he found a way to lull himself to sleep at nap time. Trust me…I have the battle scars to prove my point, and I consider them to be scars of honor. What I am saying is this: We do whatever it takes to transition every child into the new environment. When we open a new center, we require ALL hands on deck to lend support to the center because we are MOST concerned about the child. We want to ensure that each child is loved, comforted, and transitioned into the new environment in the most loving and supportive way possible.
I ended my day in the Pre-K classroom. Without thinking, I shed my pumps so that I could quickly get up and down and interact with the children as they wished. Right away, I was informed by a very serious and concerned child that I needed to put my shoes back on because a fire might happen and I wouldn’t be prepared to make an emergency exit if I did not have my shoes on. It was in that moment I realized that EVERYTHING we say and do has SUCH an impact. Our children are listening to what we say and watching what we do—and they EXPECT us to be consistent. Of COURSE, I put my shoes back on quickly and reinforced how important it is that we adhere to our policies.
We have rules—licensing rules, company rules, and practical rules. Perhaps we can’t determine the origin of a rule or even if it applies to us; but we believe that there is a rule and that we must abide by it.
I am so blessed to interact with beautiful children and amazing educators. When I forget the rules, the child leads me. When I get weary, my passion is renewed by just spending time in a center remembering WHY we do WHAT we do. Being there reminds me that everything we do matters. Our children are watching. They notice, and they will CALL US OUT if we do not follow all of the rules that we have told them are very important. That is one of my favorite things about young children…they truly keep the main things the main things…
Written by Donna McClintock, COO Children’s Choice Learning Centers