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Child care challenge has changed
May 17, 2018

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To the editor:

I have been in the child care industry since 1978 and have seen dramatic changes in this field over the years. In past years, it was perfectly acceptable for children to simply engage in play, as opposed to now where there the teaching environment is much more structured.

The expectations of what children need to know now, compared to years ago are higher than ever. Over the past several years, all teachers, whether they are in the school system or in the child care profession, are bogged down with so much paperwork. This really puts a damper on teaching the children truly the way they need to be taught.

Approximately twenty-five years ago, I took a class related to children with disabilities. The teacher of this class stated that within 10 years we would see the results of substance abuse and children with challenging behaviors. She was quite accurate and many of our children need to be on medication for behavior problems than ever before.

Since I have begun my career in child care, the dynamics of society and family life have changed drastically. Family life has become more challenging due to both parents needing to work as well as children being more involved in extracurricular activities. This has made it more difficult for families to connect and actually sit down together for meals. It is a challenge for most families nowadays to be able to spend meaningful and quality time together due to these busy schedules. This is just the true sad fact.

As I was growing up and attending school, I never heard of children or adults being addicted to drugs or school shootings for that matter. No, life wasn't perfect and it never will be, but you didn't hear the horrific events like you hear in the news today. My heart truly goes out to the parents today because they have so much more to deal with. The schools are full of bullies and not much is being done about it. Every school policy says that there is a no bully tolerance, however, it's still exists. I understand how hard it must be to control due to all of the rules and regulations that need to be followed. I know a lot of teachers are fearful to do anything about it because of fear of retaliation.

Another drastic change in child care over the years is the use of electronics/video games that our children are involved with. Many of these games as well as the use of television are highly inappropriate. The violence and vulgarity of such programs and games have gotten out of control. Is this what we want our children growing up with?

It is really difficult for many children to sit, listen, and follow directions. Focusing on their work can be very challenging. Depending on the age of the child, all they may want to do is play, use their cell phones, or play video games.

My only hope is that someday society wakes up and realizes the harm that television and electronics have had on children. I know this won't happen in my lifetime, but I certainly do hope that my grandchildren have the opportunity to see things improve. If society could have the same rules everywhere and for everyone with no exceptions, I feel that we would all be a lot happier and the children would be a lot safer.

Kathy Tilden, pre-school director

Cape Coral

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