Dec 30, 2009

Is it all in the name??

So, I recently got into a bit of an argument with someone. I stated that I prefer to be called a Child Care Provider rather than a babysitter. She called this elitist and said that the political correctness of today's society makes people label and judge one another. seems we have always labeled one another; Mechanic, Doctor, Teacher. Those are all labels. But let's get down to the heart of this. She could not see that there is a difference between a babysitter and a child care provider. She said that they both offer the same service and that by saying that I was not a babysitter, I was disrespectful to those who are.

Perhaps she's right. I don't think so, but that may be my elitist attitude showing through.

Here's how I look at it.

I am a Child Care Provider. This is not a job for me, it is a profession. I have taken studies to enhance the lives of the children that I care for, everything from program planning to childhood development. I provide care for other people's children in my home. I plan out a curriculum, write newsletters, and ensure learning in every moment. I cook meals for them, I teach them everything from potty training and colors, to manners and life skills. I love them and care for them like my own children. Day in and day out.

I used to babysit. On rare occasions, I would go into someone's home to watch their child (or children) for a few short hours. I did this for extra cash. What is involved? Playing a game, watching some tv and going to bed. That's it. Oh I know that there are a lot of babysitters who do a lot more than this, but I have yet to find one.

There is a difference to me. One is a profession, while the other is an occasional job taken for some extra cash. One requires education (which, by the way, more than qualifies me to be a teacher's aide), while the other only requires a bare minimum in safety standards.

To me this is like comparing a chef in a restaurant to a cook at McDonald's. Oh, by the way, when I made that argument, she implied that those two are the same thing too! Good God, if I found out that my stepson was cooking in a restaurant, I'd warn people to stay away! He's great at flipping those burgers, but I'm not sure that he's qualified to make french fries, let alone cook a meal!

Then, this woman attempted to say that by calling myself a Child Care Provider, it was a way to make caring for children into a "business". I have to say, I am so greatly offended by this that I still haven't bothered to comment on it. It is very sad for me to say that the money that you pay to your Friday night Babysitter is more money than I make. I recently learned (while looking for a sitter for my kids) that the going rate for a baby sitter is $10-15/hour....If I work out my monthly wage by the hours that I work, I end up getting a shocking $4.49 for every hour worked (before taxes). That's fabulous. I also get no benefits (like health/dental) and there is no such thing as "sick days" for me. If I take a day off for illness or holidays, I, quite literally, pay for it.

No, I'm not in this for the money. I do it because I love the children. I love them as if they are my own. I miss them on weekends, I cry when it's time for them to move on. I still keep in touch with many of them. They are my extended family.

I don't work for the all mighty dollar, instead, I work for the little heart-felt hugs that I get. The smiles in the morning, the cuddles in the afternoon. The laughter in the park, or the tears over a skinned knee.

A baby sitter I am not and do not want to be. To me, there is a difference, and I am proud to be able to say that I am a Child Care Provider!


Carolyn Newton said...

You're going to make me tear up here. I'm blessed to not only have you as Sabrina CCP, but as my own friend!

Tina said...

I agree...and for the record...Family Home Child Care IS A BUSINESS. :o)

Kathy B. said...

Totally Agree!!

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