The longer I am in Switzerland, the more it feels like there are increasing numbers of working parents. And, with more working parents, there is also an increasing need for childcare for the children. So when I hear about new daycare centres opening up, mothers going into the business of watching other people’s children, or simply better working hours so that parents can be sure their children are taken care of, I get pretty excited.
So, I was happy to receive an email last week about a new trilingual daycare centre, opening this May 2012 in Gland. From their promotional materials, Little Green House will be “a place where little and grown-up people feel free to be who they are and to become who they want to be.” Sounds great. As does “At Little Green House we provide your child a multilingual environment in which even the youngest learn French, German and English from native speakers.” There are many bilingual and trilingual daycare centers popping up, but so often I hear mothers and fathers telling me that the teachers speak multiple languages, but not always their strongest to the children, which just doesn’t seem right to me. Exposing children to many languages is important, but in a “teaching environment” that language should really come from a native speaker. Right?
Others might love the next offering from the new daycare: “Parents, who combine jobs and family, sometimes need support services at unusual times. We offer individualized and attentive care beyond traditional hours. Little Green House is open daily from 7:00 to 18:30, with extended hours possible from 6:00 to 21:00 and overnight.”
Individualised care = super, the hours = super. But I’m not so sure a daycare centre is the right place for overnight care. There are a lot of people in the Geneva region that work shift work, and yes, there will be times when one parent has the night shift and the other is not available (either as there isn’t one, one is travelling, etc.), but overnight care really needs to be from a consistent care provider. If Little Green House can promise that the person who does overnight care for families will be well known to the child, and will hopefully be the same person if used more than once, then hats off to Little Green House. If not, then perhaps a rethink is in order and talking to families out there who need overnight care might help find a may to make it work.
In any event, if you’d like to check out the new daycare, contact them in Gland:
Route des Avouillons 6-12
041 740 21 09