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The ‘day mothers’ are an alternative to daycare, another option different from the traditional education that children under 3 years of age receive in nursery schools.
When, for reasons of work and family conciliation, parents consider leaving their children in a school while they work, an alternative may be what is called‘Mother by day’.
The ‘mothers of the day’ They are people with degrees in pedagogy, psychology or early childhood education, and they also have to possess the official title of food handler and first aid.
The ‘day mothers’ open the doors of their home for the care and attention of children between 0 and 3 years old in a family environment. The ratio is a maximum of 3 or 4 children. They use a methodology based on the child's own rhythm, applying pedagogical concepts from Pikler, Waldorf or Montessori, among others.
By taking care of a small number of children they allows you to focus on your needs and developments in a more individualized way than in a nursery school where the ratio of students per child is much higher.
The houses of the 'day mothers' have to be perfectly adapted and equipped to carry out this work, having different spaces for daytime activities such as playing or eating, another space for rest and another for cleaning, as well as the appropriate measures protection for children in terms of plugs, doors and toys adapted to their age.
At all times the development time of each child is respected regarding food, hygiene or sleep.
Every day the children who are in the care of ‘day mothers’ go out to the streets to be in contact with the environment that surrounds them, to see other children, even when it is cold, so the houses of the ‘day mothers’ are usually near parks or gardens to facilitate this activity.
The cost of a ‘day mother’ is usually the same as a private nursery that is usually around between 200 euros for half a day to 450 euros for a full day. At most the minors are with the ‘day mother’ for an 8-hour shift.
The ‘day mothers’ are a reality and something common for years in European countries such as England, France, Switzerland, Holland, Austria or Germany, while in other countries such as Spain they are being implemented recently.
For its defenders, this alternative to the traditional nursery school provides greater security, greater emotional and cognitive support for the child who develops in a more homelike and less crowded environment and naturally without having to be conditioned by the rhythm of a school in which the ratio of students is sometimes an impediment to individualized attention of the kids.
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