There are issues on celebrating holidays in daycare centers. One of which is with regards respecting the differences of faith of the children. But nowadays this is becoming less an issue because there are increasing numbers of faith-based daycare.
Children look forward in anticipation of the holiday season during December. This reminds them of sugar plum, Christmas tree, homemade gifts, and many other Christmas crafts. But, along with Christmas are the celebrations of the festivals of Kwanzaa (harvest festival by African-Americans) and Hanukkah (a Jewish festival) which occur with the same date in December. This would make some children feel that they are excluded if the holidays they are celebrating are not emphasized like Christmas.
This is not an issue for the privately-owned daycare centers because they can operate with one religious denomination, where families with the same perspective or sometimes those with no religious preference, can join. These centers can explain fully to the children the reasons of celebrating one season without violating other’s belief. On the other hand, this is a big issue for public daycare centers like Head Start.
It is the responsibility of the daycare centers to see to it that all religious background of all the children attending must be recognized during this season. You can do this by explaining each holiday using songs, books, and crafts. There are books that explain different holidays celebrated by different people and nationality worldwide. When celebrating the different holidays, always check signs of “feeling outsider” on children. It is important to teach children the virtue of respecting other’s background and that no one is normal, special, nor superior. Let them know that every tradition is unique and must be appreciated. Also, encourage them to learn the reasons for the celebrations without bias.
School Holidays : Convenience or Vacation
Celebrating Memorial Day is inconvenient for some working parents because they need to work but daycare centers are closed. This scenario is the same with other holidays.
For some families, weekends, festivals, memorials, and parades are time for vacation. But for some, where both or one of the parents need to work, these occasions are problems because they need to look for other alternatives of daycare.
There are parents that are police, pilots, doctors, firemen and others who perform vital jobs. For them, these holidays are inconvenient because they are forced to work but they have no choice because these are national holidays. The same is true with religious holidays which private schools celebrate but are not acknowledged by some business establishments. Examples of these holidays are President’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Good Friday, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Memorial Day is observed by both businesses and schools. Some parents wonder why this is widely celebrated while others, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, are left to school discretion. Memorial Day is an opportunity for parents to catch up some work at home or to stroll.
Day off in daycare or school are exciting for children because they are free of school work and they can just stay at home doing their favourite past time. But this is not the case for parents with vital responsibilities who are required to work even during holidays. So the parents have to look for alternative daycare with holidays but there are schools which are open while others are closed.
There are those which have traditional school and daycare at the same time. Their solution (especially during Christmas break) is to close the school while the daycare is open for those who need the service.
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