SNAPSHOT: Just Children Holland is a Keystone Stars, Bucks County-based child care center specializing in the care of Infants through school aged children.
PHILLY BABY BUMP EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TINA FISHER, DIRECTOR:
Q. What is your background?
A. When I was younger, I was a babysitter and then became a nanny. I just really enjoyed being with children! I began working with Just Children Centers 20 years ago and became a Pre-K teacher.
When the Just Children Holland center opened 17 years ago, I became an assistant director and then later took over for the center and became the director. Three of my children have gone to the Just Children Holland center and I wouldn’t hire anyone that I wouldn’t trust my children with.
Q. Can you tell us about the Just Children Holland Center infant program?
A. We are licensed to staff 16 infants but we cap it at 12 or 13 so our staff can provide extra support and attention. Each parent has a different infant schedule for feeding, sleeping, etc., so we are very accommodating and stick to those schedules.
We spend a lot of time in the Baby Room reading and singing to our infants. They absolutely love it when we read to them and instead of “baby talk,” we try to talk them in very rich, expressive language.
We emphasize using descriptive language when reading because infants are very attentive and really listen to every word we say. This is true even when we are talking them through a diaper change or mentioning the rain outside. Sure, we have tons of baby toys that we use to play but we find that that reading books and singing songs are the most beneficial (and loved).
Q. What should pregnant moms be doing now if they are considering enrolling their child in day care?
A. If you are thinking of enrolling your child, you should begin visiting day centers now! It is exhausting to visit a center while working and pregnant so you want enough lead time to visit, talk to staff, find out what the day in the life of an infant or toddler is like without the time pressure of being 8 or 9 months pregnant.
More importantly, as soon as you walk through the door, trust your mommy instinct! In addition to the normal list of questions around certifications, activities, etc., ask yourself what is the security on the building? Can I drop my child off every day and entrust them with my most precious gift ever? Will I be able to focus at work because I know my baby is being loved and cared for?
Lastly, be wary of centers that only let you stop in with an appointment. We believe that parents need to see the center as it is and recommend pregnant moms visit us multiple times before enrolling. We even encourage new moms to bring their baby and visit us for a couple of hours to get to know the staff and ask additional questions that may not have come to mind pre-birth.