Growing up at a price

Growing up at a price

It’s the beginning of a new academic year and parents are busy selecting a suitable play home for their children.

While in the past, the concept of schooling didn’t begin till the child was five,
today, toddlers of two are sent to ‘homes’, where they are taken care of, entertained and taught.

Modern-day kids are active, smart and sharp, hence life is not easy for working parents.

On the other hand, it’s hard for children to kill time in nuclear families and that leads to them getting hooked on to gadgets.

Ambika, a home-maker who sends her son to a playhome, says, “It was very hard to keep my hyper-active son occupied all through the day. To reduce his boredom, I sent him to a play home.”

It’s been a year since and Ambika is happy with her son’s progress. She says that there is activity-based learning at play homes.

“Importantly, my son turned out to be a socially-adjusting kid. He identifies many things, shapes and colours, thanks to the field trips, colour and theme days they had. All these help kids step into formal schooling and face challenges.”

Archana, a working mother who leaves her son at a day-care centre says, “Our kids are not privileged to grow up in a joint family. A similar environment is being provided to them at day-care centres. Though unnatural, they learn sharing and caring. So, our first priority was to look at the teacher-child ratio and the individual attention he would get.”

Archana adds, “It’s emotionally difficult. But all through our life, we had aimed to achieve something. It’s hard to completely sacrifice our career. We console ourselves by looking at people like us and thinking ‘Everyone is sailing in the same boat’.”

“It’s not only studies but also the discipline which the child learns away from home that is important. Parents are taken for granted. But at playhomes, kids learn to be independent. The playful activities and constructive games help in the all-round development of a child,” says Lavanya, mother of a two-and-half-year-old.

Even with the help of support-staff, it’s stressful for a teacher to control 20 to 25
children in a class.

“But we enjoy our time with kids. Keeping them busy all the time through activities or rhymes is the key, they don’t bother anyone then,” says Vasuki, a teacher at Little Millenium.

Ask her how the kids obediently listen to their teachers and she says, “It’s pretty simple.

When a new batch of kids come, we teach them nothing and leave them to themselves. After a month or two, they start realising that we care for them and feel at home.”

Veena, mother of a primary school-going child, says, “My daughter learnt a lot at her play home.

The solid base she got there is helping her understand the complex concepts at school.

But I personally don’t recommend day-care centres, where
toddlers are left with the care-takers the entire day,” she adds.

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