Lack of Literature in Day Care Classrooms

This semester, students in READ 6310 Children’s and Adolescent Literature were asked to contribute a post to this blog.

By B. Diaz

It’s been 2 hours since the inspection, to regulate and observe the center, began and there has not been one book pulled out to be read to the children. In my line of work this is a typical observation of what happens in a day care classroom. It seems as though caregivers do not take the time to implement literature in their daily schedule. Excuse me, let me change my last statement; caregivers have literature/library/story time on their schedule but is not implemented.

There is tons of children’s literature available at our fingertips, so why is it not being used? This question should constantly be asked by inspectors, such as me, parents, and the center directors. Instead it seems as though it is being over looked because maybe we or they feel that they are not knowledgeable in literature.

We have been told and told again that children are sponges and are taking in all the information they are coming across. We are now at a cross point, these are the children we need to start implementing literature with but we are allowing caregivers not to implement it. How does this make any sense? If we want to help caregivers with implementing literature in their classrooms then we should ask them the most important questions. These questions are:

  • Do you have the literature needed to supplement the theme or lesson of the week?
  • Why are you not implementing the literature available for you?
  • How can I help you to implement the literature for the theme of the week?

I have noticed unfortunately that a lot of day care centers do not have the literature available in the classrooms. If this is the case as a caregiver there are always the public libraries where the literature can be taken and used in the lesson. Now if this is the case as a director, budgeting needs to be looked at so literature can be purchased and placed in the classrooms or in a central room that will eventually become your library. If you are a parent and you notice your child’s center is lacking funds for books, hand me downs are still always useful. There can also be collaboration between the center staff and parents to have a fundraiser and use the monies for literature.

If center directors have not questioned why the caregivers are not implementing then how can they help them implement the literature? Directors, if you find that caregivers feel they are not knowledgeable on how to use literature in their lessons or what to look for in children’s literature. At this time it would be best to enroll them in classes or register for trainings that focus on literature.

Children are being robbed of literature in their lives at such a young age. We ask ourselves questions such as why don’t children like to read or why don’t children know how to read? Questions such as these could be answered if literature was implemented in a fun, exciting manner at a young age. It is my opinion from my number of observations that it should start in day care classrooms.

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