Should you send your kid to daycare or kindy while they're patching?
My Dane is now 13 years old, so way past the daycare and kindy stage – but I remember all too well how anxious a time it was getting him prepared to start daycare. I was very fortunate to have had a couple extra months of maternity leave due to needing to manage his eye condition but at age 13 months, off he crawled to daycare.
Dane's daycare start was slightly disrupted
As an added extra to his start was the 2011 Brisbane floods that hit and submerged his beautiful daycare centre. So instead of the lovely giant backyard and purpose built rooms, Dane started his journey in an office building while the centre was repaired. In some ways this turned out to be a positive – no sandpit, no water, limited toys, and a fairly contained area to play in (and lose his contact lens in as it turned out). He only went two days a week so it wasn’t so bad.
But I have gotten off track.....
Should I patch my child while they're at kindy or daycare?
If your little patcher is about to start daycare or kindy, you might be wondering whether it’s a good idea to have them patch while they’re there. Personally, we maintained our patching the whole time for Dane and had no problems. Other people may not have had such a good experience. Regardless though, there are certainly some pros and cons to patching while at daycare and kindy. Hopefully these help you weigh up your options.
Pros of Patching at Daycare and Kindy
- Plenty of distraction so kids often forget they’re even patching
- Lots of close up activities which are great for visual development
- So many more toys and games compared with what we have at home
- Giving other kids and caregivers exposure to a kid that’s wearing a patch, so it helps normalise it
- Trained caregivers may have great ideas for activities that help with visual development
Cons of Patching at Daycare and Kindy
- With multiple children to care for, caregivers can’t give personal attention
- Caregivers won’t have time to ensure the patch is being kept on
- Caregivers can forget to take the patch off when it’s time
- Sandpits (bad for contact lens kids)
- Water play (bad for contact lens kids & also can cause patches to come off)
- Possibly other kids teasing the patching child (although we never had this happen)
- Kids can have reduced depth perception and peripheral vision while patched, which could cause accidents
It's a tough decision....
Ultimately the decision to send your patcher to daycare or kindy while they’re patching is completely up to you. Any good care provider will be supportive of the process – and if they’re not, it might be worthwhile finding another alternative.
Our experience was nothing but positive
It can be frightening to think about your little patcher sent off into the world without you but I can only say that our experience was nothing but positive.