24/7 kindergartens - a solution for busy parents?

PLN 150 is payable for a child's overnight stay in kindergarten. And it's not about having fun sometimes organized in institutions, when all the children read books together or play late. Private kindergartens are springing up in Poland like mushrooms after the rain, providing care longer than until 16. Psychologists wring their hands and parents are more and more willing to use them. Syndrome of our time?

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Ewelina Tomaszewska (surname changed) lives with her husband and three children in Warsaw. She comes from Tarnów, her husband from Jarosław. They have no family in the capital, only a few friends. - So when my youngest son was going to kindergarten, I was seriously considering an institution that would also be open in the evenings. Both my husband and I work in shifts. Before, we somehow managed to reconcile our duties, but this time - there was a problem with that - says Ewelina.

Fortunately, Ewelina's boss went to her hand and moved her to a position that did not require shift work. - I am very grateful to him for this, otherwise I would have to send the child to kindergarten even for 12 hours - Ewelina explains.

1. Real need?

In order to find out how the institutions that provide care for young children not only during the day, I decided to play the role of a parent in need. I found an institution where the charges can also stay in the evenings or at night, I called and asked the possibilities. As it turned out?

The facility, which is officially open from 6.30 to 16.30 for an additional fee of PLN 150, can also bring a child overnight. According to what I heard on the handset, it is help for parents working in shifts. However, when I asked how often and for how long the kids stay in kindergartens for the night, it turned out that overnight in the facility "happens".

- Sometimes parents bring their children in the morning and pick them up in the morning the next day, but these are sporadic cases. In order to prevent such situations from happening again, we have introduced regulations which say that parents cannot leave their children in this way more than once every two weeks - explained the headmaster of the kindergarten to whom I was calling.

We also managed to reach a kindergarten teacher who works in one of the Mazowieckie voivodships offering evening care for children. The woman wants to remain anonymous. He is afraid of the reaction of the environment.

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- It's a very hard topic for me. On the one hand, I don't want to judge the parents - they too leave the room with a heavy heart when they leave their children and go to work. On the other hand - I can see the sad faces of three- or four-year-old children and I wonder if there really is another option for them - says the woman in an interview with WP parenting.

2. Help for overworked people

Natalia Marczuk lives in the Netherlands. When she returned to work after her maternity leave, she thought about sending her child to the open kindergarten from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Psychologists warn that leaving a child in the facility overnight too often may disrupt the bond between him and his parents (123RF)

- In the one I was familiar with, it operated on the principle that a piece of a tenement house was rented for the kindergarten and the workers simply lived with their families over the kindergarten. The babysitters worked 3 shifts. As for the costs - I have no idea, because the Netherlands reimburses most of the costs for the nursery. At night, the child can even take his duvet and pillow to kindergarten. Before going to bed, the children are given supper. They all sleep in one room, each has its own signed bed - says Natalia.

Will what is already the norm in the Netherlands also become popular in Poland? Late night and round-the-clock kindergartens are becoming more and more common. However, what is a sign of the present day for some, arouses opposition in others.

Monika Czyż has two children. Nidgy did not pay attention to the position. Work is work. It can be changed. A child is a little person who needs a sense of security. The lack of a parent will not provide him with this feeling. - Before my first son was born, I worked in shifts. After my maternity leave, I decided to change it and only found a job during the day. Now I earn money, and my child has a mother - says Dominika.

In Polish nurseries, sleeping during the day is the norm. It happens, however, that such sleeping is also occupied in the evening or at night (123RF)

Dr. Aleksandra Piotrowska, a child psychologist, also approaches the issue of kindergartens around the clock and those working late. The specialist points out that too frequent stays of a child in such institutions may disturb the sense of security of a few-year-old and affect the bond with the parents. Simply put, he may feel abandoned and insecure about mom and dad's feelings. However, everything must be viewed with common sense.

- Generally speaking, such kindergartens have their justification - they help parents who work in shifts and have no one to leave their children with. It's not uncommon nowadays. However, I am afraid that just as adults put their children in front of tablets, not in an emergency, but regularly, I am also afraid that such kindergartens will be overused - emphasizes the expert.

- If we decide to have a child, at least for some time we should adapt our lifestyle to his needs. Putting a child in the hands of the kindergarten in the early morning and picking it up only to put it to sleep puts our parentage into question - she adds.

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