I forgot it was Friday when I woke up this morning. Usually when this happens to me and I realize it’s Friday I’m all like, yes it’s Friday! Except I wasn’t feeling all exclamation points about it this morning. I could chalk it up to hormones and fatigue and maybe the dreary weather…
It’s been a hodgepodge kinda Friday and there’s still half the day more to go for me. I dropped Noah off at daycare as usual across the street at 8am, along with his water bottle that he usually finishes during the 4 hours he’s there. I came home to fresh coffee and as usual Davy and I had a cup while reading up on news and for me of course, Twitter. Then Davy read me two headlines back-to-back, about bad news around daycare incidents here in Belgium. Downer.
In a country the size of a small state back in America, bad news hits very much closer to home as an entire country in Belgium. Many stories that would never hit national news levels would here. It makes sense. Both news stories happened not that far from me where I live in Ghent, but most stories don’t happen very far away from you when you live in the middle of Belgium.
Last night, a baby was “forgotten” and locked up in a daycare facility in Oosterzele, and left there alone. This has happened in all parts of the world, and it will be investigated and dealt with swiftly here. Things happens at home to children and things happens at daycares too, and everything gets put under a microscope.
I’ve been asked this before, I was asked again today but…
I can’t compare daycares in America to those in Belgium, because I have only daily exposure to those here. I’m not aware enough of what daycares are like back in the states. I picked children up from different daycares in Manhattan for years, babysitting for friends’ children, but that’s not enough to know.
My mother-in-law and Davy’s mom, Carine, loves her job at a large daycare in the city of Ghent. She retires in a couple of years, and I know she’ll have fond memories of having spent years shaping little minds and making lifelong friends who started out colleagues. No job is perfect, but I believe it takes a certain kind of heart to work in daycare and gold doesn’t even begin to cover its value.
The smaller daycares, like the one Noah attends 4 mornings a week, are found outside the city like where we live. Regardless of size, I can say daycares here are run tightly and they’re based on play and nutrition for both the body and mind. Forgetting babies is not something that happens often at all, and is probably why it’s so shocking when it happens.
And like many other benefits to working in socially oriented and family-prioritized fields of work, once Belgian daycare owners attain a degree and license to open a daycare they’re also given the opportunity to partner with a government-subsidized program. There’s something to be said for incentives. For me, I consider it a blessing that a brand-new daycare happened to open up, just across one street from us around the time Noah was born.
Early this morning a mother was walking her 5-year-old son across the street to his daycare in Heist-op-den-Berg, and they were both hit by a car and taken to the hospital. The mother died and the little boy was in critical condition when I started this blog.
As I close this blog I’ve just now learned that the little boy too has passed. He’s now with his mother. My deepest condolences to the family and friends involved.
Stay safe everyone.