We have a college textbook on health, safety, and nutrition. The textbook was created for daycare teachers. We have this textbook because my husband started the elementary education track in college [and then got married to me, moved to Israel, and switched his course of study], and he had to take a health, safety and nurtition course. Since the elementary track didn’t have its own course, students were offered two choices: Learn the course with the daycare students, or learn it with the nursing students. He chose the daycare course, figuring it would be more practically relevant to teaching.
You know what? The book looks like it was written for idiots (excuse my language). He and the other students in the elementary teaching program just looked at each other, dumbfounded and wondering why they had to be there, when they started reading the textbook and participating in the course. He kept the book, because he’s a book-collecting type of person (so am I), and it has some useful charts. But seriously? The book is So. Downright. Dumb. The pictures are dumb. The questions can be answered by anyone who has a dictionary, grammar, or a semi-useful vocabulary. Most of the information is obvious. Most of the “think it over” or “discussion” sections are dumb.
And this is a college level textbook? But apparently, it is a very needed textbook. Because, apparently:
a) Most people do not think about taking care of children until the very last second, and therefore know next to nothing about it. This I find very hard to believe.
b) People who are looking to be daycare teachers usually aren’t too smart. This I find very believable, even though I have friends who worked as daycare teachers, and are very smart.
Basically, there are two types of daycare teachers: The passionate ones, who quit after some time because of low pay and bad working conditions (as some of my friends did, and others would do if they didn’t work in the specific daycare that they do); and the ones who are in it for the money, who are simply there because they cannot get a higher paying job, or are not motivated enough to do so.
It scares me that most of America is placing their children in the hands of people who need that textbook to teach them the basics. It just plain scares me. Because, in my eyes, someone who needs that course in order to be a safe or effective daycare teacher, is not a good caregiver, and probably has an IQ of no more than 109. And, for those of you who don’t know, 109 may be slightly higher than average, but it is by no means smart.
College grads usually have an IQ of at least 120, or they would have become college dropouts (the minimum required to graduate college is 115). I am by no means an “only smart people are acceptable in society” type of person, but I do believe that America’s children – and parents – deserve that caregivers should be able to handle emergencies efficiently, and be able to give children the best. I am in no way undermining parents who have lower IQs and take care of their own children. They are doing the best they can for their children, just like the rest of us are. The best thing for a child is to be with their parents. The next-best thing is to be with a caregiver who can give them the best opportunities for growth out there.
But the minute a child is not with their parents, they should be getting the best quality care possible, in all situations. If a potential caregiver had to read that textbook in order to give proper care – they are off my list even before they were on it. And – call me discriminatory, because I am a mother and I am allowed to be as paranoid, discriminatory, and over-protective as I want when it comes to my children – I would not leave my child with someone who I did not think could give the same quality care as myself or my husband. That includes emergency preparation, that includes CPR, that includes the quality of the attention that they will get, the quantity of attention that they will get, and how that attention is given. And it includes the caregiver’s IQ.