Parent Picksslice of life

At What Age is Structure Needed for Children?


My daughters life with a nanny and daycare has not been all that normal.

From birth to 1, Hailey had a nanny that came to our house everyday and watched her from 7am-6pm. My nanny only spoke Spanish. I myself speak very little Spanish, but we were able to communicate and she was the most wonderful woman I had ever met. She cleaned my house, she took care of my child, she taught her to walk very young, she took care of my house and I don’t know how I would have survived without her as a new parent.

When we had to move, we decided Hailey needed to go into a daycare because she was not talking and she was very shy and did not like to talk to people outside of myself, my nanny, my husband and my mom/dad. She was super unfriendly.

When we moved, she went into a daycare and finally, she learned to talk and do other things, have fun, play, share, make friends, like people – all that fun stuff!

Now they moved her over to the preschool room because she is potty trained and will be 3 in a few months.

In my opinion as a teacher, I feel like there sound be structure in her preschool room. They should have circle time, they should be learning letters and numbers, there should be more pictures, more updates, newsletters, SOMETHING!

I love the teacher. She is a great person. I know she does her best, but I don’t think the center is set up to have any of those things, and if they have them, then there is no evidence of it at all! I have worked at a structured daycare where the kids still had fun an played but they learned things.

The other day I went in early to pick her up at 4:30 and they were watching tv. And I am not the one to be like OMG you are watching tv! I would totally be fine with it if it were like 5:30, or close to 6, getting close to closing time. But it had just turned 4:30 when I had got there, so who knows how long this was going on for? It was disheartening. I want my daughter learning letters and numbers, if I want her watching tv, she will watch it at home. Not at school.

I am looking into other centers for the summer and September. I don’t want her being one of those kids that goes into kindergarten and has no idea how to do anything. Kindergarten is rigorous and I don’t want her to be totally behind everyone else.



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TWL Working Mom

Jennifer is the Owner of TWL and Co-Owner of a Influencer Facebook Group Influential Mamas.  Along with blogging + freelance writing and selling Zyia Activewear, she is a mom, army wife and full-time teacher. Jennifer lives in Washington State and is a born + raised New Yorker. In her spare time, she loves traveling, yoga, the beach, writing, listening to books and drinking coffee.

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  1. People might think it’s crazy to think about school so early, but I totally feel you! Because of her late birthday, our daughter will not start Kindergarten until she is almost 6. Even though she’s only 18 months old, we’re already talking about what we can do to help her learn before then and when we want to put her into nursery or pre-school. It’s so hard!

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. It is so hard. You just never know what is best and it’s so hard Bc I am not there all day with them and I have no idea whAt they do but I have a very good feeling it is not much

  2. Wow, that is a stressful experience. I cannot imagine picking my son up when he was in preschool and finding him watching TV. ? We were lucky to have him in a very loving play-based preschool that had both structure and a lot of fun. They did art and beginning science, and they told stories to their teachers that were recorded in their journals, and they played with letters and numbers and shapes, and they played with toys and each other and the natural environment outside. They had circle time and read stories and even had time when every child looked at books quietly on his and her own. They learned to eat together at lunch and hold mealtime conversations and use their manners. It was not what I, as a high school teacher, thought of as “structured learning”, but he loved every minute, and he was ready for kindergarten when it arrived. You’ll find a good place too!

    1. Omg see that’s what we’re missing every single thing you just said. I need a new one !

  3. Definitely stressful. I understand your feelings. Kindergarten is not what it once was. In this day and age there are so many ways to incorporate learning into fun activities for the young. Hope you find a center that can meet your and your daughter’s needs.

  4. This is an interesting dilemma. I sent my children to a homebred day care. The woman who cared for them had 3 other children. They had circle time each morning with a calendar, letter of the week ( or colour, or number…) and a story. I so appreciated that my children were getting these little structured times. They also had lots of “free” time, and a nap and outdoor time. We were so lucky to find this. When we were searching, we visited a home where they children were eating dinner in front of the television. Needless to say, we didn’t go back to that one. Good luck finding a new centre.

  5. I’ve never had children, but the TV viewing seems like a big red flag to me. I know from colleagues how stressful this is and hope you find something ideal.

  6. All 4 of my grand kids had to go to daycare from infancy. They all had educational structured days from the get go. Keep looking. You’ll find the right place for you and your daughter.

      1. Especially since they are sponges at that age and soak up everything that’s taught to them. 🙂

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