My friends think that a religious daycare center will justspend the day preaching to the children. But really, daycare centers in religious institutions or otherwise religious daycare centers don’t waste the day talking up religion.
Obviously I am biased, and I don’t know your specific concerns with having your child in a religious day care when you don’t share that religion, but I can say that from my experience religion isn’t going to be pushed on the kids until they are much older. If you feel strongly about this and you don’t want your child to go to a religious daycare at 3-4, then your choices are pretty limited.
You either have to move, try to afford one of those secular daycare centers you mentioned, or hire a nanny or nanny-share or home daycare. I think a church daycare would push it on them before we could really talk about it the way that I want to. My kids went to a religious day care/preschool and we just made sure they understood that religion was only for pretend. The question is if the church is subsidizing the day care, or if the day care is subsidizing the church.
I worked at a summer school-aged program affiliated with a church, and there was very little religious education at all. We have sent our 2YO to a daycare that has religious teachings. Yes, that’s why I said they should avoid a church day care that has values that conflict with their own. My wife and I are both Atheist and we currently have our daughter enrolled in a church daycare. The Baptist daycare was about 4 blocks from the house, and it was less expensive than the non – parochial daycare that was much farther away. As for how it affected me, I don’t think it had a lasting positive or negative effect from a religious stand point. I know both of the daycare leaders at those churches and they would welcome a conversation about how the money is spent. May I ask why your parents made the choice to send you to such a religious school when they were notreligious themselves? I am religious, and I would have huge issues with that being taught at the preschool level as well! I think you take your cues more from your family when it comes to religion, rather than from a school.
I think they would be a bigger impact on the day to day of your family than what your money may be going to. I know the church I go to subsidizes the heck out of their day care. By the way, day care centers located in churches are not always religious. I am religious so I don’t come at this from the same place as OP, but look, this should be a pretty simple breakdown for you. I wouldn’t personally reject a kind, loving, supportive daycare because it is run by a church.
every day care facility that is in our price range Sounds like the church is subsidizing the day care, not vice versa. I am tatted up, my husband hates organized religion, I don’t believe any of it.
I also am not happy about giving money that will go to support a religious organization that my husband and I in no way support. I’m not worried about it; is a good daycare, it’s not wicked expensive, and she’s doing really well.
We had to make that choice and yes the day care’s religious agenda does bleed into their activities. While I’m scrupulously fair in explaining the religious position, the kids have always gravitated to my atheist position on their own. Is it more likely that the church is making a profit, or subsidizing the daycare attached to it? They are like our other daycare we used to have but every once and a while they talk about Jesus. Yes, that is more than a secular daycare, but it shouldn’t be the only thing your kid is doing. I sent my oldest to a church daycare.
They know we never attend church, never engage in religious prayers/discussions, and do not agree with the Bible. My parents were not religious, but damn if it wasn’t the best school in the area. Have you checked with all of the daycares that they do indeed promote religion in the daycare rooms? It is inevitable that this is the type of daycare that our 15 month old will have to start out in next August. I have been thinking more about the cost since we have a second one coming this year, but I can’t bring myself to put my kids in a church daycare.
Oddly enough, we ended up with our kids attending an in-home daycare run by a Jehovah’s Witness. 🙂 I also am not happy about giving money that will go to support a religious organization that my husband and I in no way support. If you consider Christian teachings false pretenses rather than inaccurate, you have no business considering a religious day care for your child REGARDLESS of where your money is going.
the celebration stuff at daycare chaps my ass in a big way, because it can become a real royal pain and expense.
I have a friend who works at a pre-school/day care at a Catholic college, and we teach nothing religious. My nephew went to a school that had a “religious component” at primary school.
And some are much more susceptible to religious teachings even when the home environment is totally secular. Would you want some percentage of your day care fees to support the promotion of another religion? I don’t understand why I need to afford more respect for their provably wrong beliefs than they give to us. I talked to a couple of different religion-based daycares and told them that we are not religious and a couple of them reassured me that they have a “moral focus” but not a religious one. But, I just don’t want to deal with them or the to-be-expected invitations to Sunday school classes or sermons. I don’t know if it’s just the schools or the actual religion that they aren’t so Jesusy or what. It’s worth checking out several daycares to see how religious the curriculum really is. My parents were atheists and they put me in a church daycare. I remember what it was like when I was a kid and even then I knew it was bullshit. Our third cousins – also from a very secular family – had a similar experience as far as education. Back then I was just a kid, making all the other public school kids look bad.
If you have a problem with religious daycares, go to a secular one. They sing religious songs and tell bible stories in addition to caring, playing and ABC’s. She doesn’t believe in proselytizing to her daycare parents and we get along amazingly well. If you have a problem with the values taught by the church I wouldn’t put your kid there because the day care will have the same values. But when my parents divorced, and I moved to public school from grade four on, it was a bloody cakewalk. I don’t ever want my son to feel the way that I did back then when I would ask a question about something religious and be treated like I was wrong for asking it. If you aren’t strict about religion in the home, the worst it will do is generate dialogue at dinner time 🙂 I am a non religious person with my kids in a Christian daycare in Texas. I’m not saying every one is run at a loss, but in most cases, it’s borderline break even at best. I’m sure they would be fine, most religious folks are nice people. I would ask what sort of religious teaching are taught to the pre-schooler’s. I know not all of it will go to support the church, but some will and that is hard to ignore. My husband and I are both atheist s, and our 2.5 yr old son goes to a day care center at an episcopal church.
I don’t let her treat people badly but you can’t make me treat their beliefs with anything but scorn. We are going to research in home daycare options before making our final decision.
I appreciate the moral lessons that accompany some of their religious teachings. I made a point to explain that faith isn’t wrong and most of their beliefs are things we believe, too. I attribute this to the authority/gravitas that I have as the dad – kids want to identify with their parents, y’know? I’m agnostic, very definitely disbelieve Christianity, but I also believe in respecting beliefs I don’t share. I’m rock solid atheist and wife also non religious, and we’ve had no problems. YMMV.
Story time: My family are immigrants from Eastern Europe – Russian Jews, to be specific.
I don’t know. I do have to say that the teachings imparted by chapel lessons at this age generally follow our own moral code.
Then in elementary school I went to a Catholic private school because it was a block and a half away from my house. Well if you want to be able to send them to a daycare that’s in your price range, then those are the options you have to work with. I myself want to wait until they are a bit older before we talk about religion.
I think that imparting this kind of attitude on kids is just as dangerous as telling them dinosaurs aren’t real. This would be a good time to accept the possibility that your child will grow up to have values and religious beliefs that are different from yours. Not because you put him in the wrong daycare at 3, but because he is his own person who will decide for himself, just as you did. If religion is the biggest fish you cats ever have to fry, you are the luckiest goddamn parents on the planet. The daycare itself is perfect aside from this. Have you talked to the daycare you like? However, if you are really morally opposed to supporting their ministry then you shouldn’t send your child there.
If you don’t want your money to go the church, then cough up and send your kid somewhere else, maybe a secular daycare or a Montessori or something like that. I think telling kids that religion is a “only for pretend” might be a little bit belittling. I was the only non-Catholic in my class, but I did attend mass with the class once a week. I’m wondering if anyone here has any experience with this type of situation and how much it truly impacted your child? My brother and I both went to religious schools. I napped on the neighbor’s couch then had breakfast with her kids and walked to school with them. I would ask around and see which church daycares are perhaps less churchy than others. I work in a religious preschool, and I can tell you from my experience there that 3-4 year olds aren’t being taught religion with the intensity as school-aged children are. Are you opposed to their moral or social values, or just don’t want it going to religion? If your only objection is “these people believe in God and that’s stupid, I don’t want my money going to religion,” that is being intolerant. I do send in food etc for other more “Christian” events I do not attend them. I suggest not saying things like that to your kids if they end up not sharing your belief system. You can’t shelter him from religious people, especially in the bible belt.
I guess my issue is that by telling your kids that religion is a “game,” they’re going to think that it’s taken as seriously as a game by religious people. And I say this as someone who spent two years at a yeshivah and another year at a Greek Orthodox school. Giving money to an organization that does a good job with your kid 4-8 hours a day shouldn’t be a tough choice. I personally think OP’s concerns are very valid – I can tell you another story of a family who moved to South Carolina when their daughter was in middle school. I think the only remotely religious thing we’ve done was read “Little Star of Bethlehem” during December, in addition to several books about Santa, snowmen, Hannakuh and Kwanzaa. I have a friend that is also atheist and her son also goes to a church preschool, but a different one. 2 daughters went to religious preschool – the older has joined her brothers in public elementary school now, the 3 yo is still there for another year or two. And even then, one car accident or bad genetic disorder later, and they’re trying to drink paint and drown their own kids. There’s a big variation and at 100 bucks per week, well, OUCH. It is a big difference. You may be able to find one-two other families in the same predicament and share a nanny.
In my case the theology to be undermined seems to revolve about squirrels having a hive mind and watching for naughty behavior. My HOPE is that it could be handled by sharing mine and my husband’s own views when he’s sharing about something Christisn he learned in day care. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good school and a very nice facility, but that amount of money could change our lifestyle. Well, if that’s the case and it’s your only option, then you just have to grin and bear it, and understand that sending your kid to a religious daycare will inevitably expose them to something that goes against your beliefs. Especially when he came home with questions, and I had to tell him the teachers were wrong.
I just can’t make my kids spend so much time in a place like that.
It was a lot of work to find the perfect one, but I’m really happy with the one we found. I was placed in a Baptist day care from age 3 – 5. We are also in the bible belt and are not religious. I have this exact same situation, but in the end I decided the potential for damage was minimal. I would really have a problem though if they started teaching about “hell” or god punishing people for “sinning. ” I really don’t think she’s old enough to be making philosophical choices yet and if she ever asks me, I’ll tell her what I believe. If it’s a safe, loving environment, your political views can take a back seat for now, it’s ok. Our 3 yr old is in a Christian pre-school, we’re agnostic, totally non-religious and we love the place. To me that is clearly a better choice than a place where the only box checked is secular. Luckily, my husband and I have amazing jobs and we can afford it right now. I chose to just suffer, basically, rather than put him in a situation where someone will be teaching him religion that I don’t agree with at such a young age. Definitely good points, but things like low child to teacher ratio and quality of education and care is also highly important.
When they get older though they should be able to go to the public school, so then that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. It can actually be a good thing by strengthening individual propensities for doing what’s right – and that’s what usually happens. Since the day care is both affordable and “perfect”, as long as the morals and values of the caregivers are acceptable I would go for it. Unless you run it yourself there will never be a school 100% aligned with your views.
I imagine it is a difficult place to be in, where the best place to send your kids practices a religion you don’t agree with. With any of these decisions, I try to make a prioritized list of what I want and then remind myself that I won’t get everything.
And honestly, I have many more embarrassing moments of my childhood from everything but religion.
We moved to a different area in town and our youngest child went to a Christian preschool. Honestly, it really depends on the daycare. Good luck in your daycare search! We love the teachers and the other kids and most important, our daughter is happy there. That said, you’re probably right that the day care is being subsidized by the church, and not vice versa – which reverts back to the other question I mentioned.
We also live in the Bible belt, and I was in the same predicament. All kinds of stupid kid stuff that in no way, no how was related to religion. But we also believe that ANYONE can be a good person, not just the people that believe in their god. I had just assumed the churches had to be getting something out of all these daycares they run. The one thing I do demand is that our daughters NOT be confirmed Catholic until they are past 18 years of age. They also exposed me to church by letting me go with my friends and my grandparents on occasion. They do chapel once a week or once a month and that’s about the only religion they get. He’s being taught a number of mythologies that cursory rational examination will quickly unravel – Santa Claus, tooth fairy, easter bunny, etc. The public elementary was quite far away and require a long walk to a bus stop, then a long bus ride. I was sent to a Baptist kindergarten, and Catholic school up through 3rd grade. Personally living in Texas the kids are going to hear about that stuff all the time so it’s not a big deal. This is why I pay more than anyone I know in my area. Most do not there’s a reason daycare workers are generally underpaid despite the cost to parents, the cost of running a child care facility, even part time is ridiculously high. But yeah, it stung like hell when the tax form showed up with grand $ total for the year right there in black and white. But not wanting to pay someone for the service they are providing because of their beliefs is intolerant. We can only count on his home influences to help him figure it all out. .