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Dumaguete City , Negros Oriental
Happy faces at a 5-star day care center

These are stories
that touch our hearts,
keep us grounded
to what we have
always believed in ---
children have rights.

They are after all
our future.


A team of local field workers finds priceless joy at a model day care center.

Toothless smiles, happy faces, and a bit shy but pleasant "Good morning, visitors!" All these greeted visitors at the five-star Piapi Resource Day Care Center 2.

Sitting in their wooden chairs inside the well-equipped classroom, day care children, Mico Alfabeto, Joanne Tecson, Jeandy Dinawanao, and Charize Duran, aged five and six, without hesitation, talked about their lives with their "Ma'am Emma."

" Mag -drawing man mi, unya mag -story-telling pod . Kahibalo na man mi mag -write sa among name (We like drawing and storytelling. We know how to write our names)," they volunteered.

Day care teacher Emma Emia Eran remembers how shy these children were at first. "But now they have gained independence since their mothers only bring them here and fetch them after school hours," said Eran who has been a day care teacher for the past ten years.

Eran also disclosed that each child is taught how to be self-reliant by preparing themselves for school every morning with little assistance from their mothers.

Six-year-old Jeandy said, " Ako ra mag -brush sa akong teeth unya maligo pod . (I can brush my teeth and take my own bath)".

The children are also given time to play as part of their daily schedule to develop their sense of camaraderie. "They are made to play and are taught to clean up after playing," added Eran.

Aside from playing, the day care pupils are taught values such as praying before meals, washing of hands, and helping in household chores Anna Marie Tecson, 35, mother of Joanne, said that her daughter has learned to pray before meals. She also helps in simple chores such as sweeping the floor and doing the laundry.

The Social Welfare and Development Regional Office gave the five-star rating after assessing the facilities at the center. The Piapi Resource Day Care Center 2 has a community corner, play house, mini-library, arts and crafts display and visual aids necessary for effective learning. The community corner is a miniature of the different institutions found in a community like a church, school, hospital, and city hall.

The day care center also has its own comfort room, another requirement for a five-star status. Another factor to consider in earning a five-star status is the qualities of the day care teacher.

In many parts of the country, UNICEF helps day care centers like Piapi to become more responsive to the special needs of preschool children. UNICEF provides technical and financial assistance in training day care workers and orienting parents on early childhood care and development.

A former beauty queen during her college days and now a mother of three, Eran admitted her love for children made her stay at the day care center despite offers of lighter and even high-paying jobs.

“Dedication is very important in handling the children since every year you get to encounter different types of day care kids,” Eran concluded. After all, she draws her strength from these children’s happy faces and toothless smiles

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