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'My son's second home': Sydney mum's heartfelt letter to toddler's daycare

By Nikolina Koevska Kharoufeh |

Dear ?Daycare,

It's been one whole year since I dropped my 10-month-old off on your front doorstep for the first time. I remember that morning like it was yesterday.

I spent way too long squatting at the entrance checking his backpack had enough spare clothes inside, making sure every inch of his skin was covered in sunscreen and ensuring I packed the right sleeping bag for his nap.

He on the other hand was sitting on his toosh, staring out to the sand pit captivated by the plastic shovels and buckets laid out and ready for playtime.

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Nikolina and her son Noah, who has just marked one year of daycare. (Supplied)

That little baby is now a very different little boy. He talks, he sings, he runs. He hugs, he waves, he laughs and he learns. He's clever, he's social, he's adventurous and he's confident.

All things he is, thanks to you.

Daycare, you are my son's second home. His favourite place to be outside of our own. A place full of love, adventure and learning. A place where he eats, he sleeps, he plays and he develops.

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Nikolina says Noah has greatly benefited from his year in daycare. (Supplied)

Somewhere he feels safe and cared for. Nurtured and entertained. It's where he gets to see all his friends as they come together to play and make memories for hours on end.

While I know no place will ever beat home, it does have many things he won't find here. Well thought-out and challenging activities to open his mind. Big group singing and dancing sessions to fill his soul with joy and laughter. Garden taming and cultural food tasting.

Messy arts and craft lessons with endless colourful supplies and utensils. While mum and dad do love to play, supply issues, time, space and a lack of creativity don't allow for such elaborate setups at home. But daycare is his very own adventure paradise.

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The Sydney mum says they're able to provide experiences she can't at home. (Supplied)

In a year that feels like a day, this little man has gone from refusing to crawl, to running around the garden. From blabbing sounds to knowing his full ABC's. From hanging off his mum like a baby koala, to waving and greeting neighbours as we go for walks.

Watching those big kids around the nursery has motivated him to be like them. Being part of activities, reading time, craft lessons and having one-on-one attention from his carers has helped him to not only reach milestones, but exceed them. He's built a confidence (which at times can be a kind of sass) that I am in awe of.

While I am writing this letter to mainly thank you for all of the above, I can't finish without a personal thank you from me.

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The Sydney mum says daycare has allowed her to be a better mum. (Supplied)

Thank you for allowing me the time to be myself again. To step away from my role as a mother and regain my passion for work. For giving me the opportunity to nurture my career, without feeling bad about being away from my boy.

Daycare you make me a better mum and my son a fantastic kid. I can't wait to see what the next 12 months brings for the both of us.

Love, one guilt-free Mum.

P.S. The persistent sniffly nose has been worth it.

P.P.S. Any tips on the best way to clean sand from the backseat of a car?

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