Okay so here's the deal.
I must have assumed she was licensed by the state. As I said, we had a personal relationship with her before my daughter began going there and I never really asked. I made the assumption based on some information she told me about getting government assistance. I thought that in order to get that, you must be licensed. Actually, I just learned that in TN, you don't have to have a daycare license if you don't take care of more than four children who aren't related to you. Typically, she watches about four to five children, with one or two being relatives. So that exempts her from having to carry a license.
So, no recourse there.
Yesterday, i stayed home from work b/c this has obviously upset me and DH and I thought it best for both of us to go and talk to her.
We went and she was genuinely surprised that we'd pull out daughter from her care over this. She said that she was "right there" and that most of the work done had been done before the kids got there, but a few pieces were left and she "had to get them". That's when I almost clocked b/c there you have the big difference in mind set. I interjected and said "See, no, you didn't HAVE to get them. You left those children in there alone." My husband elbowed me so I would calm down. My blood pressure was rising a tad, I must admit. She responded that she didn’t leave them alone. To which I said, “Oh, you had another adult in there?” She says, “No my little cousin was there watching them,” Um, she’s 7 and I don’t pay her to watch my daughter, I pay you.
So obviously, we have parenting that is completely at odds with one another here. In her mind, she was “right there” which isn’t true to me. She may have felt she was a reasonable distance from the house, but Dh said that she was near the curb, pulling weeds. That’s unacceptable to me. Maybe not to her, but that’s waaay over the top in my parenting book. Also, the comment where she said she “had” to get them is just a blatant clue that she is warped in her way of prioritizing her tasks. Also, to have your little cousin watching babies you are being paid to care for is beyond me. This mentality is just plain ignorant, and sadly, it abounds all over the world.
Now, I do want to make clear that I do believe this woman has a gentle heart and loves these children and IMO is a good person. Everyone's standard of what it takes to raise a child and babysit is different and IMO this isn't a situation where she didn't give a hoot about the kids. I honestly think she thought what she had done was okay since she strapped them in and had a 7 y/o watch them. I'm not saying it was the bright thing to do, but it wasn't mal-intentioned. My opinion of her level of common sense has certainly changed, but I don't think she actually meant these children any harm, for whatever that's worth.
I only say this to say that I do think intentions matter some. Not enough for me to keep my daughter there, however.
Also, I want to comment on the fact that when I mentioned that she goes to my church, it wasn’t to say that I fear retaliation or ridicule. Maybe you won’t understand this, but belonging to a church is like a family in a lot of ways. You don’t do things rashly without taking into account the effect it will have on your family or the soul in question. I don’t want to do anything that will negatively affect God’s kingdom so these types of things aren’t done casually or impulsively.
This of course, is not a good situation for any child to be in, and I plan on being honest if asked why I took my daughter out. Several other church members bring their children to her and I am anticipating their curiosity. I also have a sneaking suspicion that a few of the other parents won’t necessarily agree that this is a deal breaker. I think that some of the parents trust this woman explicitly. They had some long standing ties with her since she has watched several generations of kids they know. She’s been in business 14 years.
I don’t expect everyone in this forum to understand or agree with my actions to not picket her home or do any other bold type action protest to this.