My daughter started a daycare this week, and I have some concerns about cleanness standards in the room. To start with, the staff does not change their shoes when they come to work. Given that many babies in this group can't walk yet (they range in age anywhere between 10 and 18 months) I am really concerned about this fact. My daughter puts her hands into her mouth all the time, and she crawls on the floor where 5 teachers bring the dirt every day from the outside. There is no visible dirt of course, they mop the floor daily but they walk in these shoes on the streets, in subway, in public washrooms, etc. I feel really uncomfortable thinking that all that dirt from their shoes goes on the floor where my daughter crawls all day. The kids eat 3-4 times a day but their hands are being washed only once a day - before the lunch. I understand it's not easy to wash their hands, they are very little yet so at least I would expect the staff to maintain the room as clean as possible. I talked to the head teacher about this today but got only something like "well, we do not do it here". She brought up a number of excuses like it's very busy, and they do change shoes when it's getting cold and wet outside (what about the warm months??), and the kids need some exposure to germs to grow their immunity - which is ridiculous reason for this particular situation, etc. She also said that they never had any problems with this in the past, and that no one ever brought this as a concern which is not true - I talked to another mom who brought this up with this teacher just yesterday.
The teacher said that she would talk to her staff and ask them if they would be willing to change their shoes but I think it was just a way to softpedal the situation, and I don't think this should be up to the teachers to decide whether to change shoes or not - I think this should be required. She also mentioned that the school policy does not require them to change shoes which points out a way of addressing the situation - try to change the policy. I guess my next step would be to go the school principal and talk about this (the school goes from 1 year olds to grade 8 - it's a pretty big Montessori school). Not sure if I should go - if I go and get my way I don't know if the teachers would not treat my baby bad just because I stirred the things up, complained, etc. Any thoughts? If your babies are in a daycare - is there any policy about this issue? Do teachers change their shoes?