Issues w/ my daycare - am I wrong to be peeved? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 33 Old 01-07-2010, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Posted this on a more mainstream forum and got an earful. Thought I would try it here too to see what mamas here think.

Going back to work next week. We started at this day care when DS1 was 18 mos, so were never in the infant room before ... DS2 is 6 mos . . . went by today and left there feeling kind of upset with the place. Give me a reality check, please (but be kind and constructive, ok?). Here are my issues with them:

(1) Breast milk must be labeled with red tape (like it's a biohazard or something) while formula is labeled w/ regular masking tape. To me this has connotations I find offensive (red=warning, danger). If they had to distinguish the tape, couldn't it have been blue or yellow? Or better yet, why not just have us write "breastmilk" on the label like our first daycare did? What is the point of yet one more message to BF mothers that they're weird and deviant? (Keep in mind I'm in a place where BF is less common -- only one baby had red-labeled bottles in the fridge today).

(2) They use bleach solution to wipe down the changing pad after each diaper change. I'm not crazy about my kids inhaling bleach, but the thing I am really upset at is that they ruined two articles of DS1's clothing with bleach last year (I was quite PO'd) and then when I bring it up today they're like, we'll do our best but sometimes we have to change kids one after another and we may end up laying your child down in bleach and ruin his clothes (which is essentially the same response I got when I raised the issue at the time it happened). Um, hello . . . NOT ACCEPTABLE. Am I wrong? Is this a common thing at day care?

Issue 2 is serious enough to me that I'm considering seeking other care. Issue 1 is just annoying and makes me feel like I and my kids don't fit in or are looked upon as crazy hippies, but I could get past that if it weren't for Issue 2.

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#2 of 33 Old 01-07-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Issue number one doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

Issue number two makes me think that they're improperly diluting bleach. It only has to be at a concentration of 1:100 bleach : water in order for it to properly disinfect an area.

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#3 of 33 Old 01-07-2010, 07:43 PM
 
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You may find the labeling thing to be your win, maybe they use red tape because its what they have. Maybe red means "from the heart" or something. I wouldn't be bothered by that. Buy them a new color tape if you want and use a big smile when you ask.

Bleach-y spray.... well the health department makes them do this. I worked in the infant room of a splendid day care with very low ratios but the bleach spray is a must. Also there's generally two sinks.. one for food and one for poopy things. If you want to try to change this you must first get the name of the inspector for that area and call them to ask if there's any more natural spray to use for cleaning that would pass their inspections. I'm betting not.
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#4 of 33 Old 01-07-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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I work in the infant room of a mother's day out program and we have to use the bleach. I HATE it and tell everyone and their dog about it. We have to bleach everything from toys to changing tables to high chairs. Although I will say that I always make sure the changing table is dry before laying a kid down on it. Even if a kiddo has a dirty diaper, I don't see why they can't A) wait another minute or two for the table to dry or B) manually dry the table with something.

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#5 of 33 Old 01-07-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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I work in the infant room of a mother's day out program and we have to use the bleach. I HATE it and tell everyone and their dog about it. We have to bleach everything from toys to changing tables to high chairs. Although I will say that I always make sure the changing table is dry before laying a kid down on it. Even if a kiddo has a dirty diaper, I don't see why they can't A) wait another minute or two for the table to dry or B) manually dry the table with something.
My thoughts exactly...they should let it dry/wipe it dry. I don't care how mainstream someone is...that's almost like leaving bleach on the bottom shelf in your house...you just don't put your children in contact with stuff like that. I LOST it at my SIL for spraying a toy with bleach and handing it to my son...it wasn't so much the bleach (even though I don't clean toys with bleach, personally) but, the fact that I knew it was still very potent on that toy and I knew he would put it in his mouth and basically EAT BLEACH.
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#6 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 01:09 AM
 
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I agree with the others- the bleach is not by choice. I work in the infant room at a daycare too and we have to use a bleach solution between every diaper change. We do NOT, however, put a child on that changing table until it's dry (even if I have to use a paper towel to dry it).

The first one- the state requires us to heat bottles of breastmilk different than bottles of formula. Formula is heated in the microwave. Breastmilk is heated in a crockpot of hot water. The red tape could just be a reminder for them to heat it in the crockpot (or whatever). I would love it if our daycare used a tape system. As it is, we just have to remember which babies are using breastmilk and which are using formula (right now only 1 of 9 babies are using breastmilk so it's pretty easy to remember).

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#7 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 03:00 AM
 
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1) This wouldn't bug me. Red is very visual. It probably helps make sure that breastmilk goes to the correct kids.

2) This is health regulations. They have to clean the pad between kids. They have to use a bleach solution. I learned very quickly not to send clothes I cared about to daycare. They get wrecked by art projects, bleach, mud in the playground.
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#8 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 10:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
The first one- the state requires us to heat bottles of breastmilk different than bottles of formula. Formula is heated in the microwave. Breastmilk is heated in a crockpot of hot water. The red tape could just be a reminder for them to heat it in the crockpot (or whatever). I would love it if our daycare used a tape system. As it is, we just have to remember which babies are using breastmilk and which are using formula (right now only 1 of 9 babies are using breastmilk so it's pretty easy to remember).
The labels on all the formula we used always said not to microwave it. The daycare we used heated both formula and breastmilk in a crockpot of hot water. Does your state require you to disregard manufacturers' instructions? (That sounds sarcastic but I didn't mean it that way, I mean it literally.)

Examples: the Enfamil website http://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/enfam...1&r=3440411086 says "Do not use the microwave to warm formula; serious burns may result."

The Similac website says something similar.
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#9 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 11:09 AM
 
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I'm not so okay with the bleach thing, especially because it's really not that hard to get a roll of butcher paper, put fresh paper under each kid, and only bleach at night or after serious blowouts.

I'd try to let the thing about the tape color go.

It doesn't sound like you're happy with this place, so yes, I'd look into other places. What are your other options?

Edited to say that if the bleach is a health department requirement, then I think they should be drying off the table manually if necessary.
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#10 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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Our daycare (and I assume all centers) had to clean with bleach between daiper changes due to licensing regs. HOWEVER they always wiped the changing pad dry between kids, and layed a clean paper towel under the kid being changed. That would irritate the crap out of me, too.

The bmilk thing makes no sense to me. Whether a kid is FF or BF, you don't want anyone else drinking the bottles except the kid they are intended for. I don't understand why they need to differentiate- why not just label each bottle with the kids name (that is what we had to do). A drop in center that we used put a different colored rubber band around each kids bottles, which worked well too.

ETA: our CD also heated all bottles in a crockpot.

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#11 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 11:45 AM
 
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Our church has a nursery, that is also used for daycare during the week. They use bleach too because of state regulations. They have to bleach everything. It bothers me too, maybe suggest drying the table down? That doesn't seem like an outrageous suggestion. Even though it may be state mandated for them to wipe it down with bleach, shouldn't mean that it is okay for children to be laying on a changing pad soaked with it. I would not be okay with my ds being put directly on a wet pad (even if it is diluted). If it couldn't be resolved by drying down the table or putting a barrier between ds and the pad, I would switch. How about a doc's note saying your child can't be in direct contact with the solution? Just an idea?

The labeling wouldn't bother me too much. I see what you are saying though. They probably just want to make sure everyone gets the right bottles. I don't know why it needs to be labeled that way, and a name isn't enough.

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#12 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 01:06 PM
 
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I don't think the daycare makes those rules.

Some States have rules that make me wonder who's sitting around thinking these things up.

Bleaching the kid's clothes would bother me, but I can see how it would happen. It does sound like they are mixing the bleach too strong. Bleach is a rule everywhere. But, if they aren't careful, they are putting too much bleach in the spray bottle. It's hard sometimes because you are in a hurry, and you don't measure.. you just guesstimate.

I have to use bleach in my daycare too, and I hate it also. I have ruined so many of my own clothes, so I understand your frustration.

I think in Michigan. (could be wrong on the state though) that the parents have to make up each bottle at home... then label it with the child's name, the date and time it was mixed, and the name of the parent who mixed it. If the parent didn't bring enough pre-mixed formula, or if something happens to it... the parent HAS to come back and bring a new pre-mixed bottle labled the same way... because the providers can't mix formula.
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1) I wouldn't let this bother me too much. At our daycare they often put the bottles in plastic bags (both formula and BM) that are labled with the child's name and what it is - formula or BM. They have to use seperate warmers for them.

2) They need to wipe the chaning pad off between children or put something down on it. At our daycare they spray the table and then wipe it down if needed. They also put a piece of butcher style paper under each child.

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#15 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
The labels on all the formula we used always said not to microwave it. The daycare we used heated both formula and breastmilk in a crockpot of hot water. Does your state require you to disregard manufacturers' instructions? (That sounds sarcastic but I didn't mean it that way, I mean it literally.)

Examples: the Enfamil website http://www.enfamil.com/app/iwp/enfam...1&r=3440411086 says "Do not use the microwave to warm formula; serious burns may result."

The Similac website says something similar.
Good question... but I don't know the answer. I know that we were heating all bottles in the crockpot until about a year ago when the state came in and said we were in violation. They said we couldn't heat formula bottles and breast milk bottles in the same crockpot, for heath reasons (I still never figured that one out). They said we had to heat the breast milk in the crockpot and the formula in the microwave. We asked about just using two separate crockpots but they said no, heat the formula in the microwave

ETA- those who have never worked in a daycare setting probably don't know that state rules change ALL the time. We can be told something one week by the state and a month later they tell us something different. We do our best to follow the rules as we know them.

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#16 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 05:30 PM
 
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I operate a commercial daycare. Bleach is mandatory. It sounds like the solution in your case was mixed too potently, but this happens a lot - to us too. We make a best effort to allow the change pad to dry between changes but in the thick of things, and with new workers around, we did bleach a child's shirt on the change pad once. I purchased them a new brand name outfit to replace it.

The bottle labelling colour doesn't seem like a big issue. As a PP suggested, perhaps they only have red coloured tape or perhaps they wanted to signify the importance of BM with a bold noticeable colour.
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#17 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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I'm a home daycare provider, and the laws are different in each state... but:

A. Breastmilk. Breastmilk in my state is required that its labeled as a bodily fluid. Basically, after cleaning up breastmilk or urine, you are to wear gloves, throw away the paper towels, wash your hands, sanitize the area of the spill, etc. I imagine that's why they are treating breastmilk differently. If they are following the state regulations in that way, I can't imagine that you would find another day care center that didn't do something of the sort.

I know its hard for us AP mamas to see how breastmilk could be a "bodily fluid" like urine or vomit. But for a formula feeding mama, can you imagine finding out that your DCP had mistakenly fed your child someone else's breastmilk? Or finding out that your two year old got another mama's breastmilk all over her clothes?

B. Bleach. My state law requires that changing tables be covered with a non permeable disposable liner (like wax paper or something) that's thrown away after every single diaper change. Or that you sanitize the pad after every diaper change. I would MUCH prefer a little bleach to sanitize that all that extra trash. Because most states require that babies are changed at least every two hours.

Sanitizing the changing pad stops the spread of common daycare problems.... like hepatitis A.

Now, our bleach requirements are 1 tsp of bleach to every 32 oz of water. So, my bleach water/sanitizing solution doesn't bleach stain clothes even if I take my bottle and dump in onto something and let it dry. I've tested it by dumping it out after preparation onto a washcloth. It doesn't change the color of the washcloth at all. It is supposed to be left on for at least two minutes before being allowed to air dry, or be wiped off.

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#18 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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I know that in food service, some states have a policy that if you wipe something down with bleach solution, it is to be air-dried. Maybe something like that is coming into play with the not drying.

I would be *livid* if my child was being laid down on a wet, bleachy table, both for the health aspects and the clothing-ruining aspects.

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#19 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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I wanted to add that as a daycare provider, I have accidentally bleached kid's clothes a few times and felt awful about it. One time I even replaced the outfit I ruined. So, I don't think it's that the providers don't care... I'm sure it's just an accident. I still think they should remember to wipe down the surface first.. but, I'm sure they felt bad about it.
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#20 of 33 Old 01-08-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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I know that in food service, some states have a policy that if you wipe something down with bleach solution, it is to be air-dried. Maybe something like that is coming into play with the not drying.
I remember that too, from food service. The bleach doesn't work as well if it's wiped off.
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#21 of 33 Old 01-10-2010, 12:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by msmiranda View Post
\
(1) Breast milk must be labeled with red tape (like it's a biohazard or something) while formula is labeled w/ regular masking tape. To me this has connotations I find offensive (red=warning, danger). If they had to distinguish the tape, couldn't it have been blue or yellow? Or better yet, why not just have us write "breastmilk" on the label like our first daycare did? What is the point of yet one more message to BF mothers that they're weird and deviant? (Keep in mind I'm in a place where BF is less common -- only one baby had red-labeled bottles in the fridge today).

(2) They use bleach solution to wipe down the changing pad after each diaper change. I'm not crazy about my kids inhaling bleach, but the thing I am really upset at is that they ruined two articles of DS1's clothing with bleach last year (I was quite PO'd) and then when I bring it up today they're like, we'll do our best but sometimes we have to change kids one after another and we may end up laying your child down in bleach and ruin his clothes (which is essentially the same response I got when I raised the issue at the time it happened). Um, hello . . . NOT ACCEPTABLE. Am I wrong? Is this a common thing at day care?
I'd probably find 1 annoying in a half-serious, half-joking kind of way, and while they need to figure out how to let the bleach do its work (it is generally required by state regulations to be used on changing surfaces, and does work best if left to dry, not wiped off) AND keep kids' skin/clothing from coming into contact. Maybe two changing tables, so they could alternate back and forth? This would annoy me, too, but I'm not sure much can be done about it, especially if they're supposed to let it dry.

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#22 of 33 Old 01-10-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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The red labeling I don't think is a big deal: it is probably to make sure that it isn't mixed up with the formula. Red is very visual.

(and technically, since it is a body fluid, it would have to go in biohazard if you were in a lab, just FYI. Biohazard isn't a bad thing, it just means it is biological).

the bleech is typical protocol.

Neither is a big deal and very common.
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#23 of 33 Old 01-10-2010, 11:14 AM
 
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msmiranda,
I totally understand how frustrating these things can be!!! As working/student mamas we must trust that someone else is going to take incredible care of our lo and it's hard! I guess the thing I would look at is
1. Do they take good care of your lo? In my experience sometimes I've had to let annoying things pass becauase I know they love my ds and take really good care of him and when we have had a real issue it's been resolved, so I guess I have compromised.
2. Is it a clean overall center? This was also a non-negotiable for me with my ds. If it's not clean, then we are leaving.
So, I guess if you are not happy overall maybe tour a few other places and look around. That really opened my eyes when I switched last year. Then of course I toured my friend's center and although expensive that is the one we went with. I laughingly call it the "cadilac (sorry, sp?) of daycares" but it still has it's issues.
Good luck with this difficult decision. I'm sure you will make the best one for your and your family.
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#24 of 33 Old 01-10-2010, 12:48 PM
 
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One more thought on the red labeling for someone who worked in infant daycare.

When I was in daycare we threw away a lot of formula. You couldn't heat and offer a bottle more than twice, you couldn't leave a bottle out for more than 1/2 an hour, there were lots of rules that lead to the last 1/2 ounce of a bottle being tossed, or even more.

Understandably, moms who were pumping for their children didn't want similar amounts of breastmilk thrown out. I know I wouldn't have. So we were more careful. If I had a breastmilk fed baby and they started to fuss I might carry them to the fridge, offer them a still cold bottle and then decide whether to heat it based on their reaction (e.g. if they got excited and grabbed at it, I'd guess that they were hungry). Also, if I were alone in the room with a few kids and couldn't get back to the fridge (in a different room) I'd be quicker to call my supervisor on the intercom to come put the breastmilk back in the fridge. Finally, it effected how I rotated the bottles, I could be more strategic, noticing patterns about how long it had been since they last ate before deciding if I wanted a 4 oz bottle or a 3 oz bottle.

I guess I'm saying that, because I do think that it's important that caregivers know quickly and easily which bottles contain breastmilk, even if you get away from the "bodily fluid" idea. When my son was on ridiculously expensive prescription formula I would have wanted the to take the same precautions. Red's an easy color to see. People often stop and read what's on red because it's associated with importance.
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#25 of 33 Old 01-11-2010, 02:30 AM
 
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as far as the bleach thing goes, ive worked in a couple of centers, and yes, technically the table should air dry between changings, but ive never known a caregiver to intentionally lay a child on a wet bleachy table. thats crazy! more often than not, its sprayed and wiped off between each kid in a group of changings, and then left to air dry at the end. if its just one change (a random poopy diaper, or someone "off schedule" for lack of a better term), then its left to air dry.

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#26 of 33 Old 01-11-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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#27 of 33 Old 01-11-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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That is typical for most daycare facilities due to state law.

Our daycare required a special sticker be put on all the breastmilk bottles and they also had to be dated and labeled with the child name. Each bfing mom had their own colored sticker.
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#28 of 33 Old 01-12-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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I would not be bothered by the red tape. My son's day care had cameras over the internet and imagine how irked I was when I saw my infant son put down his sippy of BM, and another child walked over, picked it up and started drinking it. I was an hour-and-a-half away at work watching this, phoning them like crazy and kept getting a busy signal as I watched this kid drink it - it was driving me crazy at that moment, but in hindsight it's kind of funny. But I would NOT have been happy if I was that child's mom. I would have felt better if it had been more obviously identified. It took me a LONG TIME to pump that BM! (I was actually phoning them to say DON'T let my child drink from it after that child as there were so many germs being spread there, I didn't want my son sick again!)

I had similar issues with the bleach at my son's daycare - they were bleaching the table and chairs and were getting the kids (Toddlers) to HELP. I spoke to the Director, and she advised the teachers to keep the kids on the other side of the room while they bleached, but the whole class room REAKED of bleach. That cannot be good for the lungs. They assured me it was required by law. So I bought them a natural cleaner made from cloves that is approved for use in hospitals. Benefect I think it was called. They refused to use it. We were happy with everything else there so I let it go, and just asked the teacher to keep the windows open when possible and keep my son away when bleaching anything.

My older son's daycare (the one with the cameras) never bleached anything and my kids got sooooo sick there. It's a catch 22.
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#29 of 33 Old 01-12-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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#1 wouldnt' even cross my radar. Try to let it go. I think it is actually a very good thing the center is so focused on keeping BM clearly identified.

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Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
Our daycare (and I assume all centers) had to clean with bleach between daiper changes due to licensing regs. HOWEVER they always wiped the changing pad dry between kids, and layed a clean paper towel under the kid being changed. That would irritate the crap out of me, too.
DS's center does the same, a clean paper with each new kid. Thankfully, we never had a bleached clothing issue.

DS's daycare is very clean and to date, there hasn't been a problem with illness. While I don't use bleach sprays at home, I think in a group environment, especially one where some parents might not always be a diligent as they should be about not sending kids to school when sick, erring on the side of caution is better for the entire group.

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#30 of 33 Old 01-12-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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For the commonwealth of VA to be licensed.

Crunchy con wife with 1 DS and 1 lil DD born in Jan. I love breastfeeding, CDing and Friday night family bed.
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