Thoughts on daycare? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 12:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was the last person I thought would ever use daycare, but after almost 2 years working from home with little help because I have been unable to find a re-liable in home nanny I resorted to sending my 20 month daughter.

The first 3 days were great. She was so happy I had to drag her out of there in the afternoons promising she could come back the next day. Then the staff called and said she was sick and needed a doctors note before she could come back. She hadn't seemed sick that morning and when I picked her up seemed fine. Of course the doctor signed her off and I took her back. The staff continued to complain that she was crabby and not happy and must be sick for the next couple days. Then over the weekend she developed chickenpox. She had them all week but was in a relatively good mood even when sick. Yesterday I got a doctors note saying she was no longer sick and could return to daycare and when I picked her up the staff complained again that she was still sick and not happy and didn't play all day. When I got her in the car I she ate the entire lunch I had packed that the staff claimed she refused to eat during the day. This evening there was supposed to be a parent meeting so we returned after dinner and my daughter played and played and was in a great mood.

My concerns: My daughter is not happy when I'm not there at the center with her, but when I keep her home all she wants to do all day is hang on me and nurse and gets crabby (I believe because she is board) ... at the end of the day I don't get any work done and she is not tired and ready for bed because she didn't do anything all day.

When she goes to daycare, we have a great time together in the evening and she goes to bed (relatively) easily. But the staff keeps telling me she is crabby all day.

I believe the crabby behavior at daycare is because she is wanting to nurse and just wants me to be there in the background (when I hang out there with her she wants little to do with me, she just goes off on her own and plays)....

I NEED to work and can't get much done when she is here during the day. I have tried working when she is napping and at night but much of my work is meeting with people who are only avail during regular business hours so that never worked well for us.

There are NO other daycare choices around because of where we live and there are seemingly NO reliable people to come to the house.

I want to continue to send her to daycare as our family quality of life has substantially improved since my daughter started there but I am worried about leaving her there when she is supposedly miserable.

Any ideas about easing her into it?
similar stories that worked out in the end?

anything you have to offer would be appreciated.

Thanks
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#2 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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What about a 'mothers helper' who comes to your house to keep your dd entertained while you work, but you can still nurse her when needed.

Or look for a new daycare! Here the montessori school costs LESS than an at home daycare and is a really nice environment (Im looking ahead to when ds is 4, I plan on homeschooling him but want him to go there for a semseter so I have time to finish school)
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#3 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"There are NO other daycare choices around because of where we live and there are seemingly NO reliable people to come to the house."
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#4 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 01:42 AM
 
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How long has she been going or when did the transition start? Honestly, I think it needs more time if it has only been 3 weeks or so. Perhaps you ease her in a little better with a shorter time period, can you flex you work if you get a good solid 5-6 hours in?

I understand your pain somewhat because when i work from home 3-4 days a week it is challenging with my 3 yo. and he has a SAHD home and I have a seperate office space and I do have to be available for client calls most of the day. I try to get most of my work done while he is a preschool from 8:30-1:30 PM
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#5 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 05:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfreed4575 View Post
"There are NO other daycare choices around because of where we live and there are seemingly NO reliable people to come to the house."
well you answered your own question didn't you? I think there is someone else but you son't know them or how to find them, do you live in the middle of nowhere?

I would press the staff to write a short "what she did during the day" list. just describing her has crabby (AKA not behaving like the other children do) as not cutting it. It is possible that she has a genuine yuk feeling about a staff member or some of the ways they do things there.... are meals supper strict, did a staff member get too firm with her? Any of those things would of made the same behavior in my first born if he would of been put in a center.
By 3 weeks I think most children would of started to see improvement (I have worked in many different child care situations over the years) UNLESS there is something else about the center bothering them.
Get more information from thease people. It sounds like they are either being intentionaly vauge or simply clueless, and not bothering to pay attention to why she is crabby.
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#6 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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I think it sounds like the staff is giving you plenty of info, but you seem to processing it in a very personal way. Are you feeling defensive about the situation?

The staff told you your daughter was sick, and asked you to pick her up. She seemed fine when you picked her up, but shortly after came down with chicken pox. I would read this as--they noticed she was feeling unwell and they alerted you and I'd feel glad that they are paying attention.

Now the staff is telling you that she is cranky and out of sorts and having a hard time adjusting. Are they complaining or just letting you know how it's going? Are they telling you this and intimating that if she doesn't "get happy" she can't come back? Or are they just being honest about how her transition is going? I'd be even more unhappy if the staff were telling me that my DD was perfectly fine, and then I found out later that she was having a tough time.

I would ask the staff what she seems to enjoy there. Build that up at home and on the way there. Maybe try to set up a playdate with another mom/kid there--even if it's just stopping at the park for 15 mins after pick up.

Also, don't underestimate the chicken pox--getting sick like that can really derail her, make her more tired and miserable for a while. It also may be why she wasn't interested in her food during the day. I know the dr has said that she's clear to go back, but it might be the difference between being fine and feeling good. If she is still recovering, is there any way you could do shorter days there for a week so she gets some more nap time? You might find that in another week she's completely back to her old self, and happy again.

I would say, given you had a major sickness in the first couple of weeks, give her some more time to transition.
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#7 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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I don't think a couple of days is going to give you an accurate assesment of what things are going to be like. It took us about 3 weeks of staying on a consistent schedule (we go to school at this time, you do fun things, we go home and have dinner and play,etc) before she started acting "normal".

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#8 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The reason there are no other options is because we live on an indian reservation which is 40 miles from the nearest small town which is in the opposite direction of my husbands work (we only have one car)... The tribe runs all of the daycare on the whole reservation and we only qualify to go to this one particular center. There are head start centers but they all have a long waiting list (which we are on)... I've been looking for an in-home provider for over a year the problem with work on the reservation is that people dont really want to work in general and the people who are totally reliable already have jobs. Most of the people I found said they would come and never showed up and the one person that did come and was AWESOME is only sometimes avail and never know if you can get her or not until 10 mins before you need her.

Some of the staff don't seem to think there is a problem and I've heard there are issues with the staff (particularly the head person) wanting to leave early and so call the parents to pick up their kids or in the case of evening care, close the place before the children arrive.

I totally wouldn't send her if I thought she was still sick or not feeling good.. she acts TOTALLY normal at home even jumping around on a trampoline last night close to her bedtime.

For people who kept taking their kids back or "easing" into it... how did you do that? Ie.. what was the process and how long did you do it before it felt like they were doing well consistently?
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#9 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 02:24 PM
 
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I didn't read all of the replies so I apologize about that, but I do know from my own daycare experience that it can take a while before your child adjusts. My son took several weeks to be "himself" just when he changed rooms and care givers. So maybe it will just take some time. When my son first started daycare, I did half days for a few weeks. But since he has been there, I can't do that when he transitions to a new room.

I also think that it is nice that the teachers are giving you such info - I had an earlier experience in which I felt like everything was being sugar coated - I'd rather know the truth so I know how to adjust. I am mentioning this because I think the feedback is maybe a good thing.
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#10 of 12 Old 04-21-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I agree that it sounds like the staff is tuned in, honest, and caring (from the small bit you've posted). However they are also not specific enough. I too am wondering what the tone is, and what the specific behaviours are. Maybe ask for a bit more information.

It is very hard at that age because they can't just tell you what is going on. I would definitely keep my radar up. But I would also give it some more time to become her usual day. I agree that the illness may have thrown her off. She also much just be having a growth or developmental spurt that contributes. She's coming into the twos so 'crabby' might describe her no matter what.

It took my son probably 3 months to be really comfortable. That does not mean he was miserable for 3 months. The general trend was up, with a few dips. It's just his personality. He would get crabby going to the zoo too often at that age too.

When you started your post with "I was the last person I thought would ever use daycare" I just wanted to almost give you a hug - boy do we mums make it hard on ourselves with these preconceptions. How can daycare possibly be "ok" if you had kind of resolved never to use it? Maybe you need a bit longer to adjust and evaluate too.

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#11 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Today I was directed to the daycare "investigator" who the daycare staff told me would inform me that my daughter could not come back to daycare until every scab had healed over because when they fall off it is a risk that they might bleed.... the "investigator" turned out to be the first sane person with authority I have talked to... she totally saw what was happening and when I told her what you all said about needing more time to adjust she agreed (the daycare director insists my daughter is sick)....

Anyway.. I think the less time to start idea is a good one.. today I took her in late at 12:00 and picked her up early at 3:30 ... she screamed when I dropped her off but the staff told me she calmed pretty fast... the director wasnt there when I picked my daughter up but the staff that was there said my daughter was fine the whole time... I think its a combo of SOME of the staff being seriously lazy AND my daughter being upset with the new routine...

Thanks again for all the feedback.. I'm glad to hear it took other kids longer to adjust too.. I don't think there are very many other parents around here practicing attachment parenting and most of the kids with working parents are in daycare starting at 6 weeks so the staff hasnt really seen many kids needing time to adjust.... will continue with this short day thing for awhile and add an hour at a time slowly.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-22-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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Yeah, she will definitely need some time to adjust! My daughter at 4 months didn't get into the swing of things at daycare for 2 weeks. She wasn't horribly upset, but she didn't eat well or settle into a routine until her third week, and with your daughter getting sick at the start of everything, I'm sure that made it much worse. Hopefully starting back with shorter hours will make it easier for her.

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