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#1 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've got some questions if you do! A couple of my fellow employees and I were talking about this yesterday so I wanted to get some perspective. Maybe it's not just our employer, maybe it's like this in all daycares (and, if it is, it's no doubt there's such a high turnover rate in this business).

Do you get a 5/10/15 minute break?

Do you get a lunch break?

Is there someone available that can step in if you need to take a quick sanity break?

If all the kids are sleeping, are you allowed to use a cell phone to make personal calls?

Okay, reason I ask this.... at the daycare I work at it was fine for the first few months (I've been there since November). But, suddenly, things are turning worse very quickly. I don't know what happened but the assistant director is cracking her whip down on us.

We do not get a break, on an average day. It doesn't matter if you're just working for 4 hours or up to a 9 hour day. The only people who get breaks are a handful who smoke. They get a break something like 10 minutes every 2 hours or something like that, but it's not timed and nobody keeps track of how often they go out to smoke. All they have to do is say "I need a smoking break" and they can go. But for the rest of us... nope.

Yes and no to a lunch break. You get a chance to eat lunch during the children's naptime. The preferrance is for you to bring a lunch from home so you just stay in your room, keep watch over the children, and eat. Every once in a while the director will let you leave the daycare to go pick up lunch (or one person will pick up lunch for multiple people). But you just pick up the lunch (it's got to be one of the places that are right by the daycare) and go right back to your room to eat it. However, if you work the infant room then you're screwed. Obviously babies don't adhere to the nap schedule so there's almost never a time where they're all sleeping at the same time. Which means you're often eating lunch while balancing a baby on your lap, or bouncing a bouncy with your foot or whatever. It's not unusual for someone in the baby room's lunch to be cold by the time they get to take a bite of it, or for it to be 2-3pm before they get a chance to eat.

Sometimes someone else can step in if you need a sanity break. Sometimes not. The woman I work with in the infant room and the woman who works in the 1 year old room have built a relationship where if one of us needs a sanity break then we make sure she gets it. We juggle the babies/toddlers around so that we meet requirements. Trust me- you don't want a stressed out person watching your child

The cell phone is the newest crackdown at our daycare. When I was first hired it wasn't a big deal to use your cell phone IF you were doing so responsibly (don't neglect the children, don't say anything you don't want repeated, etc). Now we're apparently not allowed to use them at all during the workday, not even when the kids are asleep. In general this wouldn't piss me off. Except the assistant director only cracked down on a handful of us (those who have been there less than a year). SHE still uses her cell phone, WHILE the kids are awake and in her care, daily. The other women who work there, and have for more than a year, still use theirs daily. Or they claim they need a smoke break, go to their car and smoke and talk on their cell phone. The other reason this pisses me off is my ds has many doctors/therapists (special needs). There's many times where I'm waiting on a phone call from a doctor/therapist. I'm fine with not answering my cell when the kids are awake and instead calling them back when the kids are sleeping. But now we're not even allowed to do that. So days I work 9-6 I'm screwed. If the doctor calls at 9:30 am I won't be able to call them back until the next day since I don't get out of work until after the office closes.



Anyway, just kinda curious. Also wanted to bring this topic (which never seems to be talked about) to light. Please be gentle on your children's daycare worker. There's nothing I hate more than watching someone's child from 9-5:30 with no breaks only to have them come in and start getting upset with me because little Joe took his shoe off 2 seconds before mom walked in the door. Please consider that we might be a little stressed at the end of the day.

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

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#2 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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Well, I'm not working right now, (maternity leave) but I can answer for the daycare I used to work at.

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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Do you get a 5/10/15 minute break?
Nope, we didn't get a short break.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Do you get a lunch break?

Yup, one hour every day. Either 1-2 or 2-3. If you needed more time it could be arranged. (Like for a quickie appt or something.) This is while the kids sleep.

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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Is there someone available that can step in if you need to take a quick sanity break?

Usually. (The director is good about this, and will step onto the floor in cases like this.) And we were allowed to leave to room to get stuff, so sometimes your sanity break was going to get the supplies to make playdough or pick up some paint from the storeroom.

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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
If all the kids are sleeping, are you allowed to use a cell phone to make personal calls?
Yes, but only for important calls. Ie. I wouldn't call DF to just say hi, but I would to let him know when our prenatal classes were starting, or to book a doctor's appt. Plus, as mentioned we have a lunch hour, so we can call then.

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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
We do not get a break, on an average day. It doesn't matter if you're just working for 4 hours or up to a 9 hour day. The only people who get breaks are a handful who smoke. They get a break something like 10 minutes every 2 hours or something like that, but it's not timed and nobody keeps track of how often they go out to smoke. All they have to do is say "I need a smoking break" and they can go. But for the rest of us... nope.

Yes and no to a lunch break. You get a chance to eat lunch during the children's naptime. The preferrance is for you to bring a lunch from home so you just stay in your room, keep watch over the children, and eat. Every once in a while the director will let you leave the daycare to go pick up lunch (or one person will pick up lunch for multiple people). But you just pick up the lunch (it's got to be one of the places that are right by the daycare) and go right back to your room to eat it. However, if you work the infant room then you're screwed. Obviously babies don't adhere to the nap schedule so there's almost never a time where they're all sleeping at the same time. Which means you're often eating lunch while balancing a baby on your lap, or bouncing a bouncy with your foot or whatever. It's not unusual for someone in the baby room's lunch to be cold by the time they get to take a bite of it, or for it to be 2-3pm before they get a chance to eat.

Please look into the regulations in your area. This has got to be illegal, and it's bad for things like staff turnover and morale. It's not going to work long term. No one wants to work in an environment like that.

At the daycare I was at the staff ate with the children, so our "lunch breaks" were more breaks and snack time. I couldn't work in an environment like that, I'm hypoglycemic and pass out if I don't eat regularly.

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Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
Sometimes someone else can step in if you need a sanity break. Sometimes not. The woman I work with in the infant room and the woman who works in the 1 year old room have built a relationship where if one of us needs a sanity break then we make sure she gets it. We juggle the babies/toddlers around so that we meet requirements. Trust me- you don't want a stressed out person watching your child

I agree! Stress breaks are important. I should point out that no one was working "alone" in the daycare I was at. All classes had at least two teachers.

Sounds like you need to look into regulations and possibly report this place. It sounds miserable and daycare teachers who have experience and are enthusiatic (do you have training?) are so rare, there is no need to put up with this!

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#3 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:08 AM
 
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#4 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 01:05 PM
 
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I worked in a daycare about 5 years ago.

We had 15 minute breaks and a lunch break every day. We were expected to eat with the children at the little table but that did not count as our lunch break. I don't think I had a cell phone at the time but I don't really remember anyone ever using a cell phone in the class. We also could call for a break and the assistant director, director or secretary would come in for a few minutes so you could go to the bathroom, make a quick call or just calm down if there was something going on (we had one child who had very wild tantrums in our class).

During the time I worked there I smoked but I never smoked other than at lunch and on my scheduled breaks.

We also had a pretty high employee turnover while I was there. I only stayed 6 months.

It doesn't sound like a great situation. Do you have employee meetings?

Melissa- mom to a boy 9/06 and a new boy 11/10 and married to my best friend 7/02
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#5 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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im not working right now, but i worked in a center for 3 years, primarily the infant room, but other rooms as well. i dont want to deal woth multi quote, so im going to answer in the post

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
I've got some questions if you do! A couple of my fellow employees and I were talking about this yesterday so I wanted to get some perspective. Maybe it's not just our employer, maybe it's like this in all daycares (and, if it is, it's no doubt there's such a high turnover rate in this business).

Do you get a 5/10/15 minute break?

usually we didnt. they tried if at all possible to give everyone a 10 once a day, but we were so understaffed it didnt usually happen

Do you get a lunch break?

we had to. if you didnt clock out for it, it would be deducted from your time. its the law. 30 minutes if we did a 6 hour shift, an hour if it was 8

Is there someone available that can step in if you need to take a quick sanity break?

again, they tried really hard to get someone in there for potty breaks, or if you really needed it, but its not something that could be abused. because of the staffing problem, it was usually a member of management, or maybe they could steal someone from another room for 5 minutes, but it wasnt easy

If all the kids are sleeping, are you allowed to use a cell phone to make personal calls?

no. we werent supposed to have our phones on while we were in the room at all. this was an army daycare, so they were a little more lenient during deployments, but they cracked down on people abusing it

Okay, reason I ask this.... at the daycare I work at it was fine for the first few months (I've been there since November). But, suddenly, things are turning worse very quickly. I don't know what happened but the assistant director is cracking her whip down on us.

We do not get a break, on an average day. It doesn't matter if you're just working for 4 hours or up to a 9 hour day. The only people who get breaks are a handful who smoke. They get a break something like 10 minutes every 2 hours or something like that, but it's not timed and nobody keeps track of how often they go out to smoke. All they have to do is say "I need a smoking break" and they can go. But for the rest of us... nope.

it was very rare for anyone but management/front desk type people - anyone who wasnt in ratio- to get a smoke break. we never had the staff to cover

Yes and no to a lunch break. You get a chance to eat lunch during the children's naptime. The preferrance is for you to bring a lunch from home so you just stay in your room, keep watch over the children, and eat. Every once in a while the director will let you leave the daycare to go pick up lunch (or one person will pick up lunch for multiple people). But you just pick up the lunch (it's got to be one of the places that are right by the daycare) and go right back to your room to eat it. However, if you work the infant room then you're screwed. Obviously babies don't adhere to the nap schedule so there's almost never a time where they're all sleeping at the same time. Which means you're often eating lunch while balancing a baby on your lap, or bouncing a bouncy with your foot or whatever. It's not unusual for someone in the baby room's lunch to be cold by the time they get to take a bite of it, or for it to be 2-3pm before they get a chance to eat.

they liked us to eat when the children ate, because we ate family style, but we still got a lunch break. we werent allowed to have outside food in front of the children, except for water bottles. sometimes people would bring something back into the room during nap, and since the kids were asleep that was ok. i=our infant room was 9 kids ages 6 weeks to 18 months- 4 under 1 and 5 over. after 12 months the kids were on a schedule like the rest of the center, so the 5 older ones took naps after lunch (mostly, lol)

Sometimes someone else can step in if you need a sanity break. Sometimes not. The woman I work with in the infant room and the woman who works in the 1 year old room have built a relationship where if one of us needs a sanity break then we make sure she gets it. We juggle the babies/toddlers around so that we meet requirements. Trust me- you don't want a stressed out person watching your child

The cell phone is the newest crackdown at our daycare. When I was first hired it wasn't a big deal to use your cell phone IF you were doing so responsibly (don't neglect the children, don't say anything you don't want repeated, etc). Now we're apparently not allowed to use them at all during the workday, not even when the kids are asleep. In general this wouldn't piss me off. Except the assistant director only cracked down on a handful of us (those who have been there less than a year). SHE still uses her cell phone, WHILE the kids are awake and in her care, daily. The other women who work there, and have for more than a year, still use theirs daily. Or they claim they need a smoke break, go to their car and smoke and talk on their cell phone. The other reason this pisses me off is my ds has many doctors/therapists (special needs). There's many times where I'm waiting on a phone call from a doctor/therapist. I'm fine with not answering my cell when the kids are awake and instead calling them back when the kids are sleeping. But now we're not even allowed to do that. So days I work 9-6 I'm screwed. If the doctor calls at 9:30 am I won't be able to call them back until the next day since I don't get out of work until after the office closes.

is there anyway the doc could call the center and they could have someone relieve you to take the call? i wouldnt like a caregiver on the phone while they were supposed to the working



Anyway, just kinda curious. Also wanted to bring this topic (which never seems to be talked about) to light. Please be gentle on your children's daycare worker. There's nothing I hate more than watching someone's child from 9-5:30 with no breaks only to have them come in and start getting upset with me because little Joe took his shoe off 2 seconds before mom walked in the door. Please consider that we might be a little stressed at the end of the day.

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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#6 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please look into the regulations in your area. This has got to be illegal, and it's bad for things like staff turnover and morale. It's not going to work long term. No one wants to work in an environment like that.

At the daycare I was at the staff ate with the children, so our "lunch breaks" were more breaks and snack time. I couldn't work in an environment like that, I'm hypoglycemic and pass out if I don't eat regularly.




I agree! Stress breaks are important. I should point out that no one was working "alone" in the daycare I was at. All classes had at least two teachers.

Sounds like you need to look into regulations and possibly report this place. It sounds miserable and daycare teachers who have experience and are enthusiatic (do you have training?) are so rare, there is no need to put up with this!
To my knowledge- nothing illegal is being done. We get to eat lunch (when the kids are napping), those who smoke get smoke breaks, the ratio of child-teacher is legal, etc.

I should say that, especially in the infant room, we're allowed to snack during the day. So if I bring in some crackers or whatever I can eat them randomly throughout the day.

In the infant room there are 2 adults usually. We have up to 10 babies (though right now we only have 7 enrolled) so 2 adults. In the 1 year old room we have 2 adults (up to 12 kids). In the 2 year old rooms (there's 2 two year old rooms) it's 1 adult to 10 kids in each room. In the big kid room (3, 4, 5 year olds) I don't remember how many kids but 2 adults.

Everyone who works there has some sort of training. We all do 12 hours of continuing education every year. I, myself, am also working on my associates in early childhood education.

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Originally Posted by MisaGoat View Post
Do you have employee meetings?
No, but you can talk to the director pretty much anytime you need to.

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Originally Posted by ashleyhaugh View Post
is there anyway the doc could call the center and they could have someone relieve you to take the call? i wouldnt like a caregiver on the phone while they were supposed to the working
No, not really. I mean, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Just depends on how many staff we have on hand at any given time. My point is- how many people who work in an office EVER make a personal phone call? Even if it's during lunch or break or whatever. Between the time you step foot into the office until the time you leave- you make personal calls. Pretty much everyone does. Why shouldn't I be allowed to make a personal call (not just calling up a girlfriend to chat- but something that affects my son's health and development) during my "lunch" time, while the children are sleeping? I'm still in the room with them. I didn't leave them alone. I'm not neglecting them (they're SLEEPING!). Why shouldn't I be able to?

Argh. It's frustrating me. I'm really looking into getting another job. We'll see. I love the children. I really do. I'm happy with what I do. But I'm just getting frustrated with it. And now it's time for me to get off and go to work. Yippee!

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

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#7 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:33 PM
 
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That sounds like pretty bad ratio's. How on earth do you do it? 10 two year olds all to yourself? 5 babies to yourself? 6 one year old to yourself? I think I would go mad. ESPECIALLY without breaks. You are amazing to be able to tolerate that and keep your mind. Is it legal to not have breaks? That really sucks. Where I work (a hospital, not a daycare) we can't leave to take a break, either, due to staffing. I certainly would not want a stressed out person caring for my kids. Won't they hire someone just to work taking turns relieving each person for breaks? That seems pretty bad that you have to get the director to watch the kids while you pee. :
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#8 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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But I think, legally, your break should be a *break*--if you're watching napping kids and can't make a personal call how is that a break? I'm going to ask at my center tonight. I hope my dcp's get breaks!!

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#9 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:48 PM
 
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My last job was at a daycare. I was an infant room worker and we worked 4 10 hour days. We sometimes got a quick five minute break twice a shift, but we did not get a lunch break. We had to either eat what the kids were eating or ask a co-worker to pick us up something on their lunch break. The 8 hour 5 day a week shifts did get a one hour unpaided lunch break per day. If you need a "sanity" break the director or front desk staff was usually pretty good about stepping in for a quick minute. Cell phone use was not allowed, you were not even supposed to have it turned on in the building. There was a phone in every room, and you could ask the front desk to dial you out so you could make calls if you needed to talk to a doctor, your dp quickly, etc. Working in the infant room, rules like the phone thing and snacking were not as strict as in the older classrooms.

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#10 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:53 PM
 
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I do not currently work in a daycare but did for many years.

Almost universally we got NO breaks were NOT allowed to leave for lunch EVER. You had to bring it from home and sit in the room while your kids napped. Did NOT have another teacher to give you a sanity break. Usually I had at least 10 more kids than allowed by law. I worked 7 am to 7 pm and except for going to the bathroom I NEVER got a break in 12 hours. And NO personal phone calls for any reason ever. And this was the same situation in every daycare I worked in. At times I had 33 3 year olds BY MYSELF for twelve hours.That's why I had to get out. Only one place did we have a director who would actually leave her office to help in a classroom BUT she was usually drunk so I never wanted to leave her with my class.

The worst part is here in SC it's not even illegal not to give breaks. Employers are NOT required to give breaks ever here, even though most (not daycares) do. Oh and did I mention that here daycare workers make minimum wage and get no benefits. I worked 60 hours a week every week. I have a degree and special training in Early Childhood Development.
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#11 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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But I think, legally, your break should be a *break*--if you're watching napping kids and can't make a personal call how is that a break? I'm going to ask at my center tonight. I hope my dcp's get breaks!!

I'll bet you'll be surprised to find out she does not.
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#12 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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Here are the ratios from SC and they have been lowered TWICE since I left daycare.

Birth to one year 1:6

One to two years 1:6

Two to three years 1:10

Three to four years 1:13

Four to five years 1:18

Five to six years 1:21

Six to twelve years 1:23



I was "allowed" 16 3 year olds and the toddler rooms were allowed 14.
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#13 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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Wow! That really sucks! It is not legal here to work a full day with no break. (Like in another room, leaving the job kind of break)

The ratios here are:

Infants 3mo-18mo: 1:4
Toddlers 18mo-3yo: 1:6
Preschoolers 3yo-5yo: 1:8
School Agers 5yo-12yo: 1:10

And I think those are too high! When I was in Scotland, infant ratios were 1:3.

With your two year diploma most DCP make about $2 more than minimum wage. (And minimum wage is just barely livable.)
Earthmamatobe, no wonder you are no longer in the field! The government here is working hard at reducing turnover in centres, so they "chip in" $1.90 for a trained ECE and .60 for an untrained worker.

I would lose my mind working in the kind of conditions you are describing!

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#14 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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Wow! That really sucks! It is not legal here to work a full day with no break. (Like in another room, leaving the job kind of break)

The ratios here are:

Infants 3mo-18mo: 1:4
Toddlers 18mo-3yo: 1:6
Preschoolers 3yo-5yo: 1:8
School Agers 5yo-12yo: 1:10

And I think those are too high! When I was in Scotland, infant ratios were 1:3.

With your two year diploma most DCP make about $2 more than minimum wage. (And minimum wage is just barely livable.)
Earthmamatobe, no wonder you are no longer in the field! The government here is working hard at reducing turnover in centres, so they "chip in" $1.90 for a trained ECE and .60 for an untrained worker.

I would lose my mind working in the kind of conditions you are describing!
The ratios are much better where you are! I'm very happy with my own little home daycare of TWO. I guess I still don't have the ability to leave for lunch but during their naps I can do whatever I want! (even talk on the phone) The turnover always bothered me, how can children trust their caregivers if they don't even know them?
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#15 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Can you start smoking? J/K

Can you go to the bathroom? And make a call from the stall?

I can't imagine this situation is legal - is there any way you could find out?
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#16 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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It's been years.. but,

Quote:
Do you get a 5/10/15 minute break?
Nope!

Quote:
Do you get a lunch break?
Nope. You eat when the kids eat.

Quote:
Is there someone available that can step in if you need to take a quick sanity break?
No. If you need to use the restroom, there was another teacher in the room, but that meant leaving 30-40 kids alone with one teacher, so you needed to hustle.


Quote:
If all the kids are sleeping, are you allowed to use a cell phone to make personal calls?
No. But, unless you were talking to friends, or just chatting with someone, nobody would say anything. Nap time was for prep time for the teachers next lessons.
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#17 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
The ratios here are:

Infants 3mo-18mo: 1:4
Toddlers 18mo-3yo: 1:6
Preschoolers 3yo-5yo: 1:8
School Agers 5yo-12yo: 1:10

!
When I was working in daycare (many years ago) the ratios were

Infants, 1:6
Toddlers 1:10
Threes 1:17
fours 1:20
Grade school 1:30

We NEVER followed those ratios. I regularly had 30 kids by myself. Try serving lunch to 30 kids by yourself. AND at least once a month, the cook would accidentally set off the fire alarm. Try getting 30 hungry, sleepy kids to leave their food at the table and leave the room in an organized fashion.
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#18 of 33 Old 03-25-2008, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GooeyRN View Post
How on earth do you do it? 10 two year olds all to yourself? 5 babies to yourself? 6 one year old to yourself? I think I would go mad. ESPECIALLY without breaks. You are amazing to be able to tolerate that and keep your mind. Is it legal to not have breaks?
How? Because I have to. Because the kids are not too bad (most of the time ). I'll say that I'm very blessed that most of the kids in the daycare are pretty compliant and do what I ask them to. With 5 babies.... I try to get them on different "schedules" so that they aren't all wanting to eat at once. That's the worst is when 2 or more babies want to eat at the same time and there's only one adult I don't know about Kentucky laws, I just moved here in July. I have no idea about laws regarding breaks. I know minors (16-17 year olds) need breaks and they can't be left alone with any children. Our only minor no longer works there though.

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Originally Posted by Qestia View Post
I hope my dcp's get breaks!!
I hope you come back and update. I'd be interested to know. We have very few parents who actually seem concerned about *us*. I have 2 parents in the infant room who stay and talk to us at pick-up. Those are the only 2 who even know I have a child. One of them always asks about him, she knows a little about his special needs and asks about certain things we're going through and stuff like that. She's actually interested in the people caring for her baby 9 hours a day. We have another parent, she has twins in the 1 year old room and an older boy in the big kid room, who does little things for us every once in a while. A couple weeks ago she randomly baked a few batches of cookies.... plenty for all of us hungry workers to snack on

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Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post
we worked 4 10 hour days.... There was a phone in every room, and you could ask the front desk to dial you out so you could make calls if you needed to talk to a doctor, your dp quickly, etc.
The most anyone works is 9 hour days. There's some people who work 9 hour days, 8 hour days, 4 hour days... it just depends. I usually do 2-3 four hour days a week and 2-3 eight or nine hour days a week. We have a phone in every room, and can call out at any time. But I don't know if we'd get in trouble for it.... never tried and never asked.

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Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
At times I had 33 3 year olds BY MYSELF for twelve hours..... Oh and did I mention that here daycare workers make minimum wage and get no benefits.
And I would have quit the first time that happened to me. I would never feel comfortable watching 33 three year olds alone! That's just insane. I would fear for the children, and my, safety. If a child gets hurt people look for a scapegoat. If you were the only one in the room....

I'm very glad that our director works hard to make sure we're within ratios. Sometimes kids get moved to other rooms (like today I worked in the 1 year old room and had 3 two years olds too) but it would be extremely rare to go over the limit.

At the daycare I work at we start out a little higher than minimum wage and get a small raise after about 3 months.

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Originally Posted by LookMommy! View Post
Can you start smoking? J/K

Can you go to the bathroom? And make a call from the stall?

I can't imagine this situation is legal - is there any way you could find out?
LOL. I was joking with DP that I should "start smoking". But, alas, I won't.

We can take bathroom breaks, but I'm sure if they had any reason to suspect we were making phone calls they'd crack down on bathroom breaks and start putting limits on those too

I don't know, I'm going to try to look into it.

I do want to say that it's not all bad, it's probably not as bad as I make it sound. The director works long days (usually 7 or 8am to 4 or 5pm), she's right there in the rooms (usually works the 2 year old or big kid room). She's very sweet to everyone (workers and kids). She's wonderful with my son. She knows about his special needs and is very accomodating to the time I need to take off for appointments and stuff for him (when I was hired I made it very clear that his therapy/doctors comes first. No matter what). If I need time off I just write it in the book and she does what she can to get it for me. She's never turned me down yet or gotten upset at me needing time off. She does let anyone run out to get food if at all possible. If it's a situation where we're already shortstaffed and not balancing numbers as it is then she doesn't let you leave, but she does feel bad about it. She's even called her husband to do a food run for us before It's not the director that's causing grief.... it's the assistant director. Which, I just have to say.... she was on the cell phone when I walked in today I soooo wanted to say something to her. But I shut my mouth and kept on walking.

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

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#19 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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LOL. I was joking with DP that I should "start smoking". But, alas, I won't.
See, now the fact that your co-workers are rewarded for smoking while caring for children by getting breaks others don't get would tick me off. I'd be irate if my child was exposed to secondhand smoke from a daycare worker's clothing and hair. No way should nannies/daycare workers/teachers be allowed to smoke during the time where they're caring for a child, even if it's outside on break--you still come in with smoke on your body (and for that matter, the next time I go to the hospital and my nurse reeks of smoke, I will go irate. I am very sensitive to smoke smell and it makes me nearly vomit). If there was a kid with asthma or frequent respiratory infections, even secondhand smoke on clothing could irritate it...

***

When I worked at a daycare, it was a small daycare--4 employees. But we were each allotted a full hour for lunch, outside of the room (we had a separate office for eating in)--we could make all of our calls, etc. during lunch. We could also leave if we had another appointment as long as we were back before lunch ended. Other than that, we got no breaks--not for smokers, not for non-smokers.

We were not allowed to make calls while the children were sleeping--in fact, when the children were sleeping, we were to be in the room preparing activities for the next day. If we had an urgent phone call that could not wait for our lunch break, the director would come in and take over our spot for a few minutes. But we had to operate on the assumption that a parent could walk in at any time--no way did we want them to see their child's caregivers smoking, talking on the phone, etc.

There were no sanity breaks either, but the kids rarely drove us to need those. :

~Brandon Michael (11/23/03), Jocelyn Lily Nữ (2/4/07, adopted 5/28/07 from Vietnam), Amelia Rylie (1/14/09), & Ryland Josef William (9/7/05-9/7/05 @ 41 wks). 
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#20 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 01:51 AM
 
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When I was working in daycare (many years ago) the ratios were

Infants, 1:6
Toddlers 1:10
Threes 1:17
fours 1:20
Grade school 1:30

We NEVER followed those ratios. I regularly had 30 kids by myself. Try serving lunch to 30 kids by yourself. AND at least once a month, the cook would accidentally set off the fire alarm. Try getting 30 hungry, sleepy kids to leave their food at the table and leave the room in an organized fashion.
Wow!

I'm glad I work and live where I do. Where I live the ratios are:

6 weeks to 2 1/2: 4 to 1, no more than 12:3
2 1/2 to 3 (and any group containing kids that age) 6:1
3 and up 10:1

Even with those ratios I picked centers that were below ratio, except when he was 2 and in a group of 8 with 2 teachers.

The state next door (5 minutes away) is:

0 - 18 mo 3:1, no more than 6 children in a room
18 mo -- 2: 3:1, no more than 9 children in a room
2 - 3: 6:1 no more than 12
3 - 5 10:1 I think no more than 20
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#21 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 02:59 AM
 
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this post reminds me why I will never have my children in a daycare situation.

I currently do home daycare but it's never more then 4:1 (kids are about 1y-6y) and there still isn't enough of me to go around.

I don't understand what kind of quality of attention and caring a 4yo can get if they are 1 of 20!

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#22 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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Check with your state deptartment of labor. Just give the hotline a call and say you don't believe you are getting your breaks as required by law and they'll give you the lowdown. Typically breaks go something like this...

10m paid break for every 4 hours worked (most employers give 15). A 30m unpaid meal break if the employee has worked over 5 hours. These vary by state. It is the employER'S responsibility to ensure that they are staffed to adequately cover legally required breaks.

Oh and in many states employee's can't group their breaks and leave early, in others they can.
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#23 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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this post reminds me why I will never have my children in a daycare situation.

I currently do home daycare but it's never more then 4:1 (kids are about 1y-6y) and there still isn't enough of me to go around.

I don't understand what kind of quality of attention and caring a 4yo can get if they are 1 of 20!
Umm...not all daycares are like this one. My ds is in an infant room with up to 12 kids and throughout the day there are four employees plus a "floater" for the other rooms. I love daycare centres, I'd choose mine over a home daycare any day.
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#24 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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Okay, I'll answer for my sister: she gets an hour for lunch, or half an hour lunch and two fifteens. If she's stressed out, she can ask one of the other dcp's in the room to switch tasks with her. She doesn't keep her cell with her, but if I need to talk to her I can call on the daycare number. Also, the bosses have specifically told everyone that if things are really quiet and they really want to leave the room for a few minutes (to smoke or get a drink or whatever) they're allowed.

I just looked for the info in Kentucky on ratios and here's what I found:
birth to 12 months 5:1
12 to 24 months 6:1
2 to 3 years 10:1
3 to 4 years 12:1
4 to 5 years 14:1
5 to 7 years 15:1
7 and older 20:1
before and after school only 25:1

In BC, where I live, the ratios for "under 36 months" are:
Under four kids: 1 worker
5-8 kids: 2 workers
9-12 kids: Three workers
It also specifies that one worker must always be an IT educator, but the third person can be an assistant, etc.
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#25 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 12:49 PM
 
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Umm...not all daycares are like this one. My ds is in an infant room with up to 12 kids and throughout the day there are four employees plus a "floater" for the other rooms. I love daycare centres, I'd choose mine over a home daycare any day.
Indeed. My "daycare" has three teachers for 9 toddlers; the preschool is three to 18. In addition there is a floating teacher around most of the time, and overlap in the middle of the day where there's more like 4 teachers for toddler and 5 for preschool.

However, my state guidelines just require 1:10 at preschool age. One of the reasons I chose my program was because of the lower ratio. When people put down daycare they seem to lump all possible daycare situations together and not give weight to the fact parents do have some discretion about choosing where there kids go.

I didn't get a chance to ask about the breaks, but I'm in an unusually crunchy preschool where the staff are actually unionized, so I'm hoping the answer will be affirmative. I'll report back.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#26 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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The state next door (5 minutes away) is:

0 - 18 mo 3:1, no more than 6 children in a room
18 mo -- 2: 3:1, no more than 9 children in a room
2 - 3: 6:1 no more than 12
3 - 5 10:1 I think no more than 20

LMAO. That would never happen here.

My step DD works in a large chain center that everybody has heard of. She has the three year old room. They have 28 kids in one room. One Lead teacher and a few teacher's aids. The kids are completely out of control. They spend the whole day throwing ALL the toys into the indoor climber, then when the teachers have had enough, the kids put it back on the shelves, but an hour later they have thrown all the toys back into the climber. They drag the chairs all through the room, and stand and jump off the chairs.

She says the teachers aids, just sit on the tops of the tables and talk to the "cute" little girls and fix their hair. The boys get no attention at all.

This is just her class, she says the others aren't as bad, but still not what she would call controlled, or relaxed.
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#27 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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wow, this post makes me appriciate working in an army center. the ratios were like this (we were nayec accredited too)

6weeks-1year-1:4
1-2 years- 1:5
(infant room was 6w-18 months with 9 kids in a room-4 under 1 and 5 over)
2-3 years-1:7
(toddler room was 18-36 months, with 12 kids, 5 between 18 mo and 2, 7 2-3)
3-5-1:10
(preschool was 3-5 and had 20 kids)
the kindergarten room was 1:12 i think

they were usually really good about keeping on ratio, except in the mornings when rooms wwere combined. you were allowed to be 10% over for an hour or so, and as long as you had the people in the building, you could go double at naps if all the kids were down, so thats when we'd do laundry and supply runs and stuff

*~*Ashley*~* newly single mama to Tristan 10/01/2007
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#28 of 33 Old 03-26-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Wow... if I, as a parent, heard about some of these working conditions, I'd not only be concerned for my child's safety, but I'd be tempted to pull my kid from the center in moral protest of their working conditions.

As a teacher, I get a "duty free lunch," meaning that even if I supervise students during THEIR lunch time, I get my own half-hour to eat or do as I please. I know it's not the same kind of job, but if I didn't get that break, I can tell you this... my patience levels would be lower. If your day care center is so stingy that they can't pay an extra person to rotate and provide scheduled lunch breaks, they need to take another look. A frustrated, overworked, overtired, HUNGRY (you said you can snack, but not everyone in your position would have that luxury) employee is waaaaaaaaay more likely to do something that could get the center in serious trouble, legally/financially.

Me+DH+DS1+DS2+Dog=me and a house full of guys, which is really just peachy, thanks.
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#29 of 33 Old 03-28-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UmmBnB View Post
Check with your state deptartment of labor. Just give the hotline a call and say you don't believe you are getting your breaks as required by law and they'll give you the lowdown. Typically breaks go something like this...

10m paid break for every 4 hours worked (most employers give 15). A 30m unpaid meal break if the employee has worked over 5 hours. These vary by state. It is the employER'S responsibility to ensure that they are staffed to adequately cover legally required breaks.

Oh and in many states employee's can't group their breaks and leave early, in others they can.
I second that--there are laws for hourly employees about the breaks you are allowed by law. KY is a labor-friendly state, so their laws should be good.

I know that my DCP's get at least one break plus a lunch break, outside the room, outside the building if they so choose. And they even have a break room.

Sometimes, if they are short-staffed, those breaks get pushed late in the day, but they always get them. And they have their cell phones. I never see them use them for personal reasons, but they have used them to call me to tell me something about DS during the day--it's easier that using the office phone.

Oh, and I'm not in KY, but I'm close--just over the river from Louisville in IN. And my daycare center has at least 17 offices--mostly in KY.

Progressive working mom to one Delightful Son, 1/07
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#30 of 33 Old 03-28-2008, 11:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
When I was working in daycare (many years ago) the ratios were

Infants, 1:6
Toddlers 1:10
Threes 1:17
fours 1:20
Grade school 1:30

We NEVER followed those ratios. I regularly had 30 kids by myself. Try serving lunch to 30 kids by yourself. AND at least once a month, the cook would accidentally set off the fire alarm. Try getting 30 hungry, sleepy kids to leave their food at the table and leave the room in an organized fashion.
Wow! Thats insane! : The ratios in my state are 1:4 for infants and toddlers, and thank goodness! I can't believe that working conditions are so awful. The DC center that my ds goes to is nothing like this.
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