Have to kick a child out of daycare - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My family owns a daycare and has to ask a child to leave. It's not the kid that's the problem, it's the mom.

She calls to check in 6 or 7 times a day, asks that the little girl have no sweets (we do birthday cup cakes for the kids, but respect her wishes and give the little girl fruit or crackers when there's a birthday) then complains that she's being left out on treats, and called my aunt, the director, at home at nine oclock at night to complain that the little girl had a pea in her hair (she dumped her plate on her head. They got the rest of the food out, the pea was overlooked.) What's worse is that she said that the dad would be picking her up, the dad did pick her up, and she called to complain that we allowed a man to enter daycare and take a child (my aunt checked his information against the emergency card, and the little girl screamed "Dada!" when she saw him.) All in all, they just want her out.

I wrote a letter for my aunt, and was hoping that someone could take a look at it and help me if it is unprofessional or insensitive to the mom.

Thanks!


Dear Ms. H-,

PLB Child Care finds M to be a beautiful child and a joy to be around. We are honored that you have entrusted us with her care, however, we no longer feel that the current arrangement is beneficial to all parties involved.

Effective May 1, 2008, we request that M no longer be enrolled at LB for child care. We do understand that who you entrust with the care of your child is quite serious and are sensitive to your needs, so if a slightly longer period of time is necessary to secure reliable, safe care for M, we are willing to accommodate you. However, we do expect that M be removed from our care as soon as possible after May 1, 2008. You will be responsible for the financial cost of all care provided leading up to, and including, M's last day.

Thank you so much for utilizing PLB for M's care. We wish you all the best in finding alternative arrangements. M will be missed.

Sincerely,


NS,
Director, PLB Child Care

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#2 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:29 AM
 
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I don't know if this is the kind of advice you're looking for, but that letter is REALLY vague. Unless your aunt has outlined all of her complaints with this mother already, then, I think they should be included in the letter.

Actually, I think they should be addressed with the mother before getting rid of her kid, but that's jmo.
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#3 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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She has spoken to her about the situation several times, during their many, many telephone conversations. I know that the letter is vague, but I couldn't think of a polite way to say "Your kid's cool, but I really don't like you and you make it impossible to do my job."

Body, I've been more than patient. Please make a baby. Please?
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#4 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:40 AM
 
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Could your aunt give the person more notice than this? It is very difficult to arrange child care period, let alone in two week's time.

I agree with the pp. The letter says nothing. I'd be pretty upset if my daycare provider dropped me with next to no lead time and didn't even bother to give me a reason.
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#5 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:41 AM
 
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I think you might want to add something about the program and the family needs not being a good fit/match. Not every situation is going to work for every family/school. That's ok. But I think you should somehow address the issue of fit in the letter. If the mother is complaining, she's unhappy. She may benefit from being 'forced' to find a better fit for her family. Perhaps have a school/family meeting first and then put it in writing.
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#6 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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I think the letter is quite tactful and, frankly, pretty impressive given the circumstances. I do think the mom will call to follow-up and ask, "Whadda ya' mean 'not beneficial to all parties'?" I think that's fine: you can explain then that you get the vibe that she doesn't trust you/your judgement/whatever and that you feel she would be happier with another provider. I personally wouldn't put any reasons down in writing... seems like that's asking for trouble.

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#7 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I would cut out the line about "if you can't find care in time, we'll work with you." It weakens the whole letter- the mom can delay finding alternative care and keep on stringing you along. Leave that part out, along with the "we request that..."

Make it simple and to the point. "Effective May 1, 2008, M will no longer be enrolled in LB child care." IF the mom has trouble finding alternate care fast enough, let her bring that concern to the director and work things out at that point. She may be able to get family to watch her temporarily until a new center has an opening- or she might come to you and say "ABC childcare can take her as of June 1, would it be possible to keep M here for another month?". The way the letter is now written is just too open-ended. It also may be more appropriate to give her 6 weeks, rather than 2, to begin with.

I'm not sure that the "termination letter" is the appropriate place to detail all the reasons she's being kicked out. I assume the director has already talked to the mother numerous times and tried to work things out. Maybe a verbal warning "If we can't resolve these issues, we'll have to ask her to leave" might be good before sending out this letter.

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#8 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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Do you guys have a contract or a parent handbook you can cite? My daycare center has the following terminology in the contract:

The Center may terminate childcare services upon written notice under the following circumstances:
1.Attendance (infrequent)
2.Fees (unpaid- see section E)
3.Medical (not up to date as required by law)
4.Failure to adhere to policies of the Center as described in the Parent Handbook"

If you do have a contract it might be helpful to include the relevant wording from the contract.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#9 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I would cut out the line about "if you can't find care in time, we'll work with you." It weakens the whole letter- the mom can delay finding alternative care and keep on stringing you along. Leave that part out, along with the "we request that...".
Agreed.
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#10 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 12:32 PM
 
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I am currently a manager at a child care center and I think the letter sounds great. I agree with the PPs that said the termination letter is not the place to discuss all of the reasons for the term. However, to CYA I would definitely have on hand documentation of the events that lead to the term. Even handwritten notes are good. You may have to backtrack, but as long as you know the dates, that should not be a problem.

I also think 2 weeks is enough notice. How much notice would she need to give you if she was the one terminating? You may want to give her a list of centers/home daycares in the area with their contact information or the number of a local resource and referral office that may be able to help her find care. That way you can show what you did to help the family transition. If she needs to extend the care, she needs to come to you with a plan and a final term. date.

Here are some links I found using google (very quick)

childcareaware.org

state search

State Child Care Resource & Referral Contact
Michigan 4C Association
2875 Northwind Drive, #200
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 351-4171
(they should be able to give you contact info for the CCR&R in your area)

IMO, in cases like these, documentation is your best friend, just in case!

Good Luck

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#11 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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That whole Dad story is interesting.

So was the man not her dad? Or he was but she was peeved that you didn't make him produce a birth certificate?

She sounds like a real pill.
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#12 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I would cut out the line about "if you can't find care in time, we'll work with you." It weakens the whole letter- the mom can delay finding alternative care and keep on stringing you along. Leave that part out, along with the "we request that..."

Make it simple and to the point. "Effective May 1, 2008, M will no longer be enrolled in LB child care." IF the mom has trouble finding alternate care fast enough, let her bring that concern to the director and work things out at that point. She may be able to get family to watch her temporarily until a new center has an opening- or she might come to you and say "ABC childcare can take her as of June 1, would it be possible to keep M here for another month?". The way the letter is now written is just too open-ended. It also may be more appropriate to give her 6 weeks, rather than 2, to begin with.

I'm not sure that the "termination letter" is the appropriate place to detail all the reasons she's being kicked out. I assume the director has already talked to the mother numerous times and tried to work things out. Maybe a verbal warning "If we can't resolve these issues, we'll have to ask her to leave" might be good before sending out this letter.


I agree with Ruthla, and as someone who has had similar jobs as you, OP, I think keeping it vague is the right thing to do.

IME if you outline details/specific examples, it just gives the parent an opening to argue her case on each detail.

YOu said she has been spoken to about this before, so I think the letter is great, EXCEPT I would leave out the whole "if you need more time.....".

You are giving her 2 weeks notice.

Also, and frankly, this mother needs a big wake-up call. I have a feeling she will be unhappy with ANY daycare. She sounds somewhat unstable as well, and seems to have some memory problems.

I would want her OUT if I were you. ASAP.
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#13 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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FWIW, in the agreement we have with dd's home-based dcp, the arrangement can be terminated with 30 days notice by either party. Maybe that's something your aunt could institute, just in case something like this comes up in the future.

Mom of two girls.
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#14 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That whole Dad story is interesting.

So was the man not her dad? Or he was but she was peeved that you didn't make him produce a birth certificate?

She sounds like a real pill.
No, he was her dad. The mom was upset that a man was allowed in the facility while the children were there. I guess she thought that he was supposed to wait and the kid be brought out or something. What are they supposed to do? Post a "No Daddies" sign at the door?

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#15 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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She really thought that no men would be allowed inside the facility?

Wow - it sounds like she has a lot of issues.
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#16 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 04:08 PM
 
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It's a very good letter.

But, it is a bit vague.

You might try adding words like "terminating care as of (insert date)"

It wouldn't be appropriate to tell her why in the termination letter. Leave only positive response about the little girl and how much you have enjoyed her.

The reasons should be stated in person.
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#17 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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I think that's a very good letter for the situation. It sounds like you don't want to negotiate with her, so leaving out the reasons for termination is a good idea.
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#18 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The mom was really nice about things, surprisingly. She's going to enroll her in the on site daycare at her job starting May 1. I just hope that the poor woman doesn't lose her job, because if she was calling that many times daily from across town, I know that she's going to be spending more time at the day care than she is at her desk.

It turned out that she expected a daily written report of everything that her daughter did and ate that day. Fair enough, I suppose, but it seemed a little excessive to me. There is a lunch and snack menu posted, but she wanted to know specifically what her daughter ate off of her plate and how much (ie, baked chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes were served, but M ate six bites chicken and three green beans. She didn't like the mashed potatoes.) She wanted to know how many wet and dirty diapers and how wet and dirty they were. The day care lets the parents know if there is a runny stool or if the child was straining, but to record the exact consistancy of each poop? Um...no. All this in addition to wanting to know exactly what time she went to sleep and exactly what time she woke. About a two hour nap at noon, she informed us, was not good enough. She needed times. All of this and she only let us know her (unreasonable, IMO) expectations on the day she was let go. I think that she'd be happier with a nanny. I hope that a nice student or SAHM family member steps up for her.

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#19 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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It turned out that she expected a daily written report of everything that her daughter did and ate that day. Fair enough, I suppose, but it seemed a little excessive to me. There is a lunch and snack menu posted, but she wanted to know specifically what her daughter ate off of her plate and how much (ie, baked chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes were served, but M ate six bites chicken and three green beans. She didn't like the mashed potatoes.) She wanted to know how many wet and dirty diapers and how wet and dirty they were. The day care lets the parents know if there is a runny stool or if the child was straining, but to record the exact consistancy of each poop? Um...no. All this in addition to wanting to know exactly what time she went to sleep and exactly what time she woke. About a two hour nap at noon, she informed us, was not good enough. She needed times. All of this and she only let us know her (unreasonable, IMO) expectations on the day she was let go. I think that she'd be happier with a nanny. I hope that a nice student or SAHM family member steps up for her.
It sounds like she wasn't a good fit, but IMO what she was asking for as far as daily reports is not unreasonable. At DS's daycare, for the the infants and toddlers exact times are written down for naps, time and consistency of bowel movements/diaper changes is recorded, all changes are recorded, food intake is recorded, and activities are recorded. I've never thought of that as unreasonable, the staff doesn't seem to find it onerous, and I think it's very appreciated by the parents. I know other daycares around here -- admittedly, only the good ones with the 1-2 year wait lists -- that do the same thing.

I think for preschoolers, that level of detail isn't necessary, but I think it is really good information to provide to the parents of toddlers and infants.
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#20 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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I'm glad she took it okay.
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#21 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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It sounds like she wasn't a good fit, but IMO what she was asking for as far as daily reports is not unreasonable. At DS's daycare, for the the infants and toddlers exact times are written down for naps, time and consistency of bowel movements/diaper changes is recorded, all changes are recorded, food intake is recorded, and activities are recorded. I've never thought of that as unreasonable, the staff doesn't seem to find it onerous, and I think it's very appreciated by the parents. I know other daycares around here -- admittedly, only the good ones with the 1-2 year wait lists -- that do the same thing.

I think for preschoolers, that level of detail isn't necessary, but I think it is really good information to provide to the parents of toddlers and infants.
Ditto for DS's daycare. But if that's what she wanted she should have said so to begin with.
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#22 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 07:43 PM
 
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The daily reports are par for the course for upper end daycare CENTERS.

A home day care? Nice, if the person is naturally organized, but IMO you choose a home day care because you prefer a home setting and not an insitutional one (not using institutional as a perjorative here).

At the center I worked at, we filled out that form plus a paragraph about the individual kid's day. but how could we do that? First, the center paid for and provided easy use notepads that the providers didn't have to pay for. Second, we did it during our breaks, when the break staff would come in and...give us a 15 or 30 minute break. Your average home daycare provider is like SAHM...no breaks.

So, it's not unreasonable to expect the report in a well staffed center. IMO it's unreasonable to expect that of home provider, I view it more as a perk there.

And let's not wish this person on a nanny, if she's that untrusting and picky. I'm sure she's a nice lady and all, but...she probably wouldn't be able to keep a nanny for very long and would experience a lot of changeover.
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#23 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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Could your aunt give the person more notice than this? It is very difficult to arrange child care period, let alone in two week's time.
That seems like really short notice to me too.
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#24 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:16 PM
 
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Ditto for DS's daycare. But if that's what she wanted she should have said so to begin with.
Oh, yes. I'm not defending her behavior. Good Lord, I could not handle a woman who seemed to expect a no-daddies policy. What's up with that? I find that bizarre.

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The daily reports are par for the course for upper end daycare CENTERS.

A home day care? Nice, if the person is naturally organized, but IMO you choose a home day care because you prefer a home setting and not an insitutional one (not using institutional as a perjorative here).

At the center I worked at, we filled out that form plus a paragraph about the individual kid's day. but how could we do that? First, the center paid for and provided easy use notepads that the providers didn't have to pay for. Second, we did it during our breaks, when the break staff would come in and...give us a 15 or 30 minute break. Your average home daycare provider is like SAHM...no breaks.

So, it's not unreasonable to expect the report in a well staffed center. IMO it's unreasonable to expect that of home provider, I view it more as a perk there.
True. That's a good point.

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And let's not wish this person on a nanny, if she's that untrusting and picky. I'm sure she's a nice lady and all, but...she probably wouldn't be able to keep a nanny for very long and would experience a lot of changeover.
Oh yes, I'd agree. She sounds like a nightmare.
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#25 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pardon me if I am being rude, but what on earth do you do with all of those reports?

When the boys were little and in day care while I was at school I wanted to know if they didn't poop at all or if they had diarhea. If they seemed insatiably hungry or they didn't eat. If they slept all day or refused to nap. I was content with hearing "he pooped twice today, once this morning and again about an hour ago. And he napped for about an hour, so he might be tired and pretty hungry 'cause he didn't finish his lunch and only picked at snack." I didn't care if he pooped once at 10:26 and again at 2:19, napped for 53 minutes, and ate two small bites of cracker at 1:22. I'm pretty laid back about kids because as long as they're being normal and are happy, I'm happy, too.

They do have a chart at my aunts day care, but we record how many am dipes and how many pm dipes and exceptionally long or short naps. We do note if the child refused food, and immediately inform the parents if the child was ill and let them know at the end of the day if a baby is teething or fussy, but nothing more in depth than that.

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#26 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:32 PM
 
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Pardon me if I am being rude, but what on earth do you do with all of those reports?
.
i toss them. it's stuff that's nice to know, i guess. ds's center just stopped writing the notes as standard policy for everyone. if you want one, they'll still do it, or if something was unusual (no nap when he usually does or picking at lunch) you'll get one. otherwise, we just chat for a few minutes at pickup.
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#27 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:43 PM
 
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Pardon me if I am being rude, but what on earth do you do with all of those reports?
Well, I didn't get them specifically, because I was at home with DS at that age -- but I know the center provides them to the infant/toddler parents. From what I've heard of my friends who get them, they are very useful in getting a close sense of their children's daily rhythm at daycare and therefore be able to spot disruptions or possible problems quickly.

I have a friend who tracked a serious food allergy in her child by using the charts and reports provided by the center, who worked closely with her in tracking down the issue. Seems pretty useful to me.
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#28 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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We had a daycare that did all that reporting. I remember going to pick up dd in the afternoon and the teacher sitting distractedly with stacks of forms in front of her, filling out percentages in front of the boxes for how much meat they ate versus green beans, and what consistency the poop had been that day.

Then we transferred to one that didn't do the forms. Turned out it was a heck of a lot better daycare. Maybe because the teacher had time and energy to spend with the kids instead of charting all day.
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#29 of 44 Old 04-16-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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I think it really depends on the staff ratios -- e.g., whether they have the staff to chart without hurting the attention to the kids. When I was SAH, I spent hours volunteering at the center DS eventually attended, and I would say that the charting was no big deal for them, but they generally had a 1:2 ratio with the infants and maybe at most 1:3 for toddlers. Also, the director was totally on top of things, and so the charts were pasted to the wall next to the changing table, food, etc. It's easy to check something off if it's right there.
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#30 of 44 Old 04-17-2008, 04:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Phantaja View Post
Pardon me if I am being rude, but what on earth do you do with all of those reports?

When the boys were little and in day care while I was at school I wanted to know if they didn't poop at all or if they had diarhea. If they seemed insatiably hungry or they didn't eat. If they slept all day or refused to nap. I was content with hearing "he pooped twice today, once this morning and again about an hour ago. And he napped for about an hour, so he might be tired and pretty hungry 'cause he didn't finish his lunch and only picked at snack." I didn't care if he pooped once at 10:26 and again at 2:19, napped for 53 minutes, and ate two small bites of cracker at 1:22. I'm pretty laid back about kids because as long as they're being normal and are happy, I'm happy, too.

They do have a chart at my aunts day care, but we record how many am dipes and how many pm dipes and exceptionally long or short naps. We do note if the child refused food, and immediately inform the parents if the child was ill and let them know at the end of the day if a baby is teething or fussy, but nothing more in depth than that.

I agree. My DS went to a daycare center and we got a general report. Pooped twice, ate pretty ok, napped around two hours. That was fine. If there was something else up, the employees always told us, and certainly called us if there was anything unusual or amiss.

I just don't really need to know or really care if DS pooped at 4:26 and ate three bites of his lunch. I just need to know that, in general, things were fine (or not).

Sounds overly controlling and a bit odd to me . . ..
DariusMom is offline  
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