My daughter's daycare. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently started working at a doctor's practice. I really enjoy my job and the people I work with. I thought I found the perfect daycare and maybe it still is and I'm just being weird. It's an in-home licensed daycare, the house has a designated area for kids, with toys, kiddie furniture, a kiddie bathroom and paintings and pictures everywhere. I didn't notice the tv the first few times I went, it's small and I've only seen it on one time. They have 3 acres of land and have a garden with lots of fruits and veggies, a pool (my daughter loves it), a playhouse, slides, swings, tricycles. The woman also has two goats and a llama! I think the llama win me over.

The lady was very understanding of my relationship with my daughter, in her fifteen months, she's never been with anyone but DP and I. She still nurses, she's seen me always babywearing and she spoke wonderfully of all that.

She's gone there for 2 weeks now, she's not there full time. Everytime I pick her up, she's really dirty, not just her clothes and hands, but her face is really dirty and I know kids get way dirty, but wiping a kid's face every now and then is not that big of a deal. The first few days she was saying it was normal for her to cry and that it'll take her sometime to get used to it.

The other day she mentioned that she always wants to be held (I left my carrier there) and that she pushed a boy that wanted to hug her when she was crying. My daughter is very affectionate, but when she's mad, she just wants what she wants. She then mentioned to DP that she doesn't share, we work on that at home and she sometimes does, sometimes doesn't, but isn't that normal at 16 months? Specially for a kid that has been only with mama most of the time. She told me today that the same boy tried to kiss her today and she pushed him again and that she doesn't let any of the kids hold her or wants to do anything with them, that she just wants to be with her and cries everytime she walks away or gets put down. I said she likes to be held a lot, but she's always played well with others. I mean she might get a little rough sometimes and sometimes won't want to share, but she gets happy when she sees kids. I told her that she might yet not feel safe and realize that she's the one taking care of her, so she's still being shy.

Also everytime I've walked in, the kids are having cheerios with fruits for breakfast. I give her cheerios with fruits for breakfast, but not everyday.

And one day she had to go to the doctor so she left the kids with her husband and I've kinda never even met him. I think I've seen him, but never spoken to him officially and that made me feel kinda weird.

How would these things make you feel? I kinda felt like her telling me all those things, because she made her sound like "oh she's a problem child". I feel sad for the other kids, was inadequate coming from someone who has had a daycare for so long. I just think her behavior is normal right now. She misses mommy, she wants to be with mommy, she wants her mama's milk whenever she wants it and she's not getting those things right now. On top of that her schedule has changed, she co-sleeps and nurses to sleep, even for her naps. These are big changes for her and I think the adjustment period is gonna take a bit longer.
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#2 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 08:39 PM
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hey there
i know it;s tough to let go. i work in a preschool and dd is there in a different room and i STILL find it tough.
to try to address your issues.
the dirty face thing. forget about it. the toddlers in my room seem to have dirty faces all.the time. you can wipe them after meals but with snotty noses and sand and whatever, you'd have to be on constant kleenex patrol to keep them as spotless as i keep my own kid and then you would be sacrificing any other attention you'd rather give them.

as for the sharing and normal toddler behavior. we don't even utter the word "share" until 3 or so. until that it's "take turns" but at that age all you can do is model and not expect anything. pushing, biting, hair pulling....also totally normal. it can be out of a feeling of helplessness and defensiveness and not having another response or it can be a cause-and-effect thing. all we can do is try to respond appropriately until they're older. my rule of thumb as a teacher is not to tattle-tale to the parents on every little thing every day because what good does it do...but i know other teachers that do. if it's an issue that's bigger and workable, of course i tell teh parents but not if it's just normal albeit "annoying" toddler behavior.

as for hugs etc....i try to respect the kids wishes and sometimes if they are affectionate or enjoy hugs and loving at home they won't in a daycare situation. example, i have a kid who cries at drop-off. it really only lasts a couple minutes but his mom always tells me that he just needs a hug and some loving. and all we can do is nod because while that may be the case at home it is not the case in our room. so we offer affection and have other kids offer affection but he really indicates he doesn't want it and that's fine. we find other solutions for him like a quiet place to lie down or something that's fun for him.

if it were me i might be creeped out just by the fact that she left them with someone that wasn't agreed upon and would discus that. i would also maybe tell her to let you know of major workable age-appropriate issues but that day-to-day "naughties" donlt need to be discussed so often or maybe in a monthly conference or something.
i dunno, i think the llama would get me too and some goats aint shabby.
hope it works out.

Reluctant 'Sconie, chassid and mama to sweet toughie Ada Bluma 9/9/09 and loving pittie-mix ("Judge the deed, not the breed!")
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#3 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 08:48 PM
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I am a SAHM and nanny. I think what you are describing is normal all around. Your daughter sounds like a normal 16 month old. Often they do not play "with" other children but rather "next" to them. It is normal for there to be some territory issues with other children especially if the stress of being without mommy is getting to her. It is also very normal for a 16 month old to have separation anxiety with the sitter because she is new to her environment and is trying to determine where she is and where she stands. So far in her life, the adults have responded to her in the attachment style, so she probably does cry a little more than a child that was required to "work it out" ie., cry. She doesn't sound like a problem child.

As far as the repetitious food given, that I understand. It is expensive to feed children, especially those who are likely to throw food on the floor, chew it up and spit it out, and/or rub it into their clothing. I but things in bulk and so that means that the children get much of the same in big chunks. A week of cereal and fruit and then a week of eggs and toast, and then a week of something else. The same goes for lunch and snacks too! If you are concerned with her food choices, you should bring your own. It solves that problem right away.

When it comes to how clean she is..I think her being a little grubby most of the time is going to be normal on a little farm like that. She will be outside, exploring, getting into things etc. If you feel like it's super important that she stay clean then that environment may not be for you. She may stay a tiny bit cleaner at a daycare but not much really. If it makes you feel better, grubby kids often have better immune systems then children that are kept spotless.

The reality is that a sitter with more than a few kids in her care will not dote on your child as you would. She will be managed at a daycare, not raised.

As for leaving her husband in charge while she went to the doctor, I don't think this sounds strange at all. There are often temp's sent in a daycare centers when someone is sick, and they don't call all the parents and tell them, introduce them, etc..

Hope this insight helps! Good luck!
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#4 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 08:53 PM
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I'm saying this as gently as possible - it sounds to me like your daycare provider is telling you how your daughter is doing and you are reacting defensively. I have no idea how she said these things, but when I read your post it sounds to me like she's just letting you know the major issues she is seeing (which I would expect her to do). Wouldn't you prefer she tell you the negatives along with the positives?

The dirty face...they clean my son up and he immediately has a dirty face at daycare because they are always outside. Are we talking layers of dirt here?

The husband thing - you should definitely meet him. My previous daycare provider's husband watched our son a few times. I trusted him as I trusted her. In my state they have the same background checks for everyone in the home, and he was a very sweet man. But go with your gut of course!

Give it time! It does get easier/better.

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#5 of 13 Old 09-08-2010, 09:40 PM
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If it's an in-home daycare, then I would imagine, based on what I know the laws are here where I live, that her husband has been cleared for any instances of child abuse, has done fingerprint clearance, and has probably been cleared by the licensing authority to provide backup childcare. I understand if you weren't warned ahead of time that this may sometimes be the case and that is upsetting, but if it's an in-home daycare, it's not realistic to expect that the owner be there all day everyday without sometimes needed to address things outside of their home.

As far as the dirt, unless she's filthy, I'd let it go. Take it as a sign that she's getting involved in outside play. Same goes for the snacks, as long as their healthy snacks, what's the big deal if it's repetitive. Or like another poster said, provide your own food.

I also think that they are probably aren't painting your kid as a problem child, but letting you know how well she is adjusting, not only to being away from you, but also being in an environment with other kids.

As far as her crying a lot and wanting to be held. I can understand the provider's frustration. Another little girl at my daughter's daycare started there when she was 15 months or so. She cried pretty much all day everyday for the first month, and it was difficult for the other kids and the workers because she needed so much that it took away from the other kids. I know there were times when the providers had to say "I'm sorry you're upset, but I can't hold you right now". Luckily that didn't happen too often as there were three providers at any given time within the house for 10 kids, but still the providers have to attend to the needs of all the kids, and if your daughter is needing so much, then in all likelihood, the other kids are getting the short end of the stick when it comes to getting attention. It will pass though, and I'm not sure the provider should have expressed her frustration.
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#6 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I know background checks and all that are done, but I just wish when I dropped my daughter off in the morning they would have at least let me know. I don't think saying "I have a doctor's appt. today, my husband will watch the kids while I'm gone" is a difficult thing to do.

There's only 3-4 toddlers in the daycare. They are all older than my DD and the one closest in age I think is 19 months. I know she requires a lot of attention now and that whoever is dealing with it is not having fun, but before I signed her up I went over this extensively with her, I wanted to be sure she was ok with it, because I wanted to pick a place and stay there and I didn't want to mislead anyone. What bothered me was her tone, she seemed very frustrated, it was worse the last time she went and I just felt like she was telling me things I already knew. I'm expecting DD to be like that, because it's difficult for both of us, if I had a better financial situation I wouldn't send her to any daycare.

With the being dirty, I don't a problem with DD getting dirty and playing around outside. I just didn't know that kids got so dirty in a daycare, seriously I think 5 times her face has had dirt and food all over it and they have always been all inside and way pass their meal times. I mean DD obviously doesn't care and don't think I'm a germ freak or anything, I guess it's something to get used to.

With the food, the main problem is that we don't eat meat, so I'm always concerned about her diet. I wrote her a list of things she likes per her request, sent her with food the first week. She showed me a sample menu the first time we went, it nowhere said cheerios. I don't mind the cheerios, but I give cheerios and fruits to my daughter as a lazy breakfast and don't think of it as particularly nutritious. I don't think is bad food, but not good either. Maybe that's something she gives to the kids while she makes breakfast though, because she's always upstairs while the kids eat that. Maybe I can ask what did she eat today? I like to know what kind of things she ate to know what to feed her the rest of the day. I could send her with food, but again, I'm extremely broke. I already pay the daycare's full time rate because she doesn't do part-time and I really liked the place, and she's only there 1 full day and 3 half days. I can't buy food to send there and to have here. I just don't have the money. This is all very difficult for me

I know I am very protective and defensive, but I've never said anything to her. I just listen to what she has to say. I like to know, but damn not everytime I come in, at least not now, once she has adapted and she acts crazy I want to know because it would be strange in that case. I'm expecting her not to be herself and right now I want to listen more to the positive, to feel like we can do this.

I actually called today asking if I could pick up her carrier because we had to do errands. She's there with the other kids and said "well we're very busy here, but ok". I thought that was weird too. I just wanted to grab it and go, but once I was there I felt better, she was outside and spoke to me. She said DD only played with 3 of the kids, one her age, but that is away. A 4 year old girl and a tween.

She said the only boy she has a problem with is the one she pushed and when we first came in, he kinda had a problem with her and would grab away everything she grabbed, but it was whatever to me. He's like hey I'm the youngest here, you're stealing my spot haha, but now he's being super nice to her and she doesn't want any of that. Toddler relationships are funny, but I felt better because before she made it sound like she didn't interact with anybody.

So I guess we'll have to keep adapting and seeing how things work out. Thanks for your perspectives , it's really a weird thing to adjust.
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#7 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 04:51 PM
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Being away from your child for the first time is hard on everyone! If you go to the working parents section you can see some of my posts about the problems we've all had adjusting to a babysitter/daycare. The first time DD was away from family members she was a year old and we had a babysitter. It took a MONTH before she was adjusted to the babysitter (who is a great lady, BTW, but DD is VERY mommy-orientated). When we started daycare it took a good 2 weeks and even after that we still had some bad days. So when it comes to making friends there, etc just keep in mind that it's completely different when she's there without you vs. at a playdate with you.

As to the dirtiness, yep, completely normal. DD normally gets cleaned once we get home. I actually spent a day at her daycare when she first started and I know they do the best they can, I saw them cleaning all-the-time but with so many kids it's some impossible to keep up!

Our daycare would also mention sharing stuff, etc. I didn't mind, I always like hearing how DD's day is, even the little stuff. But they always would mention that it was age appropriate too.

As for the husband thing. I don't think there is anything wrong with asking to meet him. I'd just politely ask and I agree that the state should've required him to go through a background check too.

Yep. Food IS an issue at daycare. We tried packing lunches and it never worked. DD wouldn't eat a bite because she wanted to eat what all the other kids were eating!! We finally gave in and just make sure she gets healthy food at home. We also brought healthy snacks like fruit and yogurt that we knew she'd eat no matter what so we at least knew she wasn't getting just junk there (it normally wasn't all bad but they did get french fries twice a week ).

Also... it might just be that your daycare provider was trying to have someone to talk to about your DD'S adjustment period. I know during that first month with our babysitter we just tried to be understand if she needed to vent. I already knew how DD could be when I'm not around and I knew it wasn't easier for her at all so it didn't bother me to listen to her.

And it DOES GET BETTER!! Trust me. Things are so much smoother now it's not even funny.
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#8 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 04:58 PM
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I would take the feedback as just that: feedback. It seems to me like she's letting you know how she's adapting to care, rather than criticizing her. Better that than just glossing over with "oh, she's fine" when she's not.

I wouldn't like the husband thing either. Not without meeting him and feeling secure with him.
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#9 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 07:15 PM
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All of that sounds normal, and fine actually.

I wish she'd wash hands and faces more often, but that wouldn't be a deal breaker. You can wipe her face at the provider's house, and I promise eventually the provider will catch on and start having her face clean before you get there.

I would assume the husband is fine with the kids. My daycare kids adore my husband, but I wouldn't leave him alone with them. He isn't good enough with kids to be left alone... he'd have fun. They'd have fun. But, he'd have them all wound up and someone would get hurt, or feel left out, or it would just dissolve into chaos. I would leave my 18 yr old daughter with them though. The daycare parents trust my judgement and I wouldn't make a decision that they would be unhappy with. I also let them each know in ADVANCE that I am going to leave the kids with my daughter and husband, or my daughter and Mom. Then, they can make the decision if they want to come early to pick up, or just roll the dice.

I think she's just telling you how the day is going. If she just said "Oh, it was fine, great, she's been happy all day", that wouldn't be honest.... wouldn't you rather know she will tell you the truth if there's really an issue?
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#10 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
I think she's just telling you how the day is going. If she just said "Oh, it was fine, great, she's been happy all day", that wouldn't be honest.... wouldn't you rather know she will tell you the truth if there's really an issue?
Of course I wouldn't prefer that. I don't expect or want her to tell me something that is not true, but I also don't want a detailed report of what I consider right now to be normal behavior for DD. I think there's a middle ground, she can't say "oh she wasn't happy and didn't want to play with others, but that's to be expected".
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#11 of 13 Old 09-09-2010, 09:27 PM
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OP I thought of this thread today. My DS recently started part time DC and today was his second day. They send home a sheet with all the stuff that happened during the day including what he ate. So what did I see on the sheet for the 1st AND 2nd day? Cheerios!!!

It must be a DC thing,lol. Anyway, I understand what everyone is saying to you but I can see your view. Do you kind of feel like the provider is complaining in a way instead of just stating how the day went?

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#12 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 05:30 PM
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DD goes to a home daycare (which we love). Our provider is very honest with feedback and I would value being told if DD pushed someone else so we could talk about it at home. Perhaps this is what she is trying to tell you so that you can nip it in the bud?

The husband also takes care of the kids sometimes in the winter when DCP wants to drive to drop the older kids at school without lugging all of them along. I'm fine with it. I think a neighbour also occasionally does the same.

Regarding food - this is my only issue. The food is 'healthy' on most people's standards - sweetened yoghurts, cereal bars, fruits, veggies, sometimes grossness like KD or pogos (eeeeek!), mroe often homemade stuff like homemade fries, homemade chicken etc etc. I wish there was less processed stuff, but we love everything else so much that I let it slide knowing that DD doesn't ever have that stuff at home.

DD's face is usually grubbier when I drop her off than when I pick her up (DH often wipes it after breakfast - badly). Not an issue for me.

It took us quite a while to get used to it there because we were only going very part time. Things improved when we started sending her 2 days a week on the same days. This year we are doing 3 days because she gets so much out of it and it helps us out (DH works at home 3 days and is working towards tenure).

I would give it some more time.

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#13 of 13 Old 09-10-2010, 06:29 PM
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Like the pps stated, it is hard to let go and not be there with your child, and equally as hard to give up some control about things like diet, etc. , but, some of the things you've written about would really bother me.

It sounds like you're hearing negative feedback about your child and that the provider has never talked about the behaviors being age appropriate, just about them being inappropriate. And, IMO, you absolutely should have notice that sometimes the husband would be left in charge.

I think it's really important to leave your child somewhere you feel great about. Sometimes personalities don't mesh and maybe your dd is not meshing with this provider. That's why, I, personally, prefer playschool settings with multiple teachers. If my kids don't have a good fit with one teacher, there's always been another who's become their "favorite".

If you're getting negative "vibes", I say go with your gut... look around for another place.
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