Day care woes - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 07-22-2002, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi gang! I'm delurking and in need of some serious support. Thank you in advance for reading.

My 18 month old daughter was kicked out of her 3rd daycare today because she needs a lot of attention. I am a single, AP mom, and I only work away from her in the morning. We practice the entire gamut of AP: slings, EN, co-sleeping. She came to work and class with me for 11 months. She is super smart and hates being away from me. Can't say I blame her! The problem is that she demands the same attention from her DCPs, who feel drained by her after being used to "independent" babies with no fear of seperation (read: no attachment) to their parents. This last lady has only 3 kids to watch (as opposed to 6), but Melanie still didn't get the attention she deserves.

I think the solution lies in giving Melanie more time (she's changing so fast!); in the mean-time (inbetween-time) I'm considering hiring a private sitter to watch her in our home one-on-one (more than twice as expensive! Yiiikes!). I'm not sure *how* I can swing that, being the only provider, but where there's a will there's a way. I also want to solidify our routine, which can be erratic (ie: bedtime varies between 9 and 11pm). Any other ideas?? Similar stories??

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#2 of 7 Old 07-22-2002, 09:16 PM
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I think a one on one care taker does sound best for now, but you're expensive!!! Do you have anything tp offer io trade? You mentioned classes..could you tutor in exchange for some child care? An extra bedroom, you could trade room and board for baby sitting. Just a few ideas off the top of my head!!
Good luck! I hope you find a situation that works for both of you.

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#3 of 7 Old 07-23-2002, 02:48 PM
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I'm not sure from your post how long she was with each of these caregivers before she was "kicked out". Some children will do just fine when/if they can get comfortable with a caregiver, even if they are not getting constant attention. Even if you get one-on-one care, your daughter will still miss you and may not cry or fuss less often. If the caregiver in a group setting is kind and empathetic, rather than treating separation anxiety as a problem with your daughter, and your daughter is given enough time to be comofrtable with her caregiver, then she may bne just fine.

Chace started attending the Toddler Center here at UCSC about three weeks ago. He is there in the afternoons, 12:30-5:30. Even after three weeks, he cries ferociously when we leave him there. The center has a 3:1 ratio, with each teacher assigned as a primary caregiver to three children. He is really bonding to his primary caregiver, so even though he is very sad when we leave, he goes to her for comfort and reassurance. He usually starts to miss us again, and she helps him deal with his feelings without minimizing them or blaming him. He is just a very attached little boy, and he needs a little extra support to make the transition. It is getting better all the time, although Mondays are always rough.

I would recommend finding a caregiver, whether in-home or not, who understands the nature of attachment and separation anxiety. The caregiver should give her time to adjust and not decide it isn't working after a couple of weeks.
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#4 of 7 Old 07-30-2002, 04:26 PM
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I am also a single ap working momma, and it sounds like you might have just had a bad crop of care providers. My dd is in her 4th child care setting. All of the other 3 were when she was little fromthe age of 6 weeks (I know it breaks my heart too) - 3 months. Now we found someone who works with us and our "weird ideas". They love my dd and she is like part of their family. They do think some of my ap idea are weird but they are flexible and realize that all children are different and they work with us. My dd loves them with a passion, though she still cries (shes 27 months and has been with them since she was 3 months) when I leave every morning. But they understand that that is Julie and after 5 minutes of cuddles shes ready to play. Maybe look around for a home daycare that is willing to work with your dd needs, before you have to send yourself to the poor house with an in-home sitter, though I would prefer an in-home sitter if I could afford one.
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#5 of 7 Old 07-31-2002, 06:09 PM
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I had a very similar experience with my 19 mo ds! My solution was this: I work three days/week, 2 days dh rearranged his work schedule (which I know you can't do), but for the other day we had to have someone and any DCP with more kids just wasn't gonna work. I found a DCP who only cares for school aged kids after school and she watches ds (beginning when he was 10 months) during the day and he gets her undivided attention. Don't know how easy this would be to find--I got lucky--I am a teacher sharing a contract and she was the mother of a student. Good luck. I know how frustrating the situtaion can be.
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#6 of 7 Old 11-30-2002, 10:54 PM
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Hi there,

I have been experiencing the same 27 month old ds started hating his daycare (2-3 days/wk) increasingly. I think it was a combination of being bored and missing the interaction at the daycare, being in a group of kids that werely mostly younger (read: boring) than him, being away from me for days that were too long (9-5 pm) for him, and maybe his age and related heightened separation anxiety.

I am feeling like you; as though maybe one-on-one attention (ideally with an older child there) is more along the right lines. Last year that was the sitting situation, and it worked well. But the 5 year old went on to first grade and I thought a change to a center with kids would make him happier. Wrong!!! Three months after trying, I pulled him out (2 weeks ago).

Now maybe back to that sitter without her kid? I don't know. I am home with my son, trying to figure out what I will do to get 3-4 mornings or 2 days per week so that I can work. That is, do it in a way that my son and I can both deal with.

My solution to expensive sitters was finding cheap ones! I live in a university town, and so found an Indian woman at the family housing ....someone who has to work under the table and charges less than most people. She charges $6/hour. I just went out on foot one day with my son, walked to the place, walked around and asked people, and lo and behold, found her! Most of the young, affluent sitters in this town charge $10-12 per hour. I also found an older woman who I met at a park who charged $6/hour. It's not always easy to find them....

It makes me feel better to know that there are others out there with this issue.

Good luck!
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#7 of 7 Old 12-01-2002, 04:49 PM
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I'm not sure if you would be up for this, but have you considered exchanging childcare with another mom? Perhaps her child and Melanie are with her in the am and you in the pm?

I like the idea of someone who otherwise just does after-school care. I wonder if you could contact schools in your neighbourhood for leads.

Frankly, it sounds like you've inadvertantly run into some rather mediocre caregivers, if they base their whole operation on the assumption that none of the children in their care will need individual attention, and can't handle it when a child experiences perfectly natural separation anxiety. As you continue to look for care (individual or group) I would ask very careful questions about how they deal with 'needy children' and also separation anxiety, without prompting them. Listen to see if they seem sympathetic to and patient with the child as an individual. My step-dd (3 yo) is at a preschool I did not get to participate in choosing, which is very strict about all parents bidding quick goodbyes at the door and leaving posthaste regardless of tears: no allowance for individual children's needs. Yuck! I would listen to see if they talk about seeing what works with your particular little one, offering cuddles and lots of time, maybe creative stuff like having a photo wall of mummies and daddies or a tape of mummy reading a story or singing a song to play at quiet time, etc. You have to be so careful!

It sounds like you're a terrific, conscientious mom, with a daughter who is able to express her needs!
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