What condition are your kids in when you get them from daycare? UPDATE!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We love 99% of the women at our daycare facility. For the most part, we've had little trouble with them, until recently. We had a situation where my 2 y/o DD1's "teacher" was way too attached to her, in a way that made both my husband and myself uneasy. The attention she paid her was over the top, and she often usurped our instruction and requests to do what she felt was the better option (PS - this woman does not have any children of her own). At times she would even talk over us to tell us why she thought what we were requesting wasn't necessary. We requested our DD1 be moved to the next oldest room (she was almost due to move anyway), and she was.

After being moved without notice, this woman continued to shower far too much attention on our DD (attacking her like she was a soldier returning from war every time she saw her) and kissing her face, neck, hands, whatever (she is far more affectionate than just that, saying things like "tell me you love me! You know how much I love you!" and saying to me "I feel like I'm with her so much, that I'm her mother" and other gems). We were also told by other daycare workers that they had noticed the behavior and thought it was totally over the top as well - in fact, one of the women volunteered the information to me about her feeling there was an inappropriate attachment, and that's when I started taking notice. We mentioned it and told the facility coordinator that if it doesn't stop we were pulling our girls out (I also have a 4 month old there).

So it stopped. But ever since we mentioned the second instance, the condition my DD1 comes home in is atrocious. She is filthy head to toe. I mean filthy. Clothes stained beyond cleaning. I've also experienced some "flack" from one of the women in her room, who gave me serious attitude about bringing a lunch bag that was larger than desired (I did so because whomever repacked her lunch the day before neglected to close ANY of the tupperware her food was in and sticky orange juice leaked everywhere). She was outright nasty to me. It gave me the feeling that she wasn't too keen on DH and I reporting the other woman to the director.

So here's where we are with it: Do we pull our girls and pray we find a daycare that we like as much? Do we continue to complain? Do we just suck it up and keep them there, feeling like we're being "punished" for not wanting a stranger physically all over our child? In the last daycare we had our DD1 in (for her 3rd and 4th month - she's been in this facility since 4 months old) we had a situation where the daycare woman grew way too attached to her and when she found out we were leaving, she started acting VERY peculiar... so we went unannounced a few days before the last day and just removed her without notice, never going back.

So what would you do? How do your kids come home from daycare? Today she had food all over her and blue paint on her forehead, chin, neck, and side of her face. It actually looked like she had a huge bruise on her head. She also had boots on that were under the legs of her jeans, but she came home with her jeans pushed all the way up and not pulled over the boots. Petty, I know. But add it all up every day and it makes us think that it's now deliberate...

Thoughts? Advice? Help? Thanks in advance if you're still reading...


Heather (40) DH (41) Georgia Mae b. 9/3/08, Charlotte Grace 7/17/10.
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#2 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:16 PM
 
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If it were once in a while, or just food on her, or just the paint, I would say, annoying, but, well it gets hairy. But int he context of what you describe, that would not be ok. However, I would have removed my chidl from the daycare at the time of the complaint. And given what you've told me, I would definitely remove her now. Trust me when I say you have no idea what might be going on there dureing teh day. dd is crying but I will post more alter. i have worked in a lot of childcare facilities.


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#3 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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That does not sound okay to me at all. Trust your instincts. I would be looking for a new daycare asap.


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#4 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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My 4 year old has been in two different daycares since she was 2. I have liked both very much. She has never come home filthy and 2-4 yrs is a pretty messy time in a child's life.  I don't send her in really nice clothes because I know that juice and paint spills happen but if she gets very dirty I don't know about it because she has always been cleaned up before I pick her up.  In fact, they have the wash up schedule posted and they take care to do more than just wipe hands after eating, bathroom, art, and recess.


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#5 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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What Waiting said. The odd time, I can understand, coming home like that every day is definitely a problem.


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#6 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:29 PM
 
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Gee, I guess I'll disagree with previous posters. DD and DS have been in two completely different daycares (one a larger group facility, one a small in-home one) and both of them regularly came/come home from school quite filthy--paint, dirt, food, whatever. Occasionally I cringe a little, but I figure it means they are having fun, playing outside, and getting into stuff, which is what they should be doing from ages 2-4. I can't imagine that I would prioritize keeping clothes or even faces clean if I ran a daycare. I would prioritize fun and play and affection, not constantly running to get a wipe (though obviously they should wash hands after going potty and before eating). It may be relevant that we have always chosen play-based places with tons of hands-on art and outside time. Also, my kids just are not fussy. Hell, my first-grader still comes home filthy.

THAT SAID, it sounds like you are not comfortable with this place for other reasons and this is just the last straw.

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#7 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:32 PM
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I definitely think there is cause for concern if this started after you filed the complaint, which sounds like the case.  This is too close to that in timing and too frequent of an occurance to be a coincidence IMO.

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#8 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Headmeister View Post


After being moved without notice, this woman continued to shower far too much attention on our DD (attacking her like she was a soldier returning from war every time she saw her) and kissing her face, neck, hands, whatever (she is far more affectionate than just that, saying things like "tell me you love me! You know how much I love you!" and saying to me "I feel like I'm with her so much, that I'm her mother" and other gems). We were also told by other daycare workers that they had noticed the behavior and thought it was totally over the top as well - in fact, one of the women volunteered the information to me about her feeling there was an inappropriate attachment, and that's when I started taking notice. We mentioned it and told the facility coordinator that if it doesn't stop we were pulling our girls out (I also have a 4 month old there).
 


The bolded is VERY concerning to me.  In the daycare that my ds is in, his caregives LOVE him to peices, but they furthest they go with that is that they gives hugs and cuddles when the child wants it and not any other time.  They aren't actually allowed to kiss the children, or tell them things like, "I love you" (not sure why, maybe someone else knows?  this is just what they told me) - when a child gets a small bump or bruise they will tell me they applied lots of TLC, but I know thats just cuddling and hugging while the child calms down b/c I've seen it.  What this woman was doing was HIGHLY unprofessional.

 

Is she still your dd's teacher?  If so, I would complain, and start taking pictures (in front of this woman if necessary) of your dd when you pick her up every day to prove the condition she is in (make sure its obviously taken at the daycare based on the background, and that there is a time stamp on the photo) to document it.  Then go to the director - if you see other children who are not as messy as she is take note of it, but not a picture.  Does the director of the center spend time in the rooms?  I would be really upset if this was happening at my ds's daycare, and I'm really upset that I have to switch centers soon b/c I'm worried about this kind of thing.

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#9 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:39 PM
 
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I have worked in a lot of childcare facilities in different states and I have been professionally trained in different types of facilities while obtaining a degree in Early Childhood Development (so  I have some decent insight in the industry)...unfortunately, the common thread is coming across workers who are needy, immature and don't have the greatest judgment.  (The neediness and immaturity comes across as affectionate and playful which attracts them to this particular profession and works out for them at first).  Don't get me wrong, there are LOTS of great workers who are very professional...but they often move on and up (to be a director or something). 

 

I would agree with a PP, that you have no idea what goes on there during the day.  In EVERY single childcare and school I've worked in, the parents seem to be convinced that things are fine even when faced with odd or concerning behaviors from workers - I think it's easier that way, since it's hard to figure out something new, which I understand.  I've never worked in a daycare where things weren't pretty tumulutous and quite dramatic behind the scenes with a pretty high rate of turnover (including popular childcare franchises that are well know with good repuatations ((not sure if I can name them here)).  I would definitely move the kids to a new place.  It's a huge hassle...but you can pretty much bet that when you suspect something's off, it is!  It is unfair for you to have to pay for childcare and leave your children with people you're a little unsure about.  They should bend over backwards to assure you that your children are loved (appropriately) and taken good care of 100% of the time.  I think your suspicions are valid.

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#10 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Your daughter is only 15 months old, right? She should be coming home clean.

 

the center my son was in until he was 2 and a half changed the kids at 4:00 or so into clean clothes. We started telling them not to bother changing him because 95% of the time, we were going straight home and we didn't want to have to do so much laundry. but, they always wiped faces, and cleaned food out of the kids' hair and cleaned hands and changed bibs multiple times a day.

 

even if I popped in at random times, the kids were always clean and happy and it was always calm in the center. I truly believe the center we were in was one in a million. The center we are in now (his old one doesn't take kids past age 3) is fine, but definitely not as wonderful as where he was.

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#11 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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I'd pull them as soon as is logistically feasible. Here's why:

 

1) The staff and administrators should have noticed such over the top inappropriate affection and stopped it before you complained. The behavior you described was beyond unprofessional and creates a horrible classroom dynamic. It bothered other teachers enough to tell you yet they didn't report it to the other teacher's supervisor? It sounds like there is no supervision of teachers and there isn't a way for teachers to bring up concerns and resolve problems. This will cause a lot more problems than what you've already seen.

 

2) The dirty clothing started after you complained. Again, very unprofessional. Teachers have to deal with parents all the time; it's part of the job to treat children fairly whatever their interactions are with their parents.

 

3) A teacher is being nasty to you; DD's clothes are being ruined; her lunch bag is leaking orange juice. Once in a while, sure, everyone has a bad day, sometimes it gets hectic and clean up doesn't go so well. But all the time, and only since you advocated for your daughter?

 

This isn't going to be fixed by another conversation with the director.

 

Go and don't look back.


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#12 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 07:07 PM
 
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sorry to say it but having worked at a few different places in my day, I can just hear in my mind the workers talking amongst themselves now "oh don't hug little Emily..." followed by various snide comments about you/your complaint, etc.  the timing....it's not a coincidence.  I'd take my kids out in a heartbeat, more complaints are only going to make it worse.  But I WOULD tell them exactly why you are leaving. Someone mentioned pictures at the center of your dirty kid, yup, I'd do it.  I'd also take notice and mention if you happen to notice that most of the other children in her classroom are not in the condition she's in.


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#13 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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oh and i agree about the favoritism and inappropriate affection shown to your child.  That should have been noticed and taken care of without you having to complain about it if it was obvious enough that another worker pointed it out to you.  I know that in the 'more professional' places I've worked (based on degree level of teachers, supervisors, etc) it would've been addressed.


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#14 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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DD attended daycare from 16 mos to just over 3 yrs. Never did she come home in the condition you are describing. The way I understand what you are saying, your DC began coming home like this AFTER the complaint was filed. The other teachers also started treating you poorly at the same time. That says to me that it is deliberate. If she's not being cared for in the same manner she was previously with no other explanation (she refused to wash up etc), I think the teacher is totally out of line and punishing your child for something.

 

The other thing that concerns me is the lack of professionalism throughout the whole place. First, the clingy teacher was way out of line acting like that towards your DC. Second, how did everyone else find out about the complaint? That should have been kept between the director, you and the teacher in question. No one else should be involved.

 

Although, thinking on it, is it possible that the teachers in her new room are simply not as nice as in her prior rooms and it has nothing to do with the complaint? Is your DC refusing to let them clean her up, maybe because she isn't comfortable in her new room yet?

 

All in all, I think you need to follow your gut on this one. If you are uncomfortable, you need to move your kids to a new daycare. Your kids have to be someplace where you feel comfortable leaving them and it doesn't sound like you are. If I were in your position, I would definately be changing daycares. Even if the teachers are just nastier than her previous teachers, I wouldn't want to subject my kid to that.

 

Good luck!


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#15 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 08:06 PM
 
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Ok, dd is finally asleep so I can elaborate, although I think many others are pointing you in the right direction.

 

I've worked at major chain daycares as well as privately owned ones. the workers talk about the parents. IT's human nature to some extent I guess, but there is a line taht shouldn't be crossed and I have seen firsthand MANY staff cross that line. There is a huge potential for abuse because of the nature of the job. I've known people who got pissed off because one mom always checked her child's diaper as soon as she walked in. They felt she was trying to "catch" them having forgotten to change the child, so they started letting the child go all day wet/poopy and only changine him 5 minutes before scheduled pickup. I've seen bf babies have their milk wasted, and then the workers telling mom the baby was drinking more than she could produce and to bring in formula, when in reality they jsut didn't want to wear gloves and do the extra steps in feeding expressed milk. (There are laws about how to handle breastmilk in licensed centers.) And I could give you a hundred more examples just like it.

 

A dirty child is not an issue with me. Food should be wiped off their faces after a meal, and obvious chunks of stuff (food, mulch, leaves) out of their hair after meals and outdoor play. Shoes should be tied. Beyond that, stains and dirt don't bother me. Like others mentioned it is often a sign of an active, curious, happy child. But if she was clean until you complained and now she is dirty, that is serous. I can't express to you what a big deal this is. Put it this way: by the time YOU see neglect or inappropriate behavior, it has already been going on for some time. If you've been noticing the overaffectionateness for a month, it's been going on for two months. If she's been coming home dirty for a week, she's been in the classroom filthy for 2 weeks. It starts in the classroom where no one is watching and eventually spills out into tangible things that the parent can see.

 

I could be paranoid with this next thing, but women can be predators too. I can totally see this being a situation where the child was being primed for abduction and/or molestation. Wmen have been known to abduct children to fufill their fantasies of having their own baby. That is the the point at which I would have removed my children from the center, changed my phone number and taken all my records with me, AND filed a complaint with corporate. NOT with the center director, with corporate.

 

I was a live in nanny for a little boy who I adored. I slept in his room at night and fixed his bottles when he woke at 2 AM (this was part of  what the parents requried of me) I was with him 12-14 hrs during the day, 6 days a week. He actualy preferred me to his mom when he would fall down and get hurt. Yet I NEVER ever ever told him I was his mommy or was that affectionate with him. Of course I hugged and kissed him and carried him but not that in-your-face. so I can say with 100% certainty that something is very, VERY wrong with that picture. Please change centers, and do not tell them where you are going.


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#16 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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FWIW- My daughter is in a somewhat large daycare that we are overall very happy with.  She will come home with paint on her clothes sometimes.  That part is not a big deal to me.  Her face and exposed skin (hands, arms) are always clean though.  I have reported two different teachers at her school and one child.  One teacher was fired, one was suspended (and subsequently quit), and the child was asked to leave the school (well, the parents were asked). I have no doubt that the teachers have talked about me.  In fact, I know the child incident was quite the daycare gossip and that just happened two weeks ago.  However, all of my complaints have never changed how they treat my DD.  If it ever did, I would pull her. 

 

The lunchbox thing can be obnoxious now because at 4.5, they expect her to do it all herself.  She put a half-eaten yogurt container back in her lunch box (stoneyfield farms, so no lid, just foil), and that was a huge mess.  I have talked to her teachers about leaking pineapple juice before and they have just told me that my dd has to be in charge of her own lunch.  I don't know how old your child is.


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#17 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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trust your instincts. I know how hard childcare can be to find, and it's difficult make a change, when you want so much for consistency for your kiddo. But get to the bottom of this. I regret so much leaving my kid for 3 weeks with a nanny who I had a bad feeling about.


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#18 of 39 Old 12-14-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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your child care center seems very immature. i worked at a great center, and a mother filed a serious complain against me. she claimed i "starved" her daughter. she cried, yelled, removed her daughter from my care to another worker, etc. it worked itself out within two weeks, she realized i did not starve her daughter, but in fact followed her exact directions, but in that time i never treated her daughter worse or differently and i never treated the mom with any disrespect. (i did avoid her for about 2 days, but i was really nervous. i dont think thats the same as being "outright nasty."

 

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#19 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 04:47 AM
 
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I wanted to add - all the horror stories are scary, but we have a great daycare where I'm extremely confident teachers do not behave so badly.

 

My son has definitely come home in dirty messy clothes, but there has always been time for someone to help wipe his face, make sure his hands are clean, and when he was little to wipe his neck.  It's the whole pattern you described though that bothered me. It does sound like a place where there is a lack of professionalism. But there ARE places out there that are professional and great.


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#20 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 06:03 AM
 
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There may be a fairly innocent explanation for your DD's condition at the end of the day. It could be a combination of factors. You've moved her into a room for older children. There may be a different ratio of caregivers to children and they may have different priorities and activities than in the room for infants and toddlers. Possibly, she's doing messier activities now that she is spending time with different playmates who enjoy messier play.  

 

If the daycare is trying to nurture independence, they may get the children to dress themselves as much as possible, only helping those who really can't manage on their own. At this stage, rumpled clothing, mis-buttoned shirts and jackets etc. are quite common. The rumpled up pant leg sounds just like the way my dc looked once they started putting on their own boots. Since your dd is a little younger than they normally deal with in that room, they may not have adjusted their expectations of how well she can manage on her own. 

 

We've had the occasional lunchbox disaster here too. It happens. 

 

All in all, it may all be coincidental with the timing of your complaint.  Or not. It may be that her new caregivers are worried about attracting a complaint themselves if they give your dd attention, so they have gone too far the other way and aren't giving her enough. (I'm not saying you would complain or they are justified in thinking you would be a chronic complainer, just speculating what might be in their minds).  It may be some unprofessional, vengeful, passive-aggressive backlash to your complaint. It doesn't matter, really, since you no longer trust these caregivers with your children.  You have good reason not to trust, given the problems you've described with this woman who exhibited an unhealthy attachment to your dd. If you can't reconcile your feelings, you should try to find another caregiving situation.  

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#21 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 06:07 AM
 
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DD is almost 4 and just recently started going to daycare, so I don't know how it would've been when she was smaller. In her class, though, "clean up" time is built into the routine. That's not just for activities but also for the kids. I never see any of the kids exceptionally dirty. Paint wouldn't bother me, but I know dd is a mess-maker with paints. A dirty face from just not wiping her up after eating would bother me, though. That's really just laziness.

 

I'm not sure if I think it's a direct result of the complaint. She did change classes, so it's possible that her new class leaders simply aren't very good/organized/fastidious. 

 


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#22 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 06:19 AM
 
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The dirtiness alone would not bother me, but given everything else you've said, I would definitely change preschools. Sorry you are going through this!

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#23 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 06:33 AM
 
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More important than the actual situations you're describing is how you're feeling about the situation. If you're not happy with her daycare, I'd say to start looking for a new one.


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#24 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 06:52 AM
 
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Yikes. I would pull her out.

 

On another tack, I have worked in daycares before...and we have sent children home dirty. But, this only happened when they were playing in the mud. Usually we got them cleaned up and dressed in clean clothes before their parents got there! If they were completely coated in mud, of course we explained and usually the parents understood (or complained, like the mom who never brought in an extra change of clothes because "my child is not allowed to get dirty"). Agree 100% with PP ollyoxenfree re daycare stuff.


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#25 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 08:26 AM
 
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The paint all over her would not bother me.  I'd actually be happy. 

 

I don't understand the boots part, so I think that would be fine too.  

 

The cranky teacher occasionally wouldn't bother me either.  (occasionally)

 

The teacher paying too much attention and smothering her would bother me though.  I wouldn't be super happy about the food if it's on her face, if it's on her clothes, I'd let that go too, and be more careful about what I send in for her to eat.  Make sure she can eat it without making her clothes messy.   Her hands should be clean too.  

 

Yes, the teachers talk about the parents.  Even in a large school, the teachers talk about you.  I worked in a chain center over 30 years ago, and I made friends there that I still see... we STILL talk about some of those kids.  Everybody talks about parents, or coworkers or family.  I think it's part of life.

 

I personally wouldn't pull her out, or continue to complain.  I'd see if maybe there's a better way to pack her lunch, and learn to love the paint on her forehead, and sand in her shoes.  It means she's having fun.  If your kids are happy there, then accept the annoyances that come with it.  (except for the overattentive teacher.. that is creepy)

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#26 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 10:46 AM
 
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For me it comes down to whether your dd is about as clean as the other kids.

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#27 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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It sounds to me like the people in the new room are taking things out on your daughter. What you are seeing is just what is on the surface. I am sure things are much worse when you are not looking. I used to work in daycare and what I saw go on there is what led me to never put my children in one (and most people I know who once worked in daycare feel the same way).

 

I would switch daycares. At this point, I would only use one with cameras in the room that I can access from work or at least from other places in the building. I know we have ones here that do that. Or I would find a nice home daycare that I can trust. 

 

Good luck! I know it is hard.

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#28 of 39 Old 12-15-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

It sounds to me like the people in the new room are taking things out on your daughter. What you are seeing is just what is on the surface. I am sure things are much worse when you are not looking. I used to work in daycare and what I saw go on there is what led me to never put my children in one (and most people I know who once worked in daycare feel the same way).

 

I would switch daycares. At this point, I would only use one with cameras in the room that I can access from work or at least from other places in the building. I know we have ones here that do that. Or I would find a nice home daycare that I can trust. 

 

Good luck! I know it is hard.



I've been working in daycare since 1982.  I have never, ever seen anybody EVER take anything out on a child before.  We all have crabby days, and say and do things we weren't  proud of.  But, never be angry at the parent, and take it out on a child.   I'm not saying it never happens, I just don't think it's very common.  I will fully admit to doing stupid, hairbrained things that I can't believe I did, but never out of spite.

 

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#29 of 39 Old 12-16-2010, 12:58 AM
 
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There are many reasons why a child may get dirty, but there is no excuse for a child to STAY dirty!  Regardless of their activities, the daycare workers should make time to AT LEAST wipe hands & face clean of dirt, paint, etc. Sure, accidents happen and clothes gets spills on them, but EVERY day? And for your DC's face to be filthy?  No. That's not right, IMO.

 

I've worked in a daycare center myself. And regardless of what activities we were doing with the children (playing on the playground, painting, blowing bubbles, eating, etc), we washed up after every activity. Period. Even if a parent came by early to pick up their child, if we were in the middle of an activity, I or one of the classroom helpers would wipe her hands & face right then if she needed it. Because we never should send a child home dirty.

 

But I find your other concerns more unnerving. The teacher had crossed a line in showing affection/attachment to your child. And it seems they changed they way your DC is treated after you complained, that is definitely suspect.

 

If I were in your shoes... yes, I would take pics. Yes, I would look for another daycare center now. And yes, I would let them know WHY we were leaving, but NOT WHERE we were going. And if there's a way for you to take ALL original files with you, that's ideal, so they have no record of your physical address, phone #s, SS#s, etc.; however, I'm thinking they may need to keep some copy or original for their records.

 

I wish you the best and hope you resolve this situation soon to give you peace.


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#30 of 39 Old 12-16-2010, 05:37 AM
 
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It sounds to me as though, since you complained about the one worker being overly affectionate and touching your daughter, that they have gone the completely opposite way and refuse to touch her at all (ie. to clean her up, wipe faces, hands, fix her clothes.).   According to your sig, she is a bit over 2, so any 2-yo who isn't cleaned up regularly is going to get pretty dirty.  It does sound a bit passive-aggressive to me, or at the least, just like no one wants to touch her lest they be accused of being too affectionate and inapproriate and lose their job.   All in all, it doesn't sound like a great place for her to be, so if you have other options, I would definitely look into them.


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