At this point I am making ends meet just barely with the little enterprise I do out of home. But DD is 14 months old and I need at least a few hours a week to get things done. Plus I don't want her going all week without seeing other kids while I am working. I start looking at daycares again - mostly through other mommies I have heard talk about them. Again - 6 more visits and the knot in my stomach. None of them seem happy or safe for DD in some way.
Then, a girlfriend who is married to my best friend calls to tell me her mother has 2 morning slots at her home daycare and would take dd. I know the woman and go over to visit -the place seemsgreat and no knots in my stomach! DD starts going 2 mornings a week. After two weeks I experience the front door of the place to be unlocked every time I go to drop or p/up dd.
This starts to concern me as a regular practice as it happens every time - so I call my friend to see what she thinks of my concern. I had recently read "Protecting the Gift" and went to the Sheriff's station to run the zip codes of my home and the daycare to find several registered sex offenders of young children living in both our areas. My friend said she totally agreed about the locking thing and would say something to the mom - so I did.
the woman yelled at me and said she'd been doing business this way the whole time and i was the only one who ever had this issue - and got really mad but in the end agreed to locking the door. Meanwhile my dd is loving her and loving it there - and I can see the woman really cares for dd.
So 2 weeks go by and I am happy. The door is always locked now when I come. Looks like I can finally relax!
Yesterday, I go to pick up dd. As I am parking I see a parent leave the house with her child. A minute later I go up and find the door unlocked, partially resting open actually. I go in to see an empty room with with a 2 year old sitting in front of the tv (not the usual thing at all!) I call out Hello? Hello? No - one - nothing. My heart goes into my throat. Where is dd?
I go to the back of the house and find dd in a high chair in the kitchen. Again I call out Hello? and I hear the assistant in the back room and she pokes her head out and I ask if the other lady is around and she says yes - but that's it? So I get DD out of chair to go and I ask casually about if she napped, etc. Asst says yeah - great - then I mention the whole front room/door scenario to which asst. says - Oh Mrs. so and so just left before you, etc. I hang around to change dd's diaper and hopefully get a glimpse of the woman of the place but she never comes out so we leave and my heart is way up in my throat of course wondering what if my DD had been in that front room and someone else came in and took her when no one was there?
I call my friend - the lady's daughter and she seems to agree with my concern again. I go aorund all day with the knots and call the lady in the evening. By this time she's heard it all from assist. and daughter and lays into me right off the bat. She goes in to an explanation of how the earlier parent had just left and why was I making issue of it etc etc - that she is so "f-ing" tired and doesn't need this etc. When I open my mouth to speak she says "What do you want?" and I try to tell her I am so happy that DD gets treated so well and is so happy there - but that I just want to know if she can atleast see my concern as a parent about the door being left open. And she says "NO!" - that I am not in control of my emotions and making something out of nothing and making a drama out of nothing and she doens't need it. So I say ok - good bye - figuring she just will not take responsibilty or even consider anything about the door.
So later I talk to the daughter and my friend who have now talked to the lady and now are saying I am making something out of nothing and need to give her the benefit of the doubt etc. They say if I take dd out I will be short changing her and spiting myself. They cannot see my view or understand it at all now. My friend tells me I need to call the woman in the morning and as a courtesy tell her what I am going to do. Of course I have already paid her for the week and I guess she keeps the money. Also I am assuming she will yell at me again. WE all agree that dd is happy there and the lady andshe really love each other. When I drop dd there she cracks a big smile when she sees the lady and it's all good.
But am I crazy? Am I making something out of nothing? I look at going back to caring for DD 24/7 andtrying to work and I can't take it. Icannot pay for a nanny two days a week.
Please just tell me what you would do - take her back there? Am I nuts and creating something out of nothing? Do I havea gut instinct on this or am I fabricating a drama??
Help! I have to call her in three hours...
Maybe you ought to call the state agency that has given her the license to have a daycare in her home. Maybe leaving the door unlocked is against the daycare rules that the state has established, especially since there are a few sex offenders living in her neighborhood.
Have you spoken w/ the lady since yesterday? Is she in better spirits? Maybe she had a really stressful day and today is a better time to sit down and express YOUR concerns to her w/o going through her duaghter. First make sure you tell her that you think she is an excellent daycare provider and both you and dd love her dearly. Give lots of comlipents. Then, tell her that because sex offenders live nearby that you are very concerned about the door being unlocked. Make sure she knows that you understand that she has been doing it for years when the neighborhood was safer (I'm just speculating about the safety issue) I think you may get a better response. GOod luck and please let me know how it turned out.
I am not a single mother, but I have several friends who are or have been. I have the greatest respect for you. You jsut hanging in there. Things will work out.
Jenni and Helon
now, can i tell you what i do to get shosh time with other kids and me some ALONE time? i use a "Children's Day Out" program through a church. they are sometimes called mothers day out, but it's the same deal. shosh goes 2 days a week, and she can go from 9-1, but i haven't done the full 4 hours yet. they group the kids by age. some places provide snacks, we bring our own which is fine with me. oh, and we pay $70 a month -- which is pretty good considering she'll be going about 8 times a month, up to 4 hours each time!
i would suggest calling some churches in your area and seeing if they can help you out. i don't know your religious affiliation, but at 14 months, it's not an issue since they don't start up with the religious programs until 3 or 4.
anyway, if it were my decision to make, i would not go back, nor would i call her. she hasn't been courteous to you so i don't think she deserves any in return. i would probably write her a letter though, because that way she can't curse in your face and you will get all your points out without being interrupted.
I haven't read Protecting the Gift yet but I have read The Gift of Fear and the author's big message is trust your instincts. Your gut is telling you this is not a safe situation, and I think you should go with your gut.
Also it's completely unacceptable for this woman to yell and curse at you. She's being paid by you, and has no right to treat you rudely.
I know it's going to be tough but I think you need to find a new situation.
Good luck, mama.
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I might look at church (if you go) and see if I could get to know a teen who may like to come over either after school or in the evening a few times a week and it would be much cheaper than a nanny. Would that work for you? That way you'd be home and your daughter would be looked after and if there was a situation, then you could handle it if needed! Again, just a thought...
The day care I take my son to, has a keypad on the door, you have to enter a code to get in, although there are lots of people in and out it seems really safe.
A new teacher, who had not seen me before (I normally drop my son off in the morning, dh picks him up after work) when I came to pick up ds, made me wait, while she called the director to check who I was......... it was kinda weird but the RIGHT thing to do - even though DS was yelling MOMMY MOMMY!!!
I have already complimented her endlessly and I explanied how much i have told her how great it is for DD. I hve gone out of my way to compliment her.
Keeping her there til I find another daycare? Isn't that puyting her in danger if the danger is there? I don't really understand thattactic.
I have to call ehr in an hour! Ugh! I don't know what to do...
Keep in mind that I know I live in a pretty rural area where it's not uncommon for folks to leave their vehicles unlocked (me me me!) and even front doors.
When we're home, the door is almost always unlocked. I believe that anyone who was bold enough to walk right in and take my child would probably do so with or without a lock on the door.
I also worry far less about registered sex offenders than the UNregistered, UNknown sex offenders. I think there are a LOT more of those. Now, I don't know how any of their brains function, but a sex offender usually offends someone they know...someone close that they can lure in. It's not as common for them to swoop down and snatch up someone they don't know, kwim?
SO...DD loves it there, the lady is good to her, and she obviously has a great reputation, right? Also...I know there have been times when my toddler was playing in the front room or sitting in the high chair and I stepped out of the room to go get something or pee or whatever.
All that aside, she swore at you. It'd be very hard to mend that relationship unless you can both forgive and forget. I'm all for the idea of finding a high school aged kid to help you out in the evenings. Our local Catholic high school requires a certain number of volunteer hours for graduation. Most of the girls prefer babysitting to anything else. Give that high school a call or post an ad at your church (if you have one). A public or private high school guidance counselor or principal might know of someone who would be great, too.
I would let it go about the door.
My kids are with the dc provider so much, it should feel as much our home to walk into as our own, kwim?
I'd be for a keypad, though. I think licensed providers are required by law to keep the door locked, though I prefer it's not.
That being said, I have a small home-based daycare and my front door is rarely locked when children are here. I feel that it is important for parents to feel as though they can stop by for "surprise visits" to check on their child at anytime during the day. I agree with the previous poster that a locked door isn't going to stop someone with evil intentions. Entry through a window would be just as easy (and yes, I do have the windows open as I write this- the fresh spring air is a delight after such a long winter). Of course, if I lived in a community that I did not think was so safe, I would reconsider.
To me, the bigger issue is that children should not be left unattended in the first place. Granted, there are times I have to quickly step out of the room- after all, sometimes I have to pee, a child may need help on the potty, or I may need to run into the other room to grab a towel to wipe up a spill-- you get the picture. But, I am never gone for more than a moment and even though the door is probably unlocked, I have bells hanging from the door that would alert me if it were to be opened- either by a parent coming in, a child attempting to dart out, etc.
Also, even if the two of you did not see eye to eye on a given issue, it was very unprofessional of her to yell and curse at you. It is absolutely unexcusable. Whereas I probably wouldn't take too much issue with the unlocked door (provided that the children are properly supervised) I would be greatly offended by her behavior and would probably not return my DD to her. That, however, is simply my personal opinion.
BTW, I also NEVER lock my car. Several years ago it was broken into and many possesions that I had in the trunk were stolen, but ironically, it WAS locked at the time. Go figure. Again, if I lived in a larger city, I'd then take the appropriate precautions...
I'm sure that you will make the best decision for both you and your DD.
The most important thing here is that, whether or not the daycare provider agrees with you about the locked door issue, you are paying her and she should HONOR your feelings and not criticize you. This woman is totally invalidating your feelings, and that is so inappropriate. You are not wrong, hysterical, or overly critical. It's not like you are criticizing this woman about her love life or what she eats--your concerns have to do with YOUR child, and that is your business and you have a right to be heard and respected.
I also think a daycare provider who yells at and SWEARS at a parent is mentally disturbed. What kind of language is she using around the children when you are not there? Your gut feeling is that something isn't right, and that's the truth!
I agree with the other poster about getting a teenage babysitter to come to your house. I would be very upfront with any potential babysitter/daycare provider in the future, and say, "I prefer this that and the other thing when you are watching my child. How do you feel about that?" And if the person argues with you or puts you down, then that is not the kind of person you need watching your child. And if you can have someone come to your house, you willl probably feel a lot safer because you can monitor things.
You can do it, mama! Stay strong.
Do you think you can find a highschool student to come to your home and watch your dd for you while you are there a few afternoons a week?? That might be the best way to still keep an eye on your dd, and get things done....
if she's caring for children, she has got to have insurance that will protect them, and she needs to be aware that not securing the entries to the house puts her at risk for lawsuits.
I hear you. And I live in the same city as you and I KNOW how hard it is to find a daycare provider that you don't have knots about... but at the same time....you are right about the door. IMO.
I think I would call her from a "solution" first position.
How can we make this work? Your daughter loves it t here. You feel she is safe there...except this one area.
Wouldn't it make sense for her...even if you weren't going there to at least have a policy of a LOCKED door.
Even if one of the children got out on their own...and god forbid something happened.... your provider would be in better position...legally if they had a LOCKED DOOR policy.
Even if she has had this daycare center for 20 years....it's not the same world anylonger.....
It might seem like semantics.... but given a choice of coming to her that "you are right and she is wrong... I t hink I would come from...this really needs to be fixed...not just for me..but really it makes sense, right" ....attittude....
I don't know if that is of any help.
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|I am never gone for more than a moment and even though the door is probably unlocked, I have bells hanging from the door that would alert me if it were to be opened|
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I don't have a problem with the unlocked door, but I do have a huge problem with the daycare provider saying to you, "I'm so f---ing tired" !!! As if being tired is a good reason to neglect safe care, or as if being tired is a good reason to swear at a client. If she's too tired to be a decent person, then she should make getting a little bit of rest her first priority. She's unhealthy and out of control.
So, what can you do besides send your precious DD back to this awful woman?
What has worked for me (admittedly, on a smaller scale) is a childcare exchange. I do some freelance work, and so does my friend. My friend has a daughter the same age as my DS. I watch both toddlers on Wednesday mornings, and she watches them both on Thursday mornings. I get my Thrs. a.m. to do my freelance work, and the children get to play together. The children love the arrangement, and so do the mamas, because it is free, reliable, and trustworthy.
Do you belong to an association of small business owners or working mamas or something like that? Maybe you can find a partner for a childcare exchange.
I think the others were right when they said to listen to your inner "mama" voice that tells you this is wrong. It sounds like it to me.
On another note, we did always have an open door policy so her front door was unlocked, but children didn't have access to it. She had a buzzer on her front door that went off whenever the door was opened( and if we heard it, we always checked to see who it was), also she had a child gate between where the children were and the door so no child had access to the door. So it is one thing to leave your front door unlocked, it is another to leave it unattended with children having access to it. I think you are justifed for your concern. Also no one doing childcare should ever belittle a parent for their concerns, that is a bad sign all on it's own. It is one thing to not agree with them or not be able to accomodate, but you never belittle the parent for having the concerns.
So I would definitely look for new arrangements.
trabot - thanks - your input means a lot because you know the territory. Really "iffy" women (and sometimes their husbands or older male kids lurking around) with sheets on the windows and dingy walls. I can't go there!
To those of you who really took issue with the woman being mean. I feel very confident that she treats DD like gold. When we get there in the morning, DD cracks a big smile when she sees her and the vibes between them are nice. DD trusts her, I can read it on the wall like a newspaper. Also, when I come pick her up, DD is happy, natural, not aprehensive, playing freely, and trusting in posture. I believe she is treated very special there.
the lady swearing at me - being short, mean - whatever. Dd's happiness means so much ot me that i am not willing to let my pride get in the way. I agree it's not professional and doesn't bode too well for this woman's understanding of my concerns. I do not like that she discounts every concern I have and shuts me up and doesn't listen. Her communication skills are in the gutter. But she communicates with DD. i know she does not speak ill to DD.
Anyway - I am still not entirely comfortable but we spoke this am on the phone. Her demeanor was totally different. I think her daughter called her after hearing how distressed I was and asked her to listen to me for a minute instead of just blasting the hell out of me. I told her DD wouldn't be coming today. I told her I knew fully how great DD had it there in terms of being treated well - she told me that she gives DD the same special attention she gives her grandson when he's there and I know it is true. I told her I just wanted to know that it was going to return to being the way it had been for the two weeks prior when I felt secure because they had started locking the door. She said to me this time "of course it will" in a tone I felt reassured by. She made a sideways comment about her behavior the prior evening that didn't really apologize but let me know she knew she'd burned me a new one and it may not have been right.
So I am going to sleep on it a few days. I don't have to decide until Tuesday... send me good jusdgement vibes please.
And so much for my "brief" reply. Ugh! I gotta go to bed!
Anyway, I hope everything works out. Good luck and try to get some rest.
I wouldn't be as upset about the unlocked door, but I would be very upset with the unsupervised children! Even when I have to leave DD to pee I am always within earshot. For no one to even respond when you yelled, "Hello?" is scary. What if that had been a child yelling, "Help!" instead?
But ultimately it doesn't matter what I, or any of the other moms would do... you need to do what YOU feel is right. Trust your instincts - they're there for a reason!!!
I can only echo what other moms said, that our instincts are there for a reason. There are other situations out there more acceptable than this. No matter how well she treats our child. This is negligence, pure and simple. Dont discount it.
I never ever locked my door and during the summer I never shut it. (We didn't have air conditioning). I was however always in view of the children. there was never a time where someone could walk in and take them without me at the very least hearing. If you can walk in, take your child and still have noone notice would totally send up red flags to me.
As for what you are to do now. I don't know if it would be best to continue with that care provider. if she is irritated with you then she might take it out on you dd. Also you should feel free to discuss things wit hher with out the fear of being verbally attacked. Maybe you coulkd get a highschool student to come in two or three days a week. Could you line it up with your dd nap. If she sle[t for approxamately 2 hours before the babysitter showed up for three that would be 5 hours of uninterupted time for not too much money (we paid our high school baby sitter about $4 for two children)
The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it. We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.
I notice that the posters who tell about "open door policies" tend to live in rural areas (from what I can see from their locations). Not that there's no criminals there, but they definitely can't go around unnoticed. MOst unknown-offender kidnappings happen in cities. LA just isn't Sioux Falls.
If your dd was able to establish a wonderful relationship with this lady, she'll also be able to do it with someone else. I think you got some great ideas here to tide you both over till you find a permanent solution (or even make these options permanent solutions), like swapping care with another working mom, a highschool teenager, church groups...
I, personally, would put up a thread right here on mdc, to find out if I could set up a little "take turns off" scheme could be set up with a couple mamas in town That way, you could iron out important differences BEFORE even meeting each other ~ and you would very likely end up with like-minded mamas.
I also read the other thread on this. I'd definitely go with the instinct. Good luck, tell us what happens!
Not having read what the other women have written, here's my thoughts.
1) Having the door unlocked. Someone should be watching the children at all times, or at least knowing where they are in the house. I'd say gating off the front room with the front door would be appropriate. I would worry about a child wandering out, or a freak sneaking in. One more vote for having supervision of the kids! How about a motion sensor beep that let's them know when someone comes in and out of the house?
How many kids do this woman and her daughter watch? How many little ones? What's the legal ratio of children to caregivers in your city per social services? Who's responsibility was it to be watching that 2yo alone in a room by him/herself??? THAT's worrisome to me.
My other thought was that for fire safety reasons as a legal requirement, they might HAVE to have the doors unlocked???
2) Having the door locked. I'd worry about not having immediate access to my child. I'd always wonder what was going on behind closed doors. What they could be covering up, what they could be doing while I'm waiting outside locked out. Having the doors locked gives me the heebi-jeebies!
To me what was even scarier than the door unlocked (and that was REALLY scary) was the 2 year old alone. Never mind someone walking in but the 2 year old could have walked out, choked, there so many things that can just happen in an instant!
Remember she is taking care of your CHILD. How does she react when one of the children ask for something for the 100th time. I know how I feel, ready to go crazy. Do you thing she just yells at the kid saying "LEAVE ME ALONE!" I am sorry but if my caregiver reacted like that twice in such a short time I would be out of there. I would not have a comfort level that she didn't react like that to the children.
I say, as many other have, go with your gut. It will tell you more than anything else. Think about you and your child first. Yes it may be incovenient for you now but how will you feel if something really did happen? The one thing we all have going as parents is knowing that we are doing everthing possible to keep our children safe. If we stop doing that were are we when something does happen?
Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
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