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I think this is my third rant about my dd's daycare.....anyway...maybe I'm just a paranoid mama.

I was five minutes late in picking my dd up yesterday due to weather conditions. So, at like 6:03 pm, I get a voice mail on my phone from one of the administrators asking me where I was and that my dd was the last child at the daycare. I do not like this lady, nor have I ever liked her. She is very unemotional and difficult to read, and I feel like she is not someone I would trust.

So when I finally pick my dd up, my dd's teacher leaves without saying a word, and the administrator lady gave me a dirty look and then walks out the door herself.

I know that I sometimes read too much into things, but I'm at work for nine, sometimes ten hours a day, and people at the daycare just don't get it. I feel that they think I'm one of the worst moms there, because I pick my dd up around closing time. I already cut back on daycare hours as it is because they complained about that.

I mean, this is suppose to be one of the best schools in west county (st louis) and I feel incredibly judged. I mean, no, I'm not the most organized mom, and I do work full time and more than 40 hours a week, and I'm doing my best. When I'm five minutes late, don't treat me like I'm a bad mom. I worry constantly about people reporting me as a bad mom. I mean, I still breastfeed my dd (dd is 12 months), she is unvaxed, so they already think I am one of those weird parents. Ironically, this is a daycare specialized for kids with special needs.

Today I received an email from another administrator asking for paperwork that I already turned in. I just think the administrators are too judgemental, and I don't trust them. Okay, sorry for long rant, but I'm just a mom who is trying to hang in there.
 

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I think you're thinking too much about the being late thing, I would assume they were just pissed off because when you run late, they have to work longer. Anytime I'm late to get DD, I feel bad and sense the worker's readiness to leave too- but it's really no different than someone making you late to leave work when you've been ready to go since the regular time to get off. You know?

Can I just say, that for most of us, it's really, really tough to follow your personal child-rearing belief system and be WOHM.
Sometimes I envy moms who know exactly what their child ate today, what they did, and are not judged day-to-day by others by raising their child in the privacy of their own homes.
 

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Two thoughts:

First, daycare is HARD work because it's such long hours. It's hard to be at work until 6 pm every day, as you well know. So, their 'attitude' probably has much less to do with you than it does to do with their own tiredness/crankiness. They don't know when they leave the voicemail if you're going to be 5 minutes late or 30 minutes late.

I call as soon as I knew I was going to be late (and I'm rarely late, but dd is often one of the last kids to leave for a variety of reasons). I have dd's daycare on speed dial for that reason. You can apologize, tell them you're 3 minutes away and you're very sorry that there was a major 5 car pile up on your way there. (OK, that's not your fault, but hey, apologizing gets you a lot!)

Second, I'd seriously consider changing daycares for two reasons:
1. You don't like these people, and you need to trust your gut. Maybe it's just not a good fit for your and your family.
2. Can you get a daycare closer to where you WORK? Assuming that your daycare is closer to your home than your work, finding a place close to where you work would: cut down on the time that your dd needs to be at DAYCARE and give you increased time with your dd (ok, so it's driving, it's still time together). It would also reduce the chances of your being late.

I really treasured that time in the car with my kids on the way home, and so did/do my kids. When ds started first grade at our neighborhood school last year, one of his major complaints was that he didn't get enough 'mama time' any more because he was no longer commuting with me. That 15-20 minutes on the way to work and then again on the way home was a great way to connect, especially once they got verbal enough to talk. I'd bring a snack (a piece of fruit) and a drink (water) and they'd eat a bit on they way home and we'd all be happy.
 

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Sorry, mama, but I have to disagree with you a bit. You say:

Quote:
I'm at work for nine, sometimes ten hours a day, and people at the daycare just don't get it.

They probably DO get it because all that time that you're at work, THEY are at work, too. And watching, entertaining, and teaching kids is about the hardest job around. THEY are tired, too. THEY want to go home to THEIR families, too. I think it is not so much judgment of your parenting, but of the fact that they probably think that you "just don't get it" either.

I don't mean to sound harsh. I do understand that you work hard, have a lot on your shoulders, and are just trying to keep your head above water most of the time. But thing is, your dcp is probably in the same boat.

I know, for example, that my dd's dcp is a working mama herself. She has three kids--the youngest is the same age as my dd and is in a different day care. If I hold her up by picking dd up late, then she in late to pick up HER son up late.

There seems to be a bigger issue here, though, and that is that this place just doesn't seem to be a good match for you family. That is reason enough to look elsewhere.

Anyway, I really don't mean to offend you and apologize if I have. But at the end of the day, we all just want to go home to our families so I think it is understandable if they seem a bit miffed about the late pick up.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
They don't know when they leave the voicemail if you're going to be 5 minutes late or 30 minutes late.

I call as soon as I knew I was going to be late (and I'm rarely late, but dd is often one of the last kids to leave for a variety of reasons). I have dd's daycare on speed dial for that reason. You can apologize, tell them you're 3 minutes away and you're very sorry that there was a major 5 car pile up on your way there. (OK, that's not your fault, but hey, apologizing gets you a lot!)
: I work in a daycare and I close it every day. Nothing in the world annoys me more than when a parent comes wandering in 10 minutes late acting like all is fine. NO, all is not fine. I have a child myself who is waiting on YOU to pick up YOUR child so we can go home and carry on with our nighttime routine. It's been a long day. I'm tired. My child is tired. YOUR child is tired.

However, if a parent calls me at 5:45 and tells me they're running a few minutes late then I am so much more forgiving. At that time I can start a quick game with your child (and mine) to make the time pass quicker. I can comfort your child and let them know that you're on your way. I am also much less likely to hit you with a late fee if you call and say traffic is bad and you'll be there in a few minutes. Those who just wander in late, not a care in the world, *those* are more likely to get a late fee.

And I don't know how other daycares work, but I only get paid until 6:00. If a parent wanders in at 6:10, I just worked for free for that 10 minutes. *Technically* I am supposed to charge anyone who comes in after 6:01 a late fee, which then gets split up between every employee who is still there, but I'm too nice and I rarely charge late fees anymore. There was a few months where parents were testing me and I had to charge late fees almost every DAY. Those parents quickly learned that there is an end to my niceness
They haven't tested it since.

Quote:

Originally Posted by EVC View Post
They probably DO get it because all that time that you're at work, THEY are at work, too. And watching, entertaining, and teaching kids is about the hardest job around. THEY are tired, too. THEY want to go home to THEIR families, too. I think it is not so much judgment of your parenting, but of the fact that they probably think that you "just don't get it" either.
So many people think that being a daycare provider is easy or whatever. It's not. At all. I am responsible for the safety and well-being of these little people all day long. Not only that, I'm also supposed to keep them entertained, happy, learning, etc. And I'm supposed to do it all with a smile on my face. That's a mighty tall order to fill. It's tiring. It's stressful. It's physically draining (try lifting 10 kids between 20-35 pounds up and down to change diapers every 2 hours... plus any poopy diapers... plus every other "pick me up" time they have). By 6:00 I want OUT and it's all I can do to keep a smile on my face while I usher your little angel out the door.
 

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Just as another BTDT teacher/administrator/mama, when you're late it really IS a big deal. The courteous thing to do is to be on your way out the center door at closing time, not to be pulling into the center's parking lot. That way your child's teacher is still not having to stay late giving you a report on the day. If you don't like your center, then that is one thing, but in this situation, being late for pickup, unless something catastrophic has happened is unacceptable and unfair.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Sorry, mama, but I have to disagree with you a bit. You say:

They probably DO get it because all that time that you're at work, THEY are at work, too. And watching, entertaining, and teaching kids is about the hardest job around. THEY are tired, too. THEY want to go home to THEIR families, too. I think it is not so much judgment of your parenting, but of the fact that they probably think that you "just don't get it" either.

I don't mean to sound harsh. I do understand that you work hard, have a lot on your shoulders, and are just trying to keep your head above water most of the time. But thing is, your dcp is probably in the same boat.

I know, for example, that my dd's dcp is a working mama herself. She has three kids--the youngest is the same age as my dd and is in a different day care. If I hold her up by picking dd up late, then she in late to pick up HER son up late.

There seems to be a bigger issue here, though, and that is that this place just doesn't seem to be a good match for you family. That is reason enough to look elsewhere.

Anyway, I really don't mean to offend you and apologize if I have. But at the end of the day, we all just want to go home to our families so I think it is understandable if they seem a bit miffed about the late pick up.
I totally agree with this post. EVC, you put it kinder than I would have. OP, these people are working hard too. And they have a life and responsibilities outside work as well. And you seem to be stepping on them.

When DH and I are late picking up DS/DD we call asap, apologize, give the reason (And it is a good one, like a car crash we can't get around, not my boss asked me to work overtime on a new project), and we say when our estimated arrival time is. This has happened about 5 times in the last 3 years. Every time we pick them up, the day care provider that is staying late has prepared DS and DD to go, is entertaining them, thanks us for calling and is very pleasant.

Had I not been respectful of the inconvenience I had caused them, I think their reaction may have been totally different.
 

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Just one more thing to add as "food for thought". I was talking to my dcp yesterday and found out that the daycare her son attends charges a dollar for every MINUTE of late pick up!

In other words, if I'm late to pick up my dd, not only do I throw of her schedule and force her to work for free on her own time, but she would have to PAY out of pocket for every minute that she is late picking up her son. If I keep her even ten minutes late, she is out TEN BUCKS which is a lot when you're a mama of three making ends meet on a dcp salary.

Just something to think about. Your lateness can REALLY have a ripple effect on others.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EVC View Post
Just one more thing to add as "food for thought". I was talking to my dcp yesterday and found out that the daycare her son attends charges a dollar for every MINUTE of late pick up!
That's nicer than our daycare is
I'm supposed to charge a flat $10 fee if you walk through that front door any time between 6:01 and 6:10. So if you walk in that door at 6:01, you owe me $10 in late fees. I'm usually not that mean. LOL! After 6:10 it's an additional $2 per minute (so at 6:11 it's $12, 6:12 it's $14, etc). We had one lady who didn't get there until almost 6:40!! That was a hefty fee... and yes, I charged her
even though she did call with an excuse (she said her car broke down and it was in the shop..... one of the other daycare workers left at 6:00 to run to the Kroger right across the street from the daycare.... and saw the mom SHOPPING! No idea why in the world she chose to go grocery shopping without the little girl and instead chose to pay such a big fee
).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post
That's nicer than our daycare is
I'm supposed to charge a flat $10 fee if you walk through that front door any time between 6:01 and 6:10. So if you walk in that door at 6:01, you owe me $10 in late fees. I'm usually not that mean. LOL! After 6:10 it's an additional $2 per minute (so at 6:11 it's $12, 6:12 it's $14, etc). We had one lady who didn't get there until almost 6:40!! That was a hefty fee... and yes, I charged her
even though she did call with an excuse (she said her car broke down and it was in the shop..... one of the other daycare workers left at 6:00 to run to the Kroger right across the street from the daycare.... and saw the mom SHOPPING! No idea why in the world she chose to go grocery shopping without the little girl and instead chose to pay such a big fee
).

Yikes! That is expensive!

Our daycare actually doesn't charge late fees; however, if you are more than ten (?) minutes late more than three times, you are essentially "suspended" from care for a week. If it happens repeatedly after that, you can be "expelled."

So while our daycare doesn't charge late fees, they do have a pretty strict policy about late pick-ups. I don't know if these policies are actually ever enforced (or how stringently they are enforced), but the possibility is there.
 
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