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Ten Legit Reasons to Not Put Your Child in Daycare

Updated on April 22, 2016

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Ten Legit Reasons to Not Put Your Child in Daycare

Ten Legit Reasons to Not Put Your Child in Daycare

As a working parent daycare is a difficult decision. I know. I have had my children in several types of daycare programs and I was never perfectly happy with any of them. Now, I can speak of what it’s really like behind those brightly colored doors after you leave because I have worked in them as a care provider. They all paint a rosy picture when you go in for your tour and they have some pretty clever sales tactics to get you to enroll, but when you do? It’s a nightmare on the other side for your children. It’s also a very difficult place to work when you genuinely love and want to care for and teach small children. Between having my own children in daycare and working in them, I created this list of what it’s really like. Fortunately for me, my children are finally free of this chaos and old enough to be on their own. Thank goodness.

1.Very few childcare workers actually love and care for your children the way they pretend to when you make your initial visit. The center and their mission is often hyped up and is more of a sales tactic than a true desire to provide wonderful care to your little cutie pies. It looks good on the outside looking in and staff members are trained to keep up the façade. Most of the time the directors breeze through the rooms and inform the staff that they will be conducting a tour soon. What this means? Put on your sweet smiley face and start using your small child appropriate tone and pretend to engage with the children. What happens when they leave? Back to the usual grumpy underpaid and overworked frazzled look.

2. Those DHS regulations? Regulations schmegulations. The department of health services that licenses your childcare creates guidelines and regulations to help ensure your childcare programs are safe and clean don’t always see what’s going on. Do the daycares comply with these rules? Partly. They comply with some but not all. They all do their best to hide the flaws and cover stuff up as much as they can when a DHS inspector comes to visit, like in # 1, a director will likely warn staff members as soon as an inspector approaches. Staff members react quickly and hide any evidence. This means they are covering torn rugs, cleaning quickly and hiding stuff that shouldn’t be out, putting gloves on, and also like # 1, pretend to care for the kids.

3. The center and classrooms are not cleaned like they should be. This is due to several issues in the center. One being that the center does not want to pay for quality housekeeping and the other having to do with the overworked staff. Staff members are required to properly clean, bleach, sanitize, mop, dust, and maintain their own classrooms. While the classroom is full of small children. Workers cannot come in early before children arrive or stay after closing to do it. Are the toys your children are playing with sanitized daily? Nope. They’ve been mouthed by dozens of other kids all day.

4. Moving right along to this next one with the dozens of kid’s topic still being fresh in my mind. Yes, it is likely that your child is in a room that is over-ratio for at least part of the day. More kids enrolled means more money for the center and they will not hire the right amount of staff to keep ratios good at all times. This means your child gets very little one-on-one time with a teacher each day. It’s all about money and unfortunately, it doesn’t even go to teacher. More on this briefly.

5. Back to the ratios. Keeping ratios is a juggling act which limits the amount of structure your precious little one actually gets in their classrooms. Children are often bounced back and forth between two or three classrooms through-out the day in an effort to keep ratios within regulation. These poor babies are shuffled back and forth sometimes every few minutes between teachers and classrooms all day long. How do they form bonds with the care provider when they see a different one all the time? How can parents feel comfortable with the person who’s caring for their child when they never know who it is? I just hated the parent’s confused faces when they would pick up a child from my room when they didn’t even know who I was. I knew what they were thinking, they didn’t even have to say it. The look on their faces spoke the words, “Who are you? Why is my child in here?” I would be embarrassed. Even though I knew I did my best to care for their child all I could do was give them an empathetic look and smile and wish them a nice evening.

6. The structure is another point. Many centers develop their own lesson plans that paint a beautiful picture of all the things your little Einstein’s will be learning while they are there. They look great on paper, they do, but do they follow it? Some care givers really try but sometimes it just isn’t possible. Often due to lack of supplies and the problem described in # 5. How can a provider follow a plan when the plan is constantly changed? When children are bumped from room to room the next teacher usually gets stuck changing more diapers or taking kids potty or cleaning up from the last activity they did manage to do and can’t keep to the program. Another problem with these lesson plans is that some staff members are uneducated themselves. How can someone teach some this stuff when they don’t understand it? Studies have shown that structure, smaller staff to child ratios, and educated teachers improve a child’s security and improves their ability to learn (Childcare Services Association, 2015).I myself have an education, in education, and I had to prove myself when I was hired at both places I worked only to find out that most of my coworkers had no real education themselves. Why they made it challenging for me to get a minimum wage job and not for some of these staff members that can’t complete a sentence without two curse words is beyond me. And yes, they say those curse words in front of your children. Naughty word bombs are dropped like candy from a piñata in front of your sweet babies all day long.

7. Your child’s diaper is not always changed regularly and your child’s supplies are often taken for using on another child. Number 5 and 6 above describe part of the reason diapers get neglected and it’s not always the teacher’s fault. They don’t always know the child’s diapering status as they get shuffled room to room. Some providers will let your child sit in a wet diaper until a relief teacher comes to cover them during a lunch break so they won’t have to do it and the relief teacher has to do it. As for your child’s supplies being used on another child, you can thank all the negligent parents and center directors for that. Some parent’s never supply enough and the directors won’t buy extras. We get stuck because we can’t leave a child without a diaper on or leave them in a poopy diaper. Sometimes when kids go from room to room there aren’t supplies for that child and teachers can’t leave the room if they are the only adult in there.

8. Food and feeding. It sucks. They will often feed your child the worst quality and cheapest food they can get their hands on. I had to give kids bowls of uncooked and undressed cabbage as a snack at one facility I worked at next to a cup of watered down juice with fruit flies in it. The kids didn’t eat it, of course and I sent back the fly infested apple flavored tap water. The next place was slightly better but they did find ways to serve the same food three different ways for three days. They also wouldn’t give sippy cups to one year old children so they pretty much just poured their milk down their fronts and all over their food. No bibs for them either so just don’t put your lovelies in their nicest clothes.

9. Going all the way back to what I touched on in # 1. Your child care provider is often tired. She is overworked, underpaid, and stressed to the max. She works nine hour days without getting lunch and sometimes can’t even use the restroom. She is over-ratio. How can she provide wonderful care to your child? She can’t. She can barely manage the basics. There are 12 kids in her room and each parent pays $130 for their child per week. Only $300 of that $1,560 goes to that poor teacher and she can’t make rent. The rest? A marginal fraction for food and supplies but mostly to corporate. Do you think that teacher is happy working like that? No. Some might really enjoy your children but they are over-worked and it reflects onto the care they provide for your child.

10. They don’t actually do anything to protect your child from harmful children. They’ll tell you that they will dismiss a child that continuously causes harm to other children but they don’t. No action is taken and your child will be subject to being hurt every single day. It doesn’t matter how many times a teacher will write up a child for extreme behavior the director really doesn’t care. Why lose $130 for another child’s well-being? There are many children that bite, hit, kick, scratch, and bully other children all day long and very little is done. Even more so because they can only redirect children and not discipline. Time out is also a thing of the past.


This is only a fraction of what really goes on but they are certainly reasons to consider when choosing a childcare provider for your child. Please do your research and make multiple visits to any childcare facility you are considering. Go during different times of day to see what it’s really like and watch the teachers when they don’t know you are there. Pay attention and go in with as much knowledge as you can. Good luck!

References

  1. Child Care Quality (2015) Retrieved from http://www.childcareservices.org/fs/finding/child-care-quality/

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