Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Daycare dilemma

I am fuming. I'm more upset than I have been in longer than I can remember. Yesterday, I picked Sophia up from daycare and she had a cut across the bridge of her nose. Her face looks terrible. Her left eye is a little black and blue from whatever happened, too.

Wait. What? "Whatever happened?" you ask.

Answer: No one knows.

Yup, that's right, no one has any idea how my daughter got a cut across the bridge of her nose during nap time.

Oh, I am indeed upset.

Here's the conversation between me and her teachers:

Me: Sophia, what happened to your face?

Sophia: Boo boo.

Me: Oh, I'm sorry honey. What happened (addressing the 3 teachers in the classroom)?

All teachers stop what they're doing and look my way.

Me: She didn't come to school with this, so what happened?

Teacher 1: We didn't see how it happened so we didn't write anything up, but now that we know it happened here we'll document it. (In their defense, these 3 teachers are not her regular classroom teachers, they are just with Sophia at the end of the day.)

Me: OK, so what happened?

Teacher 2 (Who IS one of Sophia's regular teachers): She must have gotten it during nap time while I was at lunch.

Me: So who was in the classroom?
(Teacher 2 names two teachers I've never heard before)

Me: No one saw anything?!

Teacher 2: It was during nap so the lights were off. I've said before that we need more people in this room.

Me: No one heard her cry? She must have had some reaction to getting hurt. Was the cut cleaned? Did anyone put ice on it? Did she get a hug or any kind of support while she was crying? You know, on Friday I found a bite mark on her back and I didn't get a report for that either. What is going on in this classroom? I'm going to have to talk to the director about this.

Teacher 2: Good, maybe you can get more people in here.


This is my daughter's face we're talking about here. This is the place I bring my children every day. I do expect a certain amount of cuts and bruises. Kids will be kids. But I expect there to be documented reactions from the teachers when something happens. This incident was something that should have been noticed.

You can't even imagine how awful I feel at the thought that my daughter was suffering some kind of pain with no one there to comfort her.

It's just awful.

I tried to talk to the director last night, but she was on the phone and I couldn't wait around for her (which was probably a good thing since I was even more upset yesterday), so I talked to her first thing this morning. Her reaction was the same as mine. She said would be talk to the teachers. She then proceeded to tell me that in daycares, not just here, there is a high turn over rate for teachers in the young toddler rooms because the kids are such high maintenance that the teachers burn out quickly. This means little stability in the classroom.

But that is no excuse for no one noticing a cut on Sophia's face, I said. She agreed with me and said it is clear they aren't doing their job and they will be reprimanded.

You know, I drop my kids off at daycare every morning and go to work not because I need to get out of the house or because I don't want to take care of my own kids, but because I need to work. I need to contribute financially to my family. We, like millions of other families, need two incomes to keep the household running. I don't have the option to stay home, nor does my husband.

So what do I do? Do I change daycares or let it ride and see what happens? She's only in this classroom for another 2 months when she moves to the 2-year-old room where there is a teacher who's been there for a long time. What I'd really like to do is go down there right now and pull my kids out of daycare and put them both in a little bubble surrounding my house until I can find people worthy of taking care of my children.

But that's serious crazy mom talk.


Anonymous said...

WOW! Corporate daycares are DEF. a lot different from in home ones that's for sure. It makes you wonder how the 2 year old classroom will be like though since you already had another incident happen with your child. If the director is no help I think I would find a different daycare since it's obvious no one knows what the hell is going on where you currently go.

Hopey said...

Frankly, dude, I've thus far kept my comments to myself, but this is ridiculous. I would think about pulling them out of there. I can't believe the biting thing went on as long as it did. The "Toddler Wars" post a while back disturbed me. I talked to my daycare ladies about it and and they were appalled.

Now, regarding "corporate" vs "home-based" care, I don't think you can make generalizations about one being better than another...out nephew is in home-based care and in my opinion it's a total disaster. He's totally out of control, has zero respect for adults, but according to the "care giver" he's an angel - basically because he apparently is just fine to sit and watch TV all day.

Anyhoo, just my $.02. I think the biting thing and lack of correctiong (of the OTHER kids, too, not just Soph!) was unacceptable. Maybe look into where I take Jane - it's out of your way, but I don't see anything out of control there ever, and I stop by all hours of the unannounced. Later!

Diane said...

We're looking into it. Since Soph only has six weeks left, I think I'm going to hold out until she moves to the 2 year room b/c I've heard WONDERFUL things about that teacher. But when it's time for Ryan to transition to the young toddler room, we'll probably leave.

On a positive note, when I picked up Sophia last night, I got the most detailed desciption of her day since her days in the infant room, so maybe my conversation w/the director had impact.

Shannon said...

I agree with hopey. As for getting the detailed description of Sophia's day since you spoke up - that won't last very long if the teachers are constantly turning over. Its all about having teachers that care and its unlikely that ones that just come and go don't. I have had some negative experiences with our daycare and they always get cleared up when I voice my opinion and talk to the Director but there just isn't much you can do with the turnover. Just follow your gut. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately you will find this anywhere. There is no way anyone can be ontop of a child 24/7. I do agree that there should have been some documentation though. Communication is the most important thing in any facility & can sometimes be the hardest thing. Bottom line though...it's the squeeky wheel that gets greased. Keep speaking up for your kids till they can do it for themselves. Hold out if you can. It's hard to find daycares that fit all your needs. Tammy