A Daycare Worker's Rant

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I just gave my 2 week notice to the daycare center I work at part-time (woohoo!!), and while there were some nice aspects of working there, I have a lot to rant about, so here goes:

I'm sick and tired of parents who pick up their kids at 5:59 pm when the daycare center closes at 6:00 pm. Then to add insult to injury, you know that their work day ended at 4:30 pm, and they only work a mile or 2 down the road. Instead of them picking up their kids after work, they go home and take a nap, start dinner, go shopping, etc. And the parents who usually do this are the ones with the baddest kids in the center. Or you have the parents who will sit in the parking lot for 30 minutes talking on their cell phone before they come in and get their kids. These parents are eclipsed by the parents who show up 10-15 minutes after the center closes to pick up their kids - as if those of us who work there don't want to go home to our own families. Then they don't even bother to apologize for being late. It's like when you work at a retail store at the mall, and it is 2 minutes to closing, and someone wants to come in and try on 15 outfits, and doesn't buy a thing. Not cool at all.

It also annoys me that parents seem oblivious to the fact that being in daycare for 8, 9, 10+ hours a day is a very long day for a child. There are some kids who are in daycare from 6:30 am (when we open) until 5:30 pm. Imagine having to be at work for that same period of time 5 days a week. Not a pleasant thought. Which is why it is all the more important that parents pick up their kids ON TIME!!!   

I'm tired of parents who bring sick kids to daycare. I'm not talking about kids with colds. I'm talking about kids with severe bronchitis, the flu, high fevers, basically kids who are so sick they can't even hold their heads up. These parents will give their kids a ton of children's Tylenol before they drop them off and go about their merry way. Then, when the Tylenol wears off, we have to deal with a child who is screaming and miserable because they are so sick they don't know what else to do with themselves. Recently, there was this one couple whose daughter was really sick with a nasty case of bronchitis; mom and dad were both sick too, so they would bring the little girl to the center, while they took the week off from work to stay home and rest. This little girl cried and screamed all day long because she was so sick. She couldn't even eat or drink. Yet mom and dad would leave her at the center for 10 hours a day.

At the center I work at, the parents have to supply diapers for their child. When a child is running low on diapers, we give the parents a friendly notice reminding them to bring in more diapers. Most parents are good about bringing in an adequate supply of diapers, and I thank them. But some parents are really obnoxious about it. One mother repeatedly accuses us of misappropriating her son's diapers, but if she would look at his daily reports, she would see that he needs to have his diaper changed 6-7 times a day because the kid is a little poop machine, so in a 2 week period, he goes through about 70 diapers. Then you have the parents who when you tell them their toddler needs diapers, instead of bringing in a whole pack or case of diapers, they will bring in 12 loose diapers. If you can afford to pay $250 a week to put one child in daycare, you should be able to buy a decent bag of diapers for your child to have while in daycare.

I hate it when parents allow their kids to use bottles and pacifiers long after the child should have given them up. When my kids were babies, I got rid of all pacifiers by their 1st birthday, and they were off the bottle and drinking from a sippy cup before their 1st birthday. There are kids at my center who are two years old and are still drinking from a bottle and still using pacifiers, all because mom and dad don't want to hear their child cry and fuss. That is the worst cop-out of all. Last summer I had a job at a daycare center where there was a girl going into 1st grade who still sucked on a pacifier. Ridiculous.

I cannot believe how many parents do not potty train their kids at an appropriate age. There are kids at the center who are going on 4 years old and are still wearing diapers. By the time my kids were 2 1/2 years old, they were fully potty trained and wearing underwear. A few years ago, I worked at a daycare center where there was a 4 1/2 year old girl who still wore diapers. I worked in the infant room, and she was in the preschool room. The preschool staff would send her into my room for me to change her diaper. But she actually changed her own diaper. If she could change her own diaper, you would think her mom would encourage her to use the toilet. Sad.

I hate that the owner of the center I work at is such a greedy b*tch. She is so hungry after a dollar, that she puts her own profits ahead of doing what is best for the kids. For example, in severe weather (ice, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snow) she never shuts down the center, she won't open late or close early because she doesn't want to make any of the parents mad even though every school district, private and parochial school in the county is closed. Yet other centers in our franchise that are in neighboring cities will close. So we are expected to risk life, limb and vehicle to come to work to take care of the 6 kids who showed up, when 70+ other kids had parents who had the good sense to stay home. When a child is really sick, she refuses to call the parents to have them pick up their child, again, because she doesn't want to make them mad.

It irritates me to no end that the parents (as well as the owner) feel that the fact that they pay so much for their kids to be at an "exclusive" daycare center gives them a sense of entitlement that allows them to ignore the rules that would apply to parents and kids of any other daycare center. There are kids at the center who kick and spit on staffers and other kids, there is a child who openly masturbates in front of her class, and there is another child who openly talks of her desire to cut and stab people. Most daycare centers would have expelled kids who engage in this behavior, but my owner won't hear of it, because she doesn't want to lose the money they bring in, plus some of the kids who engage in these behaviors are her friends' children. Her philosophy is "A long as the check clears, anything goes".    

I hate it that parents assume that because I work at a daycare center, that I am unintelligent. The fact is, many people are surprised to find out that I am a college student in an honors program pursuing a degree in English Literature. Most of the people I work with are college graduates with degrees in Early Childhood Education, some are currently in school, and those who do not have college degrees have extensive training and certification. It takes a special kind of person to take care of other people's children, and it is a shame that many parents take their child care providers for granted. People who work in child care do not make a lot of money. If you're lucky, you will make $10 an hour, and that is with a 4 year degree.  Without a college degree, you will make $7.50 - 8.00 an hour, often even less. People who work in this field do so because they love kids. The only ones making a profit are the owners.    

For those of you out there who have kids in daycare, please remember that the employees who work there are people too, and their time is just as valuable as yours. An employee of a daycare center has a lot of other kids to take care of besides yours. They are not your personal nanny, so it is not fair for you to expect them to cater only to your child. If your child is sick, keep them at home for their comfort and well-being, and for the health and welfare of the other people at the center.  

Treat your provider with the dignity and respect you would want for yourself, and show respect for their time. This will go along way in building bridges with your provider, and in the long term, will help reduce the high rate of employee turnover at your child's center. Child care providers who feel appreciated and respected are more likely to stay than those who feel they are being taken for granted.     

Comments

I'm disturbed by the ...

I'm disturbed by the masturbating child, this is a possibe sign of sexual abuse, perhaps a call to CPS is in order.

Good post I can definatly see where you are coming from!

I'm with rkinne on the ...

I'm with rkinne on the problem child, but would also include the child who is threatening to cut or stab someone. Isn't there a licensing body or child welfare authority in your area who could check out some of the things going on. I would think that transporting children when the road conditions are very bad would classify as child endangerment.
My great niece is currently in day care. What a difference from the one you are involved with. If the parents are five minutes late, they have to pay for a full hour at five times the regular rate. Not enough diapers, the centre has some but the cost for one diaper is the same as the parents would probably pay for a dozen at the store. The charges are put on the next months bill. If the workers feel the child is too sick or contagious to be at the centre, the parents are called to come and pick them up. When the child is enrolled at the centre, the parents must provide the names and phone numbers of three other people who can come and pick up the child if the parents can't be reached.
There have been a few parents who have tested the limits, but they only do it once when they find out how costly it can be.
Recently a couple with a little boy in the daycare had a big fight and weren't speaking to each other. They each thought the other one was going to pick up their son. When no one had shown up an hour after the centre closed, the director contacted the police and the emergency child protection worker and asked for their advice. She said that if she had their approval she would take the boy home with her until the parents could be located (no one was answering at the contact numbers either). She lives about a three quarters of an hours drive from the centre and the father was very embarassed when the police arrived at his door to find out why the child has been abandoned. He thought the mother had taken the child shopping. Also the next day the child protection services were asking them some very pointed questions. This centre also does not permit parents to disrespect the day care workers. If they persist they are given two weeks to find alternate arrangements. Sure the rules are tough, but the children at this daycare receive excellent care and enjoy their time there and the parents know it so follow the rules.
When the owner of the centre puts financial gain over the welfare of the children there is definitely something wrong.

I won't ask why you ...

I won't ask why you continue to work at that place. I will instead tell you that you need to leave. You need to leave for your own betterment and to teach the owner and those horrible parents a lesson. So long as people like you are willing to entertain their abusive antics they will continue, just like a child who misbehaves until the child is forced to stop. Asking nicely is something that clearly doesn't work with such immature people. Leave. The sooner the better, You said it yourself, it's wrong, it doesn't pay well enough... So why stay?

It sucks the owner has ...

It sucks the owner has that kind of "give me the money and we'll deal with it" attitude. That's not good for you as a worker or the children. Yes, people work in that industry because they WANT to. You should look into what this place does and see if any of it can be reported to either the city or something like the BBB.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience in a place like this, and I'm glad you're getting out of there. I hope this one experience doesn't keep you out of this field!

I feel for you. My boss ...

I feel for you. My boss is the type that will take her kids to the daycare when the kids are sick (instead of leaving them at home with the dad that doesn't work), and then take the day off saying the kids are sick and then the daycare calls the office because the kid is sick and needs to go home. She is also the type that will pick the kids up 20-30 minutes late because she wasn't taught how to be on time for anything!

I have tried to explain to her how to be polite and that she needs to respect the other parents and their children by not bringing sick kids to daycare and also to the providers who don't want to get sick. And to pick the kids up on time. She has a thick skull and doesn't care.

I am so sorry that you have to go through this. Hopefully you can get something to replace this job.

GIRL, I know where you're ...

GIRL, I know where you're coming from!!!! I was just LAID off from my job at a daycare and I was only getting 9.00/hour. and I think that's WHY I was laid off, I was the ONLY college graduate there which is why they paid me 9.00. BUT I wasn't a "certified" daycare worker! HELLO!!! I wasn't hired for that!!! I was hired as administrative personnel to run the office and handle all the computer aspects, the business side of it all, BUT because they didn't have enough teacher when they first opened, I was helping out as a teacher's aid. but I was let got because I wasn't certified and they couldn't "afford" me as what they hired me for either cuz the business has only been open for about 3 months and they aren't making enough money...that's what I was told. but I found out that the very next week after I was laid off, I was "replaced" by someone who ALSO as I had, NEVER worked in a daycare either!!! but what was also fucked up about it was HOW they laid me off...I was leaving for the day on a Friday at 5:30 and was called in the office and told this bit of info. NOW if I was quitting, they would have expected a 2 week notice!! AND I KNOW those assholes knew they were getting rid of me ahead of time! I have 3 kids, and I had waited TWO MONTHS for them to open, they could have at least given me the same respect I gave them!!! but I don't give them too long to be open anymore because they have some IGNORANT GHETTO ASSED people working there and I don't miss it, BUT I would have like to have found another job BEFORE leaving that one and I was there only 2 months some I can't get unemployment. and I can't believe those parents pay 125.00-145.00 a week to send their kids there as wells as money on the uniform for the place!!!

but while I was there, I had a LOT of the same problems you had too, but no violence or masturbating problems though. but parents are NOT supposed to leave their kids there longer than TEN HOURS a day! that's the law and a lot of us there had to pick up our OWN kids before 6:00 as well! I always had to leave by 5:30 to get my own.

and TGIX, if she was working there, she needed the money...plain and simple, maybe with her being in school, it fit her schedule, sometimes people have to put up with shitty jobs to make a living until they find something better! my job didn't pay well enough either but it was close to home and my kids school. THAT is the ONLY reason I took that kind of pay cut.

ouch, that daycare sounds ...

ouch, that daycare sounds awful!

my boyfriends nephew was nearly 4 when he finally got off a bottle. he just turned 4 in march. the reason he is no longer using a bottle....because i threw them away! my almost 1 year old nephew only uses a bottle before bed as a comfort. my 3 year old nephew hast used once since he turned 1.

i cant understand why a parent would leave their "deathly" sick kid in day care. they need you most when theyre that sick and they are left in the hands of a stranger?! they want mommy or daddy! i cant imagine leaving my kids (if i had any) in day care for that long. and then to be late on top of it! go home and take a nap! my brother does that sometimes. but my mom watches my nephews thursday and fridays. so IF my brother can pick them up after work, he usually goes home first to just relax before going to my parents.

and a masturbating child...creepy. get that kid some help. yeek!

glad you put your 2 weeks in. i hope you find something you truly love!

My mom didn't put me in ...

My mom didn't put me in day care when she had to go to the doctor. She took me with her. There are toys at the doctors.

I think this comes down to who you want raising your kids. If you want your kids to be raised a certain way, then maybe you should take the time to raise your damn kid.

I think she has all the right to complain about the parents - they're the ones sticking their kids in day care instead of taking the time to raise them. My mom worked AND raised three kids. We NEVER spent one day in day care, and it was RARE for us to be baby-sat. This is the MOST INFLUENTIAL time of your childs life. Are you going to trust some stranger to instill the morals of life into your child?

What if you're sending your child to the day care up here that has a girl beating and molesting children? Are you proud to pay that much money for your child to be scarred for life? Maybe you should give this poor girl a break. She sounds like a GOOD child care worker, and you sound like a stuck up parent that can't take the time in life to raise your own damn kid. Don't bitch when your kid grows up to be a psycho serial killer, you weren't there for your kid when it mattered!

No one ever raised my ...

No one ever raised my kids. I didn't work until my youngest was 13, and then it was part time and old enough to be trusted to let himself in the house after school for an hour or so till his dad or I got home from work. No we could not really afford for me not to work but we didn't drive new cars and we did without ALOT, so I could stay home and raise my kids and you know what I am so damn proud of..my 2 boys..never have they given me any flak or disrespect nor have they ever been spanked and to this day at 23 and 31 yrs old they are still very decent, respectable men. I was home and instilled good morals in them and raised them well. NO ONE else did..

Exactly shay - you KNEW ...

Exactly shay - you KNEW what your kids were learning because YOU were the one teaching them. My mom did the same, but she worked part time (when we were in school). We didn't have brand new cars, we didn't eat steak or crab for dinner, but we were a FAMILY. My brothers and I were raised by our PARENTS and no one else. When my mom had to go to the doctor, she either made the appointment for when my dad would be home or she took us with her. The only time my mom wasn't home was like you said, for maybe an hour, and that was because my brothers were BOTH old enough to keep an eye on me and make sure I wasn't getting into anything I shouldn't have been. But I was at the age that I was in school at that time.

I give MAD PROPS to parents that raise their kids themselves. If I ever have kids I will NOT send them to day care EVER. I don't understand how people can give birth to this little being, and then let some stranger raise them!

WADV, that almost 1000.00 ...

WADV, that almost 1000.00 a month you pay out to someone else to watch your kids wouldn't have to be spent if you had them home with you. I am not always in agreement that both parents have to work. People now a days live well beyond their means and think they need to both work.You know the saying, the more money you make the more money you spend..Its very true..

<p>AND that's $1000 a ...

AND that's $1000 a month she's paying for a STRANGER to raise her kid!! She wasn't happy with what tallcool had to say, so how does she know she likes what the people at her day care believe?

i never went to daycare, ...

i never went to daycare, either. and at the age of 8 my dad left. leaving my mom to not only raise 2 kids, but she worked 2-3 jobs, went to night classes, AND helped with school functions. luckily by the time my dad left we were both in school, so that took care of most of the day. we were rarely babysat and thats only because of when my dad was too drunk to take us and she had school.

I was home with my older ...

I was home with my older siblings while my mom worked nights after we went to bed. She was home during the day with us, if we weren't in school.

<p>I went to daycare as a ...

I went to daycare as a child, my mom was single for the 1st few yrs of my life and I have fond memories of being there, what little I remember. and mine as well went to daycare, BUT it was in home daycare where there was less than 6 kids, usu. only about 2-3 there, after that when they were about 3, I sent them to a facility, school-type daycare to get used to going to school for pre-k which they started at 4 yrs old.

now while I hated my job too, I NEVER took it out on the kids, it wasn't their fault that I was hired for one thing and doing something TOTALLY different. and I agree that people in those fields of educating kids, from daycare on up thru actual school, DO NOT get paid NEARLY enough AT ALL!!! I mean these are teachers who are teaching our kids and it's this foundation that enable or "DISable" (if you have a bad teacher) our kids later in life, and I feel that NEXT to parents are the MOST important people in our kids' lives! they are who taught us math, english, etc., these people (besides parents) are the reason we can function as adults in our lives!

i never had to use daycare ...

i never had to use daycare thanks to my family but i know lots of familys that have to. unfortunately, women today don't always have the option of staying home with their kids. but they should make other arrangements when the kids are sick so they don't infect others. those two children you spoke about should be reported to CPS. there is something wrong and they need help. you don't have to give your name when you call and you might be saving their life. please call asap.

I wish someone had done ...

I wish someone had done something about the little girl in my daughter's class, she might still be alive today if someone had.

I know MANY mothers that ...

I know MANY mothers that are raising children with disabilities WA, but they don't put their kids in day care. Why? Because that's the LAST place a child like that should be. How do you know, unless you know EVERY single person working there PERSONALLY that your child is getting the attention/treatment she needs? How do you know that this day care is employing people that should be around your child? How can you be sure that this day care isn't messing up her head more? How do you know the children at that day care are the type of children you want your child around? This is the MOST influential time of your childs life!

Heck, you even said yourself "I have a provider that treats all the kids like crap and does nothing but complain about the parents. This care-giver is rude to the parents and the children."

What the hell are you doing putting your disabled child in that situation? You should be ashamed! If you can say that about where your kid is and you still leave your kid there, then you are not only wasting your money, you are wasting your childs life and mind. I don't think you should even have this kid! Maybe you should try to care a little more about the environment your child is in, this is where she is going to pick up her major life skills. If this place is treating children like crap, then your daughter is going to learn to treat people like crap! We are ALL products of our environment!!

Where was I when my mom was working? I was either in school, at home with my father, or with my brothers (that were 5 and 10 years older then me). If not with any of them, I was with a grandparent or other family member. I only had one babysitter in my childhood. It was after her that my mom decided she didn't want any person that wasn't family or knew our family values having an influence on us kids.

These people don't get paid enough Dawn. It is thanks to these people that the children are not growing up to take guns to school and shoot everyone. It's thanks to these people that we will have an actual society in the future. If it wasn't for these people, heaven forbid, parents would have to actually spend QUALITY TIME with their kids. These people should be paid more, after all, they are a parent more then the real parents!

<p>When a job is that bad ...

When a job is that bad there is always something else out there that's better. It's just time to make a full time job out of finding a new job. It sure isn't easy, as any of us who've ever been jobless can tell you, but it is a necessity plain and simple.
That sounds so bad it sounds like almost anything would be better.I wish you all the best of luck in getting something better. And remember, the harder you work the luckier you get. :-)