quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


It's the day that every working mother dreads: the first day back to work. That day for me was four months ago. And if you are like me and are not fortunate enough to have friends or family close by, daycare is most likely where your kid will end up.

We could have gone the nanny route, but I wanted my son to be socialized with other babies. And despite the coughs, colds and runny noses that seem to be a constant in this petri dish kind of setting, I think it's been really good for him.

He started off with two very bright, enthusiastic young teachers, both with degrees in Early Childhood Education. In addition to the obvious tasks of feeding, diapering and putting them down for naps, these two girls spent all day entertaining, educating and stimulating these babies. Every day there was a fun new activity and sensory experience. They took pictures and presented them with daily reports about what the babies had done all day. These girls gushed over our babies. I couldn't have been happier (except, of course, if I was able to stay at home every day with my son instead). Then both of them quit within a week of each other. One of them is moving out of the country to be with her boyfriend. The other is exploring an entirely different career path altogether.

It was heartbreaking news, probably more so for me than my son since he's still so young. It's been a few weeks and they still haven't hired full-time replacements. It seems like every day I'm leaving my son with a new person who is "just filling in." The daily reports tapered off initially, and have now all but disappeared. So I really have no idea what's going on all day. I know the most important thing is that he's fed and kept safe, and I believe that for the most part he is.

But last week I got a phone call that one of the fill-ins had accidentally given my son some of another baby's food. Thankfully he is ok and didn't have any negative reactions, but it's obviously disconcerting. Of course anyone could have made the mistake, but I have to believe it's a factor of the inconsistent staffing.

The thought of changing daycares has crossed my mind. But daycares are very competitive around here (I know that sounds ridiculous) and the wait lists are months long. It's not like I can just pick a new one and go there tomorrow. I think once new permanent teachers are hired, things will get back to "normal." Though I know that it'll never be the same, and it totally bums me out.

Anyone else ever have this experience? What did/would you do?


Photo by Flickr member Chris. P, used under a Creative Commons License.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hardlyclerkin

Honestly, if you are not happy its going to be passed on to the baby. My negativity has always passed on to my son since like birth. I have had to change a lot to deal with it. Start taking a look around and see what your options are. Most of them have great tours. My big thing was no TV I wanted him to have activities not plopped in front of a TV. We got lucky with our place we have become friends with the teachers at his daycare and he has been going to the same one for years. Ask how long the teachers have been there that is telling. Good luck


quality posts: 48 Private Messages mjc613

I haven't been in your shoes, but I would check out the other daycare places in your area, and get on the waiting lists for the ones that you like the best. It will be good for you, because you won't feel as helpless, and if the new permanent teachers don't work out, you have an exit plan.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hoggenstein

We have a great daycare set up in kirkland-- small home, no more than 5 kids at any given time, no tv and they play outside a good chunk of time. It's not an "early childhood learning" center or any of that kind of thing-- I think the smaller the environment, the more chance of forming a bond with the other kids. I think they need the socialization.


quality posts: 6 Private Messages rotflol

I went through a similar situation with my daughter's daycare. There was a awesome woman there in the afternoons and when she switched to mornings we did not like the replacement. She kept making odd comments that our baby was too skinny and asking if we fed her at home. Yes our daughter was small for her age, but really? This went on so long - even after I explained that her weight was fine and her pediatrician says she is normal - that it finally irritated me enough that I complained to the director, who reacted in a way that made me think that wasn't the only complaint she'd received.

When I picked her up in the afternoons the woman was completely scattered and I had to wait while she gathered the bottles up and tell her which ones were ours and which were not. Even though everything was labeled she would just put whatever she could reach into our bag and I'd have to correct her everyday. It was so bizarre. Just a complete lack of attention to detail.

Finally one day we got the call that she fed our daughter someone else's breast milk and that the other baby had thrush. My daughter never caught the thrush but needless to say I wasn't too thrilled about this. They told me the woman was no longer going to be working in the infant room because of this (and I'm assuming there were other complaints/incidents). I saw her a couple times in the older kid's room but eventually she was just gone.

There were a couple different people there in the afternoon after this, but they got a good staff member in there quickly so we were OK. I would say if you are frustrated apply for some of the other daycares and get on the waiting lists and see what happens first - a permanent staff member you like or a new daycare. In the meantime, ask about the daily sheets. You should be getting those no matter who is working in there.



quality posts: 2 Private Messages allasard

I have been there. I spoke with the director about my concerns. There was a new permanent staff member, and things were good again. I also let them know how important the log sheets are to me, and they have been better about writing everything down.


quality posts: 105 Private Messages inkycatz
allasard wrote:I have been there. I spoke with the director about my concerns. There was a new permanent staff member, and things were good again. I also let them know how important the log sheets are to me, and they have been better about writing everything down.

That's a good resolution! Glad it's working out.

I'm just hanging out, really.


quality posts: 9 Private Messages amynance


Thanks for all the comments, everyone. I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had to deal with this. I have reached out to the director about my concerns, and hopefully we'll find a good solution. In the meantime, I will be looking into other daycares ... again.


quality posts: 9 Private Messages amynance


rotflol wrote:She kept making odd comments that our baby was too skinny and asking if we fed her at home. Yes our daughter was small for her age, but really?

That is so wildly inappropriate, I have no words except that I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

My son is a little peanut as well, but the doc says he's perfectly healthy as I'm sure your little girl is.

There is a much older lady (I'm thinking 70s-80s) who lends a hand to the staff every so often and she's always making comments about how he should be wearing long sleeves or doubled up onesies so he won't get cold. But she's the sweetest lady with the best intentions, so I chalk it up to her being old-school.


quality posts: 33 Private Messages KtCallista

It never ends either. We have three kids who all started daycare at age 1 or shortly thereafter (lots of employment changes for my husband and I, unfortunately). After 6 years of working with the same institution, so many of the teachers that made it amazing are gone or leaving this summer. (normal, we live in a University town.) With only one child left at the center and my middle child's pre-K class being significantly inferior to her older sister's experience - from monthly themes with cool activities, sensory stuff, walks, field trips, and guest "teachers" to Lord of the Flies style open classroom with almost no structure at all. We are debating finding a different daycare/preschool for my son. You just have to do what you feel is best, and hope you don't catch it too late. I'm lucky that I am able to work at the elementary school a couple hours a day, I'm really excited about all the teachers there, having a good school is one of the biggest factors in us trying to find jobs that don't involve moving. I know my kids get individual attention there, that makes it worth it.

Paper Napkins on the Edge of Insanity

You can call me Goddess, that's fine.


quality posts: 8 Private Messages amreli

My biggest advice first: get on waiting lists now, even if you don't need them at the moment, you never know what will happen later...

We had a horrible time with childcare for my son...we knew we were moving about 3 months after he was supposed to be born (yeah, not how that worked out either, but a separate story) and because my husband and I both have crazy schedules we decided to get a nanny at first and then planned to do daycare when he was one or so. Since we were moving to a new place, we went with a nanny agency because we figured that would be easier and would help filter out any truly horrible ones. Well, the first nanny was a disaster and it took way too long to find a replacement. She ended up staying with us for 3 months and by the end, I came home every day to a screaming baby. She'd say things like "you need to take him to a doctor to figure out what's wrong with him", she wouldn't take him outside for walks because he was "too fussy" even though being outside always calmed him down, I'm pretty sure she was also stealing household supplies like dish soap and toilet paper, etc..... I still feel guilty that she was the one with him for that long.

The second nanny was great, it was literally a complete change from one day to the next (we fired #1 on Monday and #2 started Tuesday). But we could only afford part-time care and right around when my son was turning one, another family offered her more money out of the blue so she left.

So we decided to go ahead and do daycare, since that had kind of been our plan anyway...but we only had a few weeks to find one. We found a spot at one that one of my coworkers had her children at and she liked them a lot, so I figured it would work out great. It seemed fine for the first month or so, then one day I picked him up with a soaking wet diaper on and he'd only had one change the entire day. A few days later, they charted on his daily sheet that they'd given him yogurt when he was listed as being allergic to dairy. When we asked the teacher about it, she said they just charted it wrong, but they didn't really give it to him (not a severe allergy, so who knows which was true). We spoke to the director who seemed horrified about both of these things....then the next week he came home with only one diaper change the whole day. We spoke to the director again. They did it again just 2 days later. We started looking for somewhere else...(ended up getting on several waiting lists at this point)

We finally ended up doing a nanny-share with one of my coworkers which worked out great. That lasted nearly a year, then the nanny decided she wanted to go back to school in the fall and wanted to spend the summer just with her kids. Here's where being on the waiting lists from before came in handy, because we were actually able to get a spot at another daycare right when we needed it at the beginning of the summer.

The next daycare was pretty good, we had no major complaints with them. My son ended up potty-training shortly after he turned 2 (and therefore shortly after he started this daycare), so that was at least one area we didn't have to worry about. Because of my job, I almost always picked him up after his regular teachers left, so I felt like I didn't have great communication with them, but really they worked out well. He ended up being there just over a year, until we moved again...

...and he started preschool in DC at the school where my sister is a teacher. So, really, we've been quite happy with them. And that's where we are now. Well, he's doing "summer camp" at a different preschool but going back to my sister's school in the fall, so that will be by far the longest he's been with any one given person/place.

I'm a little worried about what's going to happen now that we're expecting #2 given the horrible experiences we had the first time. But we definitely gained a lot of experience in how to deal with issues and what not to put up with for any amount of time.