September 23, 2006

Daycare Dazed Again

The twins were six months old when we first put them in daycare. The first daycare provider lasted less than a month. She lasted such a short time because she had more children under the age of two than what she originally told us and, more importantly, what her license allowed.

We found another daycare provider and we have been, for the most part, happy with her. It was obvious how much she loved them and we were comforted knowing the bond our twins created with her and that they enjoyed being with her each day. We appreciated her so much we even invited her to the twins’ baptism and birthday parties.

Last week that all changed. Over the past several weeks Andrea and I were questioning how many kids she had as we seemed to see new faces all the time. This came to a head when we noticed two babies under the age of two in cribs in the back room last week. When I questioned our daycare provider she became very offended that we would question her loyalty to our children. “I thought we were family” she said as she told us that one of the kids we saw was just there for that day as a favor to a friend. I explained that while we did love her that it was our responsibility as parents to question these things since it affects our children. She seemed to accept this and, I thought, we had moved on.

Then, on Monday, she gave us our two-week notice. I was out of town on business when my wife told me the news. I sat in stunned silence as Andrea explained what had happened. She claimed her sister was coming to stay with her and that she had a young son so she wouldn’t have room for us anymore. I’m not buying this. I’m fairly certain that we got the boot because we questioned her.

So now we are busy interviewing possible replacements. I am still bitter and angry at this whole scenario. The part that hurts me the most is knowing how much TheMonk and Swee’Pea love our daycare provider. It kills me knowing that they will not understand why we don’t see her anymore and I fear they will be scared to go with someone else. It makes me want to tell off our daycare provider with a few choice words but that will have to wait until our last day. But believe me, she will hear from me. And she’ll hear from the state’s licensing department too.


  1. When my sister-in-law and her husband first moved to Denver, they had a perfect daycare provider – caring, competent, licensed, and on the way to work. The one drawback? She didn’t work Fridays (?).

    Not to worry, Uncle Rob could save the day. No doubt about it, I loved spending the day with my nephew and we had a blast.

    Six months later, they bought a house which was the other direction from the daycare, so they had to find a new place to take Gunslinger*. They found a place.

    Enter nightmare daycare.

    The intial meeting went great. She had lots of educational training going on and her references were sterling.

    The first problem happened after their first week – she was taking her annual week long vacation. Which they had to pay for. Neither of Gunslinger’s parents could remember any mention of a week long furlough. But it was a hectic time and perhaps it was simple mistake.

    I’ll save you the gory details, but suffice it to say that was the least of the problems that happened over the next two months.

    So they moved to another location where Gunslinger spent two days, with Mom, at the daycare. It was (and is) a great match.

    I guess the point is you have to kiss a lot frogs before you find a prince (or daycare).

    Be sure to sic the licensing department on them!


    *not his real name

    Comment by Big Daddy Rob — September 23, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice if regulated, high-quality daycare were a priority in this country?

    I’m sorry this happened, Matthew. Good luck with the search.

    Comment by Becky — September 24, 2006 @ 6:05 am

  3. Ugh… this is so upsetting. But you know, kids are amazingly resilient (of course you do) and they adjust pretty quickly to new caregivers as long as they are good. It’s the parents that have the harder time adjusting. :(

    Hope you find someone good soon. Are there any franchises like Tutor Time in your area? I always felt better about having my son in a place that was tightly regulated, where there were tv monitors in each room and even web-access so I could see what he was doing at any time (and more important, what THEY were doing.)

    Good luck…

    Comment by panthergirl — September 24, 2006 @ 6:40 am

  4. Sorry to hear about the situation Matthew. I bet the kids will be really disappointed at first but will adapt pretty quickly. Wishing you good luck on finding a new place.

    Comment by thisbiochemicallife — September 24, 2006 @ 7:17 am

  5. Oh no that sucks! I am so sorry that happened! You are right to question her and maybe it’s better that she gave you the boot if she was going to act like that–who knows what other traumas could have happened.

    Let her have it the last day! And yeah for the licencing department!!

    Comment by samantha jo campen — September 24, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

  6. Daycare scares the crap out of me. I am endlesslly grateful not to have to do it.

    Comment by Gidge — September 24, 2006 @ 7:22 pm

  7. You had every right to ask the person that you paid to take care of your children the question you asked. My kid’s daycare/pre-school has gotten over-crowded and my wife and I must consider several options, none are perfect. Good luck to you in your search and never compromise what your children deserve, which is the best care possible.

    Comment by Keith — September 24, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

  8. Ooh, that’s so tough. I’m sorry you and Andrea are having to go through this. As someone else pointed out, though, it’s bound to be tougher on the parents than it is the kids.

    When we were searching for a daycare setting to put B&B in, we wound up going with an actual daycare for the very reasons mentioned in a comment above me–it is regulated, and parents have drop-in and web access. Mostly, what appealed to me was the accountability.

    I hope you find the right place soon.

    Comment by Amy — September 24, 2006 @ 9:01 pm

  9. Yikes. I’m sorry that you have to go through this. I’m with Gidge. I hope that you can find a quality person who runs a tight ship, who the kids can build a good rapport with and you feel comfortable with.

    Comment by Deanna — September 25, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  10. I once took my just-turned-three-year old son out of a daycare center for a similar reason.

    It had three teachers, for about 20 two, three and four year olds. They were all there in the morning, and at pickup-time, and the owner also helped out. Parents were under the impression that there were always several teachers present.

    But then I found out that the owner, in order to avoid paying benefits to her emplyees, was making them cut their days up into shifts, with several hours off in between, so their hours never added up to fulltime. There were usually only two workers there, and at nap time, there was only ONE PERSON, in charge of all those kids.

    Someone else called the licensing board before I did. As soon as I found out, I put Big Son somewhere else. This all happened many years ago, in LA, and the place has since gone out of business.

    Comment by L. — September 25, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

  11. Oh — and GOOD LUCK on finding a better place! I should have said that first!

    I feel your pain.

    Comment by L. — September 25, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  12. Finding good daycare can be such a challenge. Good luck in finding someone who’s a good fit for your family!

    Comment by Woman with Kids — September 25, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  13. Always go with gut instinct.
    If something feels wrong, it is. You’ve got 2.2 million years of parenting evolution behind you.

    We pulled our little one out of a class that he’d been with for 3 years when he told us a teacher had threatened him. Needless to say we had no proof, and luckily the school gave us the option of another classroom. After a week of swearing and sobbing, I took him away from the kids he’d been with since he was 6 months old. He never even looked back, and I’m a better parent for believing in my child.

    Comment by MaMa Raine — September 25, 2006 @ 6:35 pm

  14. I have a great solution, I will quit my job and move in with you. Oh, say for one year, I won’t charge you either. I will teach the children EspaƱol. I can cook too. I do laundry. I don’t vaccum or do windows. They will know a grandmother’s love! I will even take them on vacations to the time share in Hawaii!!! We can hula, surf, eat pinapple… Let me know I need to give a 30 day notice.

    Comment by Grandmother — September 25, 2006 @ 6:47 pm

  15. So sorry that this happened. We had to go through a few child care providers until we found the perfect fit……

    Maybe you should take the offer from Grandmother??? :)
    Good Luck!

    Comment by Jill — September 25, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

  16. When our kids were 2 (ok, yes, older than yours), we put them into a daycare. We had them at home with our nanny before that. We went with an actual center because we didn’t have to worry about the “what if she gets sick” kind of questions.

    I cannot tell you how much our children have developed and grown since then. It was the best move we ever made. And, after spending 2 years of their life with our nanny (well, 22 months, but close enough) – they asked for her ONCE.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Stacy — September 26, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  17. This is just the first of MANY times your will feel the pain
    for your children! That’s what a parent does! I’m sure
    the perfect person & perfect situation is out there somewhere!

    Comment by Aunt Raina — September 26, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

  18. Finding qualified childcare is more than tough, but, you did the right thing. If there was truly nothing amiss in the situation, it is likely that your provider would not have given you notice. Count yourself lucky that soemthing did not happen to your children due to her being overworked and understaffed…we moved our daughter from her daycare when she was about 1 because the administration was unresponsive to any of our concerns. It took us three months to find the daycare we now use. Both our daughters love their caregivers, the atmosphere is caring, and it’s cheaper than the original daycare and the nanny we used in the interim. It took days of searching and phone calls to find. Good luck. Don’t worry, you will be amazed at how easily the twins adapt.

    Comment by txhorns93 — September 27, 2006 @ 9:34 am

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