Parents often join in the discussions on the message board. Here are some of the recent questions they asked and the input they recieved from providers.
Infant Starting Daycare
"I have to put my infant son in center daycare. He will be 15 weeks old at that point.... Does anyone who has worked in an infant room have any advice for me? Just looking for general advice about what to expect and things that will make it easier for him."
~ Michelle (YELLOWPEN)
"I would bring a blankie from home so he has your smell. Bring it home each night and pack a fresh one each day..."
"Bring the supplies that your center requires...Be realistic in your expectations....Communitcation is probably the most helpful thing . Let the care givers know what your expectations are, in a polite, considerate manner, and if after you have been there awhile, and if you think they are doing a good job, LET THEM KNOW..."
"Writing out a short "get to know him" letter is also helpful to both you and the daycare provider. Each child is so different it is great to know the little things that each enjoys and/or dislikes..."
"My 5 month old son is in day care at my job for 5 hours on two of the days and 1 hour on the third day. I visit him often and continue to nurse him...He cries insistently at the daycare... They are going crazy with him. Any suggestions people can give me??"
"...Some may find the larger group at a center very overwhelming. A home childcare provider might be able to give him a quieter environment and more one-on-one attention."
~ Lauri (MUNCHKINS6)
"...having one primary caregiver to establish a routine is very good for a baby. This won't last forever, though it seems like it will..."
"...charged for when the school is closed for a snow day, when the center is closed for a training day for the staff she must pay, she pays fee every year for registration, she even pays when he is ill and doesn't attend. If you have any advice for me to forward to my sister I would really be thankful. We really would like to know if it is legal for them to do this. .."
"..although many parents feel that they shouldn't have to pay when their child is absent, if you look at it in terms that you are paying for the SPACE and not just the day then it sheds some light onto the providers reasons...Most providers would never be able to operate if children were to only pay when they attended. Spaces would be vacant often and income would fluctuate too drastically especially during cold/flu season..."
~ Ruth (RUTHJRC)
"...With daycare providers the expenses (use of the home/building, utilities,staff) stay the same no matter if one child is gone or not. Other expenses a provider or center incure such as advertising and supplies, are distributed evenly through the budget and again aren't affected by one child. Your sister is paying not only for her spot but to have better qualified teachers who attend staff meetings and take care of themselves..."
"...My expenses are the same whether a child attends or not. I rely on the income from each child to support the childcare business as well as my family. This secures that the child's spot remains open and I don't fill it with someone else. I don't close for snow days or training days. I also do not charge a registration fee. I doubt it's illegal that this center does. If your sister signed a contract knowing that she had to pay for these times, then there's not much that can be done unless she decides to find a place that doesn't charge for this...."
~ Lauri (MUNCHKINS6)
Provider Not Home
"...I got off work early and went to her house to pick up my son. It was 5 to 5 and I usually get there at 5:20-5:30. No one was home. I called her cell phone 3 times and no one picked up. I started getting really nervous/furious. She finally picked up at 5:30 saying that she was at Brown's Chicken and and had been at her granparents house and she'd be home soon. ..Now she is napping during the day, not answering her phone, and taking the kids out so that she can run errands and visit friends. I need to move on, but I am nervous about the confrontation. Any Advice? She also has a two week notice rule in the contract, but because of the above reasons I don't think I can trust her. PLEASE HELP!"
"...Did you sign a "permission to transport form"? In her contract or policies did it say anywhere that she may have to leave her home during the day for a short amount of time? If so, then she may take that as giving her leway to "go" when ever she pleases. ...As far as the napping goes during daycare hours, if a licensing agent were to come to her home and realized that she has been sleeping, she may be shutdown...."
~ Marcie (MOMKDZ)
"...If you are not comfortable with your current provider, I know I wouldn't be, then you need to move on. She is putting your child's safety behind her needs by napping while doing dc. Ultimately your child's safetly must come first...."
~ sunshine_mom (SUNSHINE_MO)
"...feel that the most important thing in good quality child care is the communication and trust between the parent and the provider. bottom line, if you do not feel you can trust your provider with your child, it is time to move on. no parent should ever feel they have to leave their child with someone they're not comfortable with. make sure you abide by your signed contract... not meaning you have to take your child there for two weeks, but you might have to pay for them..."
"...I would not take my child back to that provider. You need to pay for the two weeks, though, if you signed the contract. My best advice to you is to be totally honest with her as to why you are leaving. If you aren't honest, then maybe she won't realize there's a problem and correct it. Just give her a letter with the two week's money..."
~ katie (ECN8)
"...I am concerned that security procedures at my son's daycare center are insufficient. There are two child-accessible doors exiting to ungated areas outside (... just turn the doorknob and go !). This has never happened, but there has been a near miss. Of equal concern is that anybody off the street can walk into the building. I have actually witnessed this happening twice in the last 2 years....men came in asking for directions. When I spoke to the owner about my concerns, she claimed nothing could be done because of fire codes. I have since learned from the fire marshall that this is not quite true. I am looking for suggestions about 1) how other daycare centers successfully handle these security issues; 2) how to convince the owner that it is in her interest to upgrade security. Thanks in advance for any suggestions"
"...I suggest you notify a few other parents of your concern. Perhaps they are not aware of the danger. Also, there is strength in numbers. Also, try and get a statement from the local fire marshall in writing. Notify the director that you are not against her, on the contrary, you are trying to spare her a possible law suit..."
"In my center all doors are locked on the outside and you are able to open them for the inside. We also are not allow to open the door if we do not know the person."
~ Donna (RED1362)
"I would go to the owner and tell them you spoke to the fire marshll and that is not the case she or he probley dosn't know that it is so. "