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Old 02-28-2021, 11:40 AM
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Default I'm Quitting - Big Rant

I just can't do this anymore.

My center closed when the pandemic hit and I opened a home daycare. I figured that I could keep the numbers low and have more control over health and safety on my own. But it has just been ridiculous!

Over the last year I have had 5 children enroll with me. Two moved (due to the pandemic), 2 were terminated by me, and the last one is just too much.

The terminations were both because of the parents. The first one was because of non-payment that I stupidly kept letting slide while trying to help the family out. When the mom was caught in numerous lies (including her lying about the child having a negative Covid test when they never got tested at all) I finally had to demand payment (16 days late!) only to have the mom dope and drop the very next day. When I sent the child home with a 24 hour symptom free notice, she tried to return the next morning. The payment bounced and I had to write my first ever termination letter.

The second family lasted two days! After the current/last child I have now began care (and things started becoming clear about them and their parents) I implemented a 2 week trial. And I'm so lucky I did! This second last child was super sweet and calm during our initial interview. Then on their very first day, as soon as their parents left, this child went full rampage! Chasing the other children, pushing, hitting, grabbing any toy they even looked at, having screaming meltdowns any time anyone else resisted or any time I intervened. Then at nap time they ran around screaming and pulling things off of the shelves then trying to escape out the front door. I ended up calling the parents for a pickup and they decided then was a good time to tell me oh ya, this child has autism.

I wouldn't have ever denied care to a child just because of a diagnosis but a heads up would have been nice! It turns out the child (4 years old - when my cut off is 3, and the parents knew this) wasn't just shy about talking but completely non-verbal and had never been around other children before! When they said he had been in a home daycare before they actually meant he had been with grandma (alone) and they failed to mention that she had refused to keep watching him after just a short time, herself. We came up with a modified integration plan but the very next day the child put my child in a choke hold then smashed his head into a piece of furniture. I had to call and tell the parents that due to the safety risk to the other children, we couldn't continue. They were understanding about it then told me they were expecting it because he didn't even make it through the interview at the daycare centre near me because he had bitten another child part way through! This is important stuff to mention!!

And now the last child... I wrote about this one before - this is the one who, after more than a month of care - still just sits and stares at me all day long. I can not get this child interested in anything! I've been trying so hard but the child is so clingy, needy and demanding that I am just completely exhausted. Not to mention that my own child who is here all day gets 0 attention while I try to keep this other one from constantly melting down over any perceived lack of 100% of my focus and attention. And now the mom is just becoming too much to deal with on top of it all.

This Mom seems to always be asking for more and more and it's just getting too hard to accomodate. And after every interaction with her I just feel worn down and like nothing I do is good enough. She is constantly trying to skirt my policies (doesn't want the child to have to go outside if they don't want to, wants special accommodations for sleep time due to her attachment parenting style not matching my group care expectations, wanting extra coddling and for me to be immediately available for updates and pictures at any time during my work day/family time) and just recently there was a major policy and safety infraction.

It is in my written policies (that I printed out and gave to her) and we have discussed it numerous times that I do not administer Tylenol or Advil at daycare and I do not accept children into care who have been given Tylenol or Advil in the 6 hours prior to care. My health policy excludes for symptoms and not necessarily cause so it doesn't matter if your child just likes a little Tylenol pick me up with their orange juice in the morning - If they are unwell enough to need medicinal intervention, they are too unwell to be at my home.

So the other day, while I am working and (mom knows) I have 3 other children in my care, I get a text asking about the child's day so far. Then another one when I don't answer soon enough. I have been honest this whole time because i know parents' first complaint when things don't pan out is always "TheRE wAs nO cOMmUnicAtiON" so I told her that again as usual, the child was reluctant to leave my side but that I was still trying to engage them in playtime. So then mom tells me oh, the child hasn't been feeling well so just give them some of the Tylenol that's in their bag.

1. I DO NOT ADMINISTER MEDICATION.

2. If the child is unwell enough to need medicine, they are too unwell to be in my home.

3. YOU LEFT EASILY ACCESSABLE, UNSECURED MEDICATION IN MY HOME ON THE FLOOR OF THE CHILDREN'S PLAYROOM?!

Let alone the fact that she KNEW I wouldn't have allowed it if she had told me during drop off and that's why she waited to spring it on me, the complete disregard for the safety of all of the children in my home is just mindboggling.

I was so angry that I (as soon as I ran and got the bag secured) actually had to sit and take a breather. Of course, since I left their side, the child was now shrieking and trying to climb up into my face and then mom sends another text because I didn't immediately respond. That was when I knew I was just done.

The problem now is my backbone. I get so angry and worked up when I think about all the work I've put in but then how I feel I am treated. But the moment I think about confronting the parents and them coming back at me... I just deflate.

I have decided that I am completely done. I am not doing this anymore so really, it doesn't matter if the mom goes on a rampage to smear my name as a childcare worker. She can leave all the bad reviews she wants because I am closing and my daycare will cease to exist. But the thought of her getting up in my face and attacking me as a person literally has me feeling sick. And I do think she is the type to attack.

Even if she wasn't, I do feel terrible about taking away her child care services. We spoke for MONTHS before her child began and I worked so closely with her to make sure she and the child were as comfortable as possible with the arrangement. It will be a big blow to their family and I know they are going to struggle finding new care.

But then I think about my child... This whole thing was supposed to be for him, too. He was supposed to have me with him all day plus playmates and a well structured learning routine. Instead, he cries on the weekend when we walk toward the playroom and tries to back away while saying "No, [child's name], no scream". He gets 0 attention from me during the day because I'm either directly dealing with the other child or, if he manages to sneak in for a quick hug or cuddle, the other child meltdown and tries to pull him away from me. The other child also refuses to participate in any activity and screams and clings to me the whole time I'm trying to do it with my own child. Then my baby just gives up because of the screaming and will go sit alone to look at a book while I calm the other one down. My baby is 18 months old. On Friday during one of the child's screaming fits (because I stood up to stretch my legs) my son ran to the corner with his blankie and put his head down on the floor and just started quietly crying "all done screaming". I just can't put him through this anymore. I can't do it anymore. We're all just so done.

If you've read this far, what would you do? How do I just end it all?

What is the best way to tell a family that already struggled so much with the idea of childcare that they now have to find a different childcare, during a pandemic and while they are both busy working full time because I, a seasoned early childhood educator, would rather outright quit my career than spend any more time caring for their child?
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