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Old 11-12-2020, 11:49 AM
Stressed & Annoyed
Posts: n/a

Thank you to those who took the time to respond with such thoughtful responses! Here's my long post responding to everyone.

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Welcome to the forum. We are a fairly civil group.

I see that your IP is in southern California. Is that correct? I was thinking that if you were in a colder state, the children would naturally be inside more during winter. So that solution doesn't seem to help. I know how kids screaming can get on your nerves. Before I had children, I was the same way. I am an audio person, so I hear things that easily interrupt me. I try now to think that of the sound of children means that a neighborhood is alive and growing. I put a positive spin on it. I know that probably doesn't help you.

Have you thought about moving your office to the opposite side of your house? If you have a large SUV, possibly you can conduct your most important online meetings in your car. They are pretty sound proof depending on the car.

I seems like your neighbor is trying to help. Likewise, running a daycare can be a lot for her to handle. The only thing that stood out in your thread is that she had 8+ children. In California, if she is a small home, she may be over ratio. (too many children for one person to care for).

With COVID hurting incomes, she may be taking on more than she can handle.
Hi Michael, thank you for your suggestion and insight! You are correct, that I'm in Southern California. I've done some research on home daycares, and I know the state protects and even favors home childcare facilities, which I think is great. My problem isn't with home daycares, but with the loud sound pollution the one next to me produces.

I've definitely tried putting a positive spin on the sound of lively children, but when it started affecting my performance at work, positive thinking didn't really cut it anymore. Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who is sensitive to sounds and can be easily distracted. I've considered many things, but working out of my car is not an option. I'm in those typical Zoom calls where my camera is always on, and I need to have a flat surface to take notes on the side (pen and paper kind of person) and navigate swiftly on my computer.

I believe the daycare is licensed for up to 14 children, and she does have 1-2 helpers at any given time.

I believe she is allowed to daycare as a renter in California, so calling her landlord may or may not help.

Her taking the kids off site to a park may not be an option for her either via regulations or that she can't manage them in an open setting without bathrooms or having multi level age group kids wherein the infants need attention which would make it difficult to supervise the older kids on equipment.

I really don't see an out for you. Any suggestions of time they are out wouldn't work. She is going to go in and out based on nap schedules, feeding schedules, arrival and departure schedules etc. It's not really something she can preplan as daycare is fluid on the day to day.

Unless you can figure out somewhere to go off site to work, I can't really see many options. She may have too many kids because the demand is high so I would check her license and see if she is within her limits when they are outside.
Appreciate the comment about why taking her kids outside may not be an option and why scheduled outside time may not work. I never took varying ages and bathroom access into consideration. I have seen her take the kids out to those open spaces before (I'd run into them when I'm out walking my dog sometimes), and so I thought that could be a regular thing. Thanks for offering a different perspective.

One thing I'd like to stress here is that I'm trying not to escalate to the landlord, HoA, or the police of the noise issues. My gripe isn't the daycare itself, but the sound the daycare produces. It may feel like they're mutually exclusive, but I don't think they are. I believe you could be neighborly and considerate about the sound levels while running a successful home daycare. I don't expect absolute silence, but when children are screaming, yelling, wailing, and howling (yup, they had playtime outdoors where they were all wolves and they were having a contest to see who could howl the loudest), it gets to be a bit... grating (to put it delicately).

I am so sorry, that sounds awful. It is hard for me to hear it all day and I have the ability to change conditions in the playroom to settle them down at any time. I don't know how I'd handle it if I could not quiet it down at will.

Family childcare is protected, so as long as the landlord is OK with it, there is not much that can be done. It is not the answer you were hoping for and it would not be one I would take easily, either.

You can control your space, though. Have you tried sound machines on that side of the building? Large, deep-toned windchimes on the porches? I know it sounds crazy, but my neighborhood often has gunshots, glasspacks & bass speakers driving by and large machinery noise during naptime; it has really helped.
Thank you so much for the kind response! I haven't tried sound machines on the side of the building. I might have to look into that if it doesn't add too to the noises. Thank you for the suggestion, and glad to hear that it's working out for you so your kiddos can sleep soundly during nap time!

You are in an unfortunate situation.

Can you find a Starbucks, Cafe, library etc to work at? A friend's or family's place? Or, even though closed, go to your office to work? Some employers allow that.

Sucks to inconvenience and expose yourself but it seems that you have little recourse other than finding another place to work. And, besides the disruption, your mental health is priority.
Unfortunate, indeed. I don't care to venture out to other venues to work from due to the pandemic, so a café or a public setting is not an option. I have contemplated working at a friend's place, but given how I'm in so many meetings, it would be a huge discomfort for them as well since they won't be able to freely move about in fear that it'll be too loud. I totally agree that mental health is priority, especially in times like these! Hope you're taking care of yours as well.

Be well!

That's tough, I'm sorry it's stressing you out.

Other than what's already mentioned, I can suggest a sound board. My brother lined the walls of his room with them after my mom complained that his drums would be the death of her.
It helps! You're likely going to have to put them over your window though since that's where the noise is coming from.

Other than that, you can call in a noise complaint. It's kind of crappy to do since it's children. But... if it's excessive, she should be considerate by maintaining a decent noise level.
What a great suggestion! A sound board. If it's removable (basically placing it and removing frequently everyday), this might be the next best step. I am definitely doing whatever I can to avoid putting in a noise complaint with the HoA or the police. I'd ideally like to resolve this civilly and with the least involvement from others as possible (which is why I'm posting "anonymously" in this forum), but I agree with you that if we cannot figure out a way to make it work, and the excessive noises continue, it might need to be escalated. Very helpful, thank you so much!

Does the provider have any type of schedule? Such as maybe a time period when all the children are indoors napping or playing in a structured activity?

If so, maybe you could schedule your important meetings during that quiet time?

I also agree with the previous poster that mentioned ratios. I imagine a group of kids are pretty loud when you aren't the provider or the one actively engaged in caring for them but it seems to be that unless she has more than 10 kids it shouldn't really be the circus you are mentioning.

Does the provider have regular hours or is she open 24 hours a day? A mean spirited part of me thought, well you could always be super loud when the kids are all gone home and she's enjoying her quiet time.

Although that would solve nothing at all and would probably only further add to the issue but I totally understand how you are feeling. I operate a child care in a neighborhood with houses close together and I try hard to make sure my kiddos arent disruptive to the neighbors.

Im sorry you are in this situation. It's a tough environment we are living in right now.
Thanks for all the questions! More than happy to provide additional context.

1. Does the provider have any type of schedule? Such as maybe a time period when all the children are indoors napping or playing in a structured activity?

From what I could tell, it does seem like she tries to keep things on a schedule. Unfortunately, that's only during the first half of the day. The second half of the day, it's a gamble.

2. Maybe you could schedule your important meetings during that quiet time?

Oh, trust me when I say I wish I could! I've tried, but because I'm in 8 meetings on average (per day), and I work with people in multiple timezones, sometimes it's a struggle to even get time scheduled that works for everyone. Definitely not the daycare's problem, but just explaining why I wish I could have more of a regular cadence, but it's just not feasible in my line of work. Quite a bummer!

3. Does the provider have regular hours or is she open 24 hours a day?

Her hours seem pretty regular, but because she's devoted to her daycare, her flexible hours are as early as 7 am until 6:30 pm. But for the most part, the children start arriving at around 7:50-9:00 am, and pick up is usually around 5-6:30 pm.

I wish her having 8-14 kids weren't the circus I'm mentioning, but the children who attend her montessori are just full of life and personality with very strong diaphragms, lol. I can't imagine it's easy for her, which is why I don't walk over to complain about the noise on the spot. If I hear kids crying and being difficult, I can only imagine the last thing on her mind is answering the door. I always approach her once the kids are gone or when I see her over the weekend. There was ONE instance where I had to complain on the spot, and that's because she was blasting Kidz Bop or something VERY loudly in the backyard, and after 20 minutes of listening to the tracks, I was just about to pull my hair out of my head.

I hope your neighbors appreciate how considerate you are, Blackcat31. I wish my neighbor was a bit more cognizant of the noises produced and was more proactive in being a better neighbor like you. To her credit, I do think she tries sometimes, but it's definitely not top of mind for her.
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