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Parents and Guardians Forum>Infant with Mixed Age Groups..OK???
Unregistered 01:30 PM 07-21-2011
Recently, the director of the daycare my 8 month old attends left and the owner brought in 2 directors from other locations in the city to manage in the interim. The hours of operation for this daycare are 6:00am to 6:00pm and I drop my infant off shortly after the doors open. As these new directors have come in theyve been making changes to the center (money saving, etc.), one being that the infant supervisor (or the infant group leader on her late day) have been told they are not needed as early as 6:00am, as mine is the only child there that early. Instead, hes been put in the care of another teacher at the center who teaches a mixed age group of children (2 - 6 yrs of age) for that first hour. In reading the CO state regulations I find rules that may allude to that not being ok but none that I can find flat out say infants should not be in with mixed age groups or that if there is even 1 infant present, a qualified infant supervisor/leader needs to be present. Has anyone else experienced this or may know where I could find definitive answers. The directors at the center are giving me the runaround saying its perfectly legal for that first hour, though Im not sure why it would be fine just for an hour???
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familyschoolcare 01:42 PM 07-21-2011
I do not know about CO but here in California centers can get a wavier to mix age groups when "number are low" the waiver the pre-school and elementary school with before/after care that I worked at had a waiver. the waiver stated that during the first hour and the last hour if the number of children in attendance was low enough that according ratio regulation, to the youngest child, there only need to be two teacher then mixing of ages groups was allowed. However, this was pre-school and School age the center did not do infants at all.

You need to deiced how much this bothers you in family day cares the infants are almost always in the same room/area as the older children. If it is something that truly makes you uncomfortable then you need to consider wither or not looking for another day care is the best option for you. Even if it is legal if you do not want that type of care situation for your child then find something else that would be a better fit. I think one of the important things to remember and keep in mind is how many children are in care of the teacher at that time. Your infant and two others? or your infant and 10 others? those are two very different situations.
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CheekyChick 02:07 PM 07-21-2011
In my state, an infant can be mixed with older children IF there is ONE infant and a maximum of 7 older children - per one teacher. She is probably saying that it is fine for the first hour because there aren't that many older children that attend that early.
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JenNJ 02:09 PM 07-21-2011
This is standard practice in most centers. As long as the ratio for the lowest ratio group is upheld (typically infants 1:4, 1:5, etc.) it is allowed in most states.
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permanentvacation 07:24 AM 07-22-2011
Typically each state has their own rules regarding the amount and ages of the children that can be in a room and the required amount of teachers/aids to coinside with that group of children. You would need to find out who the licensing agency is in your area and call them to find out the laws there.

On a personal and professional note, my feelings on this matter is that it's perfectly fine to have a couple of babies mixed in with the older children. As long as there are enough adults to carry the babies out and get the older children out in case of fire, or a crib to put a couple of babies in to roll them all out in the crib if there's a fire or any other need to evacuate. Home daycares can mix ages from newborns through 12 ( the oldest child in daycare is typically max of 12 years old). The babies love to watch the older children. Many older children love to talk to the babies and show them what they are doing. I do not think it is healthy to seperate every age group. Children learn from being with different ages and abilities. The younger children learn how to play, socialize, talk, etc. from the older children. The older children learn compassion, caring, being peaceful, etc. by having younger children around and the adults telling the older ones to be careful, quite, gentle, etc. because of the baby.
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cheerfuldom 09:32 AM 07-22-2011
I think the center is correct OP. They can't afford to pay one teacher to be there for just one child (yours). There are many centers that do not offer care at certain times if there are not more than a certain number of kids to make the profit worthwhile. I think the center IS compromising with you to keep taking your child as the only early infant drop off but keeping them with the older kids until the other infants show up. If this bothers you, move to another daycare. If you keep complaining about it, they might just not allow any infants till later in the day and then you'll really have to find a new daycare. As long as the number of teachers to kids if reasonable, your little one will be fine.
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nannyde 09:46 AM 07-22-2011
My state allows for centers to have two hours of mixed age groups at the top end and bottom end of the day. This means they can mix BUT the ratio for the infants (one adult for four kids) must be adhered to when the infant is present. This ratio is JUST to accomodate the infant. If there are ten kids in the room they can one adult for up to four infants and then a second adult for the next six as long as they are over two.

An infant is birth to age 24 months.

There is a reason for these regulations. Centers are very powerful when it comes to laws and regs. The big chain centers are VERY VERY powerful. When there are decision like this it is ALWAYS about money.

So you are correct that this is about money. Your decision to keep using their business in their hours is about your money. Vote with that.
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Unregistered 11:29 AM 09-24-2011
I recently moved my granddaughter out of daycare for the same reasons. Not only was the center mixed with all ages for the first two hours of care, I found out that my child was left in a carseat for two hours until the infant teacher was relieved to to take her to the infant building.
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Tags:colorado, infant care, mixed ages, ratios, regulations
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