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Old 01-20-2021, 06:17 PM
RockFairy's Avatar
RockFairy RockFairy is offline Member
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Canada
Posts: 1
Default DCM Lied, I Termed, but I Still Feel Guilty

Hi, I'm new.

Long story short, after two straight weeks of blow out diarrheas, illness spread to the only two other children to make contact and about a hundred dollars' worth of carpets and foam mats that had to be thrown out I finally wrote a letter of termination.

The child was sent in pretty much decimated with illness last week after Mom had messaged to say they were just at the tail end of a cold. The child was sent home and told to isolate. Unfortunately, that moment of backbone quickly disappeared and when Mom messaged that night saying the child was 100% back to normal, I didn't enforce my 24 hour symptom free policy and said we could give it another try the next day.

My son is the only other child in the daycare right now and his Dad is working from home. So when the child returned the next day and started again with the diarrhea but no other symptoms, I sent my child to play with Dad and just secluded the other child in a space with me and some specific toys. I messaged the parents right away but all they could say was that was weird, the child was perfectly healthy at home.

This is the same message I got for the next two weeks as the blowouts and acidic-looking diarrhea burns continued on for this poor child. I made sure the formula was the exact same as at home and prepared the same way. I asked about foods and reactions in the past and there were none. According to Mom, even during the sick week the child had had absolutely no symptoms at home - not even the runny nose that had pretty much been pouring out constantly since the week before at my house.

As an aside, the baby is just 9 months old. Mom just returned to work from mat leave and this is their first experience with daycare. I have tons of experience so I was doing my best to help them along the way and make the transition as smooth and painless as possible for them.

I don't 100% believe mom that there are no symptoms at home, but without proof I've just had to take her word for it. So if she was telling the truth, that meant that there was something in our environment (in my home) that was causing these issues for the baby. That was the assumption that I was operating under as I researched what the possible issue could be. Until today. The child had an explosive liquid poop just half an hour after being dropped off. It was all over the baby, all over me and all over those two carpets I had to throw out. Then this afternoon my own son woke up with diarrhea in his diaper.

I have two new kids starting in two weeks. While it was just me with this child and the option to isolate my own, it wasn't such a big deal. I could continually monitor the one child, cater to their needs and run off to change, clean and redress them as needed. I could close off the poo-covered playroom and clean and sanitize it during their nap time and be ready to go again when they woke up. With 4 children, this would not be feasible. So when my own son woke up from his nap with diarrhea in his diaper, I pretty much snapped.

The diarrhea is not environmental. It's obviously viral and this is all the proof I need.

I wrote the letter and said the reason for termination was that (apparently) my home was not a match for the child health-wise. I wrote about every verbal communication, all the sickness, the blow outs, the pain and discomfort of the child, all the steps I'd taken to address possible causes but reiterated (twice) since "this is only happening at daycare" then it is obviously in the best interest of the child to not be at my daycare.

I gave one weeks' notice because the two other children start in 2 weeks and I can't risk their well being and, since it's "environmental" and not just "illness that would eventually pass", it would be irresponsible to continue to expose the child to whatever is causing their issues just for the sake of a contract. (My contract does state that 2 weeks' notice can be waved in the case of a health and safety issue).

I nearly chickened out at pickup today but managed to let Mom know that I had exhausted all of my options and that the only explanation was that the environment was not a good fit for her child. I told her that the note was in the child's bag and to take a look when she got home and let me know if there were any concerns. I don't know if she completely understood... her face looked like she got it but she said she'd keep an eye on the child and if they were sick this weekend, they'd stay home next week. I wanted to say it's too late for that now but I just said take a look at the letter and we can discuss it later.

THEN I chickened out, set my phone to do not disturb and now I'm freaking myself out staring at the email and text message icons.

I feel so guilty but also like I was taken advantage of at the same time. Dealing with adults is so freaking hard! I much prefer being able to ask "Is that the truth or are you trying to trick me?" and being able to get an honest answer 😔
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Old 01-20-2021, 07:55 PM
Posts: n/a

Read the email and text message but don't respond, you will only stress yourself out. I WOULD NOT under any circumstances accept the child back into care no matter what because of her being dishonest,lying and obviously not giving a crap about her child
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Old 01-21-2021, 01:11 AM
Jo123ABC's Avatar
Jo123ABC Jo123ABC is offline Member
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: U.S.
Posts: 430

Phweew! Let that kid GO! You'll feel so much better. it'll be okay.
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Old 01-21-2021, 03:03 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is offline Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Right here
Posts: 10,926

Holy moly
Are you new to daycare? Just asking because it's going to take some effort on your part to develop that backbone that tells you 'this is not right and does NOT belong in daycare'. Safety and health for you, your own family and the rest of the dcks comes first and foremost when you have a dc. I accepted way too much back in the day, always 2nd guessing myself and thinking it was all me; we're talking 38 yrs. ago. We had no support systems to speak of, not to mention any place like to lean on for advice and support. Confrontation(for me) has always been the hardest thing to deal with, whether it was asking for payment, talking about their child's health or behavior, etc. It's not easy but one of the most important things you need to be able to do.
Do you have a contract and handbook of policies? If not, create one ASAP and issues such as yours would be clearly spelled out. If you need to create a contract I'm sure a lot of people here could advise or contact your state's childcare site; you can even search online. I don't know if you're licensed but you still need policies to enforce. And never back down because you lose all credibility.
I spent too many years being nice and wanting to help; it only comes back to bite you in the butt. And when it comes to health, now is NOT the time to take risks. Just one more thing I got from your post. Guilt. You need to lose the guilt because it'll do a lot more harm than good in this biz.

Good luck. And I agree about not allowing them back, even today. They'd be gone.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:10 AM
Gemma's Avatar
Gemma Gemma is offline
Childcare Provider
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: U.S.A
Posts: 1,277

I agree with the pps, don't feel bad you have been more than patient with this family, let them go and don't look back
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Old 01-23-2021, 07:17 PM
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284878 284878 is offline
Day Care Owner
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Next door
Posts: 2,189

Something similar happened with my first family. Dcg had diarrhea, I sent her home. Dcm brought her back the next day with a note from the doctor about toddler diarrhea and how she could return to care. I looked it up and there really was such a thing so I let her stay. (Although I really didn't believe that was the issue)

Her diaper was so runny that it dripped off the side of the changing pad on to me foot. But I got told that she was never sick at home.

My DD didn't get sick, I did. My dh stayed home that day to take care of our dd, while I lie in bed. I called dcm to tell her I was closed for the day and left a message. Dh left the door unlocked and dcm dropped off and left, (she always stayed to talk) she never talked to dh or ask were I was.

Dh come into our room upset because he didn't agree to care for any dck. I kept trying to call and text her, she finally called me back once she got to work. She claimed that her phone was dead, and said she would have dcd pick up, it took him 4 hours.

I kept trying to replace but could not find anyone. I was relieved when she got fired from her job, I had to hold back my excitement.

Since then I have had to term and it doesn't get better. I am currently having trouble terming a family that are not working out. I get nauseous everytime I think about it.
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:40 PM
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AmyKidsCo AmyKidsCo is offline Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,786

You did the right thing!

It doesn't matter where the symptoms came from, it's a sanitation issue. You can't maintain a clean and healthy environment when a child has diarrhea or is vomiting. I exclude for symptoms, not cause. You might not know WHY something is happening, but the fact that it is happening is reason enough to exclude.
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backbone - not, terminate - lying

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