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Parents and Guardians Forum>Unstable Environment
Unregistered 07:28 AM 05-03-2011
My two year old son was enrolled at children's friend, in albany, ga (telfair) in december of 2010. Four months later, he has had 6 teachers! In addition to him having to readjust to different people so frequently--kicking and screaming on some mornings, he also developed serious separation anxiety that he never exhibited before. He cries and screams whenever his father or i try to leave his sight--asking "are you gonna leave me?" even going into the next room.
I tried to plead my case to the center's director several times--her latest nonchalant response was that she could not help it if people left......bare in mind that we were never notified prior to him getting a new teacher--they would just appear one day.

My husband and i finally had enough when on a monday, there was teacher number 6 waiting (a total stranger to him)...

I told the director that i was completely frustrated with the center--as there had been other disturbing issues as well--and that i was taking the rest of the week off to keep him at home until i found him a more suitable and stable environment. Her response...........well, he's been here for a full day and you need to pay for the entire week----we have your social and have the debt placed on your credit.

My mouth flew open in disbelief--that's it--that's all you have to offer?!?

As an educator of 15 years, i was disappointed and appalled--to think that i share the same profession as this person...no wonder people are disillusioned with education. To place monetary value on a parent's peace of mind?????
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Unregistered 05:05 PM 05-03-2011
I don't understand why this is allowed to happen. It is not psychologically sound practice. Daycare is not designed to make children trust strangers, it is to build confidence in a secure environment. Why don't more centers require a contract, long notice, training overlap for new teachers? What's the best practice? How best to acclimate children to a new teacher? How do parents help children adjust to staff turnovers? Is it always a sign of a bad center? Bad director? Poor management? DO you leave with the staff you liked, even with no back-up or wait out the staff turnover? Experiment with your child while a new teacher is 'tested'? How do you know what is going on unless things go downhill?
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MyAngels 05:27 PM 05-03-2011
You did the right thing by withdrawing your child from an environment that you are not comfortable with. Unfortunately, depending upon the contract that you signed, she is probably correct that you will owe for a notice period. I would give proper notice and pay whatever the contract states, and begin looking for new care that will meet your needs. Good luck in your search.
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Cat Herder 05:46 PM 05-03-2011
I am so sorry that happened. Poor little guy.

I am not a fan of centers for young toddlers, just so you know, but that kind of turnover is higher than most centers I have ever heard of.

I believe the "average" employment is about 2 years for most centers. In the future you may want to ask how long each provider has been employed there, that should give you a clue. I know that does not help, now. Sorry. Also know that they will have a different provider (2 per room) for each age group, infant-1yr, 1-2yr, 2-3yr, etc...so by the time they are 4, even with no turnover they will have at least 8 different providers caring for them (not including the afternoon/breaks/lunch crews).

Some of the older looking centers may better suit your needs. They may not have the best/newest equipment because they put their money into their employees. Happy employees will mean a better environment for kids. Just give them a shot, ok?

Obviously I prefer Home Daycare and the same things to look for would apply, IMHO. (not everyone will agree)

I am not surprised at all that the first thing the director stated was about money. That is the directors job. She has probably had that same conversation so many times with other parents she does not feel it anymore. She has ZERO control over any of it, she just takes the heat in three directions; Owners/Parents/Employees I bet she did not start out with that desire, though.

Again, I am sorry you went through that and I wish you luck in finding your next provider. Check out http://decal.ga.gov/ before you go looking, it may make your search easier.
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momatheart 05:48 PM 05-03-2011
WOW that is a high turn over rate. I would pull my kid asap as well.

Try a home daycare for him. I work in a center and I am totally pro home daycare. Although, that is another post completely.

Good luck with your search.
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Kaddidle Care 06:42 PM 05-03-2011
A revolving door in staffing is the sure sign of a bad director. There's a better place for your child, find it.
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MsMe 10:08 PM 05-03-2011
I am a home provider and obv prefer home over Center care. Check out other center adn go to SEVERAL homes. Get referance for everyone and ask as many questions as you can think of.

I always incourage parents to vistit many providers before making their final choice. If you make the right choice for your family you can be with a singel provider for 10-11 years!!!


I provide Cradle to Kinder care. I have had all of my current families since birth and will have them untill they are allowed to stay home alone. There simpliy is not 'turnover' in my home. This is one aspect of my daycare I am most proud of and my families most value.
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nannyde 06:13 AM 05-04-2011
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
To place monetary value on a parent's peace of mind?????
I would encourage you to not place a monetary value on your peace of mind. You are the parent and it is worth loosing the contracted fees to the center to remove your child out of a bad situation. Just don't worry about the money. Pay what you owe them and don't look back. It's just money.

It sounds like a typical center turnover to me. I've read statistics that say the turnover rate is about 400 percent anually in centers. They usually have a core staff of long timers who keep a small percentage of the positions filled and the rest have constant in and out of new employees.

My State doesn't require any documentation of employee turnover. They do have a high cost for bringing in a new employee with their entry requirements so it is worth it to the centers to try to keep employees BUT it is a hard job with little pay. Anytime you have a pool of workers who are not being compensated well and the work is hard there will be a high turnover.

It's very hard to find good drug free employees in this business. You would be surprised how difficult it is to find ONE for my small business. This generation of workers are very cell phone addicted, have serious obesity and obesity related health issues which make it difficult to do the HARD physical up and down, squatting, bending, lifting, etc. to do this work. They are entitled and many have not ever done work that is HARD and never ending. They have no concept of respect for employers and an ability to do face to face contacts with parents and co-workers because so much of their life is touch screen electronic communication. They don't take "no" very well either.

Good luck in your search. The good news is you will be much wiser choosing your next provider. That's worth the dollars you will need to pay off your contract with them. Sometimes mistakes cost money but you end up being wiser in the end.
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QualiTcare 06:49 AM 05-04-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
It sounds like a typical center turnover to me. I've read statistics that say the turnover rate is about 400 percent anually in centers. They usually have a core staff of long timers who keep a small percentage of the positions filled and the rest have constant in and out of new employees.
this is exactly right. when i worked in a center the turnover was unreal, but not surprising to me bc i already knew how bad it was. like you say - there are a few people who work there for a long time and become the "lead teachers" which pose some stability. don't ask me why they stay bc it's definitely not the great pay raises. i knew a lady who got a job at a retail store and she started out making almost the same there as she was at the daycare she'd been at for TEN years!! i knew (and the director knew) that i wasn't there for the long haul - and i'd always joke about the "lifers" as i called them. i swear all it takes to get a job in a lot of centers is proof that you're 18, a GED (if that), and no criminal charges against children. you can have criminal charges - just not against children.

my own children went to a daycare center. i fell into the whole "brand name" bologna. it wasn't too awful bc i worked there some of the time and had a little more insight, but i tell EVERYONE i know who mentions childcare for their little one to find a HOME daycare or even pay a friend they trust what they would pay a daycare. if i could do it over, that's what i would do. people think someone who stays at home = babysitter = cheap. while centers = "education" = expensive and WORTH it. sooo not true. from what i've seen they barely have time to change diapers and get the snot off the kid's faces in time for pick up - there's definitely no time for "education."

you get what you pay for, but what people don't realize with daycare is that in centers the people who are taking care of their children are probably being paid minimum wage while home providers are actually pocketing most of the money. that's a GOOD thing. someone who is making $150 (or whatever) per week per child is going to be a lot HAPPIER with their job than someone who is getting paid $400 every two weeks and watching after 10 kids. i still think parents get sucked into "johnny's preschool costs $250 dollars per week, but the playground is huge, and they teach them so much!" too bad johnny's teacher doesn't see even half of that money and hates her job. on the other hand, the small house with an average back yard that charges $150 a week has a provider who is satisfied with her income and chose a CAREER in childcare vs. taking a job bc they filled out an application and got hired so it's good enough until they get a paycheck. okay, off the soapbox.
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youretooloud 08:50 AM 05-04-2011
You do have to pay. You should have given notice and pulled him out after the two weeks. Or you should have given notice two weeks ago and pulled him this week. I can't imagine that the situation suddenly became so alarming that you HAD to pull him out immediately, and felt justified in not paying.

Clearly it's a bad situation. The school wouldn't have such a high teacher turnover rate if they were keeping the teachers happy. They are either making it an unsuitable environment for the teachers, or not paying them enough. Most teachers will stay less than a year though, so expecting someone to be there through your child's full year in that classroom is too much.

Part of having a good daycare center is finding the best teachers, and then going to great lengths to keep them there.
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Unregistered 11:16 AM 05-04-2011
Yes, unfortunately, you have to pay because it's under contract which is protected under State law. But a little money goes a long way in not having to fight them in court - I would just pay them and go on my way. I agree with Yourtooloud, though - you should have given your 2 week notice when you pulled your child initially. Live and learn and now you know - chaulk that up to a learning experience.

Personally, I'd like to see a clause in those contracts exactly about this sort of thing. I think there needs to be more family protection written into those contracts - outside of daycares, there are protections written into contracts for both parties, which makes it much more fair should the deal go sour.

We had a similar thing happen to us - constant turnover without any notice - just show up and there'd be a new teacher I'd never met. We chose the center based on the teachers, so when those teachers left, it was very frustrating. My child reacted the same way yours did and it was heartbreaking. And the director reacted the same way as yours did. Unfortunately, I didn't know about this site back then and wasn't getting very good advice from my friends or relatives, so we stuck it out in not ideal situations for way too long due to having to work and I have a lot of regrets. I would have done things very differently - I would have stayed home if I could have or tried an in home center until preschool age. At preschool, I would have selected a center preschool program. But of course, if hindsight was 20/20 . . . I think you did the right thing by pulling your child immediately. This was an ongoing issue for some time that the director didn't resolve and was putting undue mental anguish on your child. No one wants to place their child with someone they don't know - I don't know why center's think it's ok to do that - there should be a phasing in period with another familiar staff member or something.

I know in Centers' defense, someone commented that Centers don't really educate. I guess I have to argue that education wise, in our area, my friends and I overwhelmingly agree that Center's educate while the in homes did almost nothing. There is an overwhelmingly high ratio of in home kids that go into the Center's preschools programs and the in home kids are much further behind in education versus the Center kids, in our area. I have no experience with an in home. That being said, I still feel like I should have selected an in home for the stability and one on one attention until the child was preschool age and then moved to a center based preschool program for large group experience.
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nannyde 05:44 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
There is an overwhelmingly high ratio of in home kids that go into the Center's preschools programs and the in home kids are much further behind in education versus the Center kids, in our area.
Are you referring to "in home" kids as in home day care kids or in home.. in the kids home kids?

What area are you talking about? I've never read any statistics about a high ratio of home kids that go into preschool programs being further behind in anything educational than kids that are in Center care.

I think the Centers want you to think that. I think they make a ton of money off of you believing that. I don't think there are any statistics to back that up.

Believe me you... if Centers could prove that kids fare better academically in their program they would HAVE research on it. They get to call themselves school but they don't have to back it up with actual standardized testing. It works beautifully for them... you buy it and they make a lot of money off of it.

Big brick and mortar building that
Has an office like a school.
Has a "principal" / "director" like a school.
Has big classrooms like a school.
Calls employees who don't even have to have a high school education "teachers" like a school has teachers.

Stir it together and you have ... dah dah dah dah...... Preschool.

You ever wonder why BIG chain day cares don't ever research their own population when it's SO huge and so variable across the country? Why hasn't Kinder Care, KidsRKids, Apple Tree, Traditions, etc... Why don't THEY research their own kids and prove their kids fare better once they are in school?
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momatheart 07:50 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by QualiTcare:
this is exactly right. when i worked in a center the turnover was unreal, but not surprising to me bc i already knew how bad it was. like you say - there are a few people who work there for a long time and become the "lead teachers" which pose some stability. don't ask me why they stay bc it's definitely not the great pay raises. i knew a lady who got a job at a retail store and she started out making almost the same there as she was at the daycare she'd been at for TEN years!! i knew (and the director knew) that i wasn't there for the long haul - and i'd always joke about the "lifers" as i called them. i swear all it takes to get a job in a lot of centers is proof that you're 18, a GED (if that), and no criminal charges against children. you can have criminal charges - just not against children.

my own children went to a daycare center. i fell into the whole "brand name" bologna. it wasn't too awful bc i worked there some of the time and had a little more insight, but i tell EVERYONE i know who mentions childcare for their little one to find a HOME daycare or even pay a friend they trust what they would pay a daycare. if i could do it over, that's what i would do. people think someone who stays at home = babysitter = cheap. while centers = "education" = expensive and WORTH it. sooo not true. from what i've seen they barely have time to change diapers and get the snot off the kid's faces in time for pick up - there's definitely no time for "education."

you get what you pay for, but what people don't realize with daycare is that in centers the people who are taking care of their children are probably being paid minimum wage while home providers are actually pocketing most of the money. that's a GOOD thing. someone who is making $150 (or whatever) per week per child is going to be a lot HAPPIER with their job than someone who is getting paid $400 every two weeks and watching after 10 kids. i still think parents get sucked into "johnny's preschool costs $250 dollars per week, but the playground is huge, and they teach them so much!" too bad johnny's teacher doesn't see even half of that money and hates her job. on the other hand, the small house with an average back yard that charges $150 a week has a provider who is satisfied with her income and chose a CAREER in childcare vs. taking a job bc they filled out an application and got hired so it's good enough until they get a paycheck. okay, off the soapbox.
AGREE with this
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youretooloud 09:49 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
You ever wonder why BIG chain day cares don't ever research their own population when it's SO huge and so variable across the country? Why hasn't Kinder Care, KidsRKids, Apple Tree, Traditions, etc... Why don't THEY research their own kids and prove their kids fare better once they are in school?
Honestly..... If you sat in a kindergarten classroom, you could tell within the first hour, which kids just got off the large daycare center bus. I work with teacher's kids, and they ALL say that the kids from the chain daycare centers come in behind, and tend to stay behind for a long time. Kids with a more stable environment tend to excel.

It's hard for the large daycare centers to give kids a stable home-like environment where kids can grow and feel like they belong. A feeling of being an important part of their group is what gives children the tools to achieve as they get older.
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Live and Learn 10:03 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Believe me you... if Centers could prove that kids fare better academically in their program they would HAVE research on it. They get to call themselves school but they don't have to back it up with actual standardized testing. It works beautifully for them... you buy it and they make a lot of money off of
Yup!

There is no way these centers provide better care than a stay at home mom or an in home daycare.

For crying out loud, where do the lil daycare kids get put when they have flunked out of several in home daycares for biting, hitting, kicking?....Big centers!! Why? ...because the centers will tolerate practically any behavior for money.

In my opinion most of these big centers are filled with 1) children of parents who just want their kids warehoused during the work day ....you know, whatever is easiest for the parents. ...or 2) children who have been termed from several in home daycares.
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nannyde 11:38 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Live and Learn:
Yup!

There is no way these centers provide better care than a stay at home mom or an in home daycare.

For crying out loud, where do the lil daycare kids get put when they have flunked out of several in home daycares for biting, hitting, kicking?....Big centers!! Why? ...because the centers will tolerate practically any behavior for money.

In my opinion most of these big centers are filled with 1) children of parents who just want their kids warehoused during the work day ....you know, whatever is easiest for the parents. ...or 2) children who have been termed from several in home daycares.
long hours... that's the biggest draw of all
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youretooloud 11:51 AM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
long hours... that's the biggest draw of all
Long hours, and no personal days. No need for backup care.

Really though, centers are the right choice for some families, and I am all for daycare centers. I've heard really bad things about "Sunrise Preschool", but heard great things about "Tutor Time". So, I think it's just what some people need.

I still like my daycare better anyway.
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Sugar Magnolia 12:14 PM 05-05-2011
I HAVE to weigh in on this topic! When my husband and I opened our center, we reviewed the pros and cons of home vs. center. We had experience with our oldest child in both. We found home day cares had a lot of close, personal attention, but not a lot of structure. Large centers have a lot of structure, but not much individualized attention. While in home day care, our son seemed bored and unchallenged, but after switching to a center, he seemed to get lost in the crowd. So.....we wanted to do a child care business that was the BEST of both worlds. We bought a cute historic home and turned it into a licensed center, a SMALL center. We have 15 children ages 1 to 5. We take a multi-age approach. Older children assume roles of responsibility and leadership, younger ones learn and grow on a higher 'curve' due to our inclusion methods. We have one staff person, besides my husband and myself, so we have SUPER low ratios. Quite frankly, we know large centers have as many students for as few staff as the law allows. This is NOT what's best for children. We offer close, individualized attention AND the structure and educational programs. We have ZERO staff turnover, kids have the same 3 teachers for their entire preschool career. We love it, the kids love it, the parents love it. I can only hope that our small-center concept becomes more popular, because it truly is the best of both worlds.
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Sugar Magnolia 12:30 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by momatheart:
WOW that is a high turn over rate. I would pull my kid asap as well.

Try a home daycare for him. I work in a center and I am totally pro home daycare. Although, that is another post completely.

Good luck with your search.
I hope you read my post in this thread! You would be the perfect person to start your OWN center! Its not as expensive or as hard as you might think! Small, multi-age centers are (hopefully) the wave of the future!
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Sugar Magnolia 12:56 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Are you referring to "in home" kids as in home day care kids or in home.. in the kids home kids?

What area are you talking about? I've never read any statistics about a high ratio of home kids that go into preschool programs being further behind in anything educational than kids that are in Center care.

I think the Centers want you to think that. I think they make a ton of money off of you believing that. I don't think there are any statistics to back that up.

Believe me you... if Centers could prove that kids fare better academically in their program they would HAVE research on it. They get to call themselves school but they don't have to back it up with actual standardized testing. It works beautifully for them... you buy it and they make a lot of money off of it.

Big brick and mortar building that
Has an office like a school.
Has a "principal" / "director" like a school.
Has big classrooms like a school.
Calls employees who don't even have to have a high school education "teachers" like a school has teachers.

Stir it together and you have ... dah dah dah dah...... Preschool.

You ever wonder why BIG chain day cares don't ever research their own population when it's SO huge and so variable across the country? Why hasn't Kinder Care, KidsRKids, Apple Tree, Traditions, etc... Why don't THEY research their own kids and prove their kids fare better once they are in school?
I am new here. You seem to be very knowledgeable and have good insight. Please read my post on this thread if you don't mind. I am eager to here thoughts/opinions on my center and my approach.
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youretooloud 01:08 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
I HAVE to weigh in on this topic! When my husband and I opened our center, we reviewed the pros and cons of home vs. center. We had experience with our oldest child in both. We found home day cares had a lot of close, personal attention, but not a lot of structure. Large centers have a lot of structure, but not much individualized attention. While in home day care, our son seemed bored and unchallenged, but after switching to a center, he seemed to get lost in the crowd. So.....we wanted to do a child care business that was the BEST of both worlds. We bought a cute historic home and turned it into a licensed center, a SMALL center. We have 15 children ages 1 to 5. We take a multi-age approach. Older children assume roles of responsibility and leadership, younger ones learn and grow on a higher 'curve' due to our inclusion methods. We have one staff person, besides my husband and myself, so we have SUPER low ratios. Quite frankly, we know large centers have as many students for as few staff as the law allows. This is NOT what's best for children. We offer close, individualized attention AND the structure and educational programs. We have ZERO staff turnover, kids have the same 3 teachers for their entire preschool career. We love it, the kids love it, the parents love it. I can only hope that our small-center concept becomes more popular, because it truly is the best of both worlds.
That is an ideal setting. I wish there were more like that around here.
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nannyde 01:09 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
I can only hope that our small-center concept becomes more popular, because it truly is the best of both worlds.
In my state it wouldn't work at all. The ratio requirements by law are based on the youngest child in the room. If they combined children from birth up to two then the ratio requirement would be one adult to four kids. If they combined three year olds with ages up to five the ratio would have to be one adult to eight kids.

Centers get killed on birth to two... break even on two year olds (one to six) and make their money off of three to five year olds. They HAVE to have a certain amount of their slots for the infants in order to keep the three to five rooms full.

Doing small groups of 15 would not support the high cost of the physical environment they have to maintain. The sprinkler system... fire code regs, and the grease trap alone could not possibly be supported by that small of a group UNLESS the rates were twice that of a normal center infant slot. It's impossible within the regulations.

We do have a home option to do multi level aged groups and carry 12 full time kids with two part time preK's and two part time school aged. That's the closest I could come to your scenario. Unfortunately they only allow four infants in that ratio so that makes it very difficult to stay full. Maintaining 10 two to five slots with only four infant slots feeding into it is nearly impossible in this economy.
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Unregistered 01:12 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
Are you referring to "in home" kids as in home day care kids or in home.. in the kids home kids?

What area are you talking about? I've never read any statistics about a high ratio of home kids that go into preschool programs being further behind in anything educational than kids that are in Center care.

I think the Centers want you to think that. I think they make a ton of money off of you believing that. I don't think there are any statistics to back that up.

Believe me you... if Centers could prove that kids fare better academically in their program they would HAVE research on it. They get to call themselves school but they don't have to back it up with actual standardized testing. It works beautifully for them... you buy it and they make a lot of money off of it.

Big brick and mortar building that
Has an office like a school.
Has a "principal" / "director" like a school.
Has big classrooms like a school.
Calls employees who don't even have to have a high school education "teachers" like a school has teachers.

Stir it together and you have ... dah dah dah dah...... Preschool.

You ever wonder why BIG chain day cares don't ever research their own population when it's SO huge and so variable across the country? Why hasn't Kinder Care, KidsRKids, Apple Tree, Traditions, etc... Why don't THEY research their own kids and prove their kids fare better once they are in school?

I'm speaking strictly from talking with my friends who've had kids in home based daycare programs. None of them were happy because the lack of education they felt their kids received and moved to centers at the preschool level and their kids were behind the other centered kids - and this info comes from parents that were teachers in the local school systems so they knew their kids were further behind. I'm speaking strictly in our area where we live - virtually everyone I know who has their child enrolled in an in home moves them to center based for preschool. Could be a regional thing? I think it's important though for kids to have some kind of large group experience in preschool since they will have to be part of a large group in preschool. Even the headstart programs prescreens our area's kids for a number of different aspects to better ready them for kindergarten and enrolls them in headstart if need be.
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Unregistered 02:06 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
I think it's important though for kids to have some kind of large group experience in preschool since they will have to be part of a large group in preschool.
I meant to say since they will have to be part of a large group in kingergarten.
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Meeko 02:24 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
I HAVE to weigh in on this topic! When my husband and I opened our center, we reviewed the pros and cons of home vs. center. We had experience with our oldest child in both. We found home day cares had a lot of close, personal attention, but not a lot of structure. Large centers have a lot of structure, but not much individualized attention. While in home day care, our son seemed bored and unchallenged, but after switching to a center, he seemed to get lost in the crowd. So.....we wanted to do a child care business that was the BEST of both worlds. We bought a cute historic home and turned it into a licensed center, a SMALL center. We have 15 children ages 1 to 5. We take a multi-age approach. Older children assume roles of responsibility and leadership, younger ones learn and grow on a higher 'curve' due to our inclusion methods. We have one staff person, besides my husband and myself, so we have SUPER low ratios. Quite frankly, we know large centers have as many students for as few staff as the law allows. This is NOT what's best for children. We offer close, individualized attention AND the structure and educational programs. We have ZERO staff turnover, kids have the same 3 teachers for their entire preschool career. We love it, the kids love it, the parents love it. I can only hope that our small-center concept becomes more popular, because it truly is the best of both worlds.
Many of our clients come to us for many of the same reasons. We are licensed for 16. Our kids don't get lost in the numbers as is often the case in a large center, but we have a larger area dedicated to the children than most home day cares.

I honestly think that one of the most important things to the kids is a familiar, loving face each morning. Someone who really KNOWS them and is interested in them. It must be very scary for children to turn up at a large center on Monday morning to find the teacher they have grown to love is gone forever and a complete stranger is there to take care of them. Same for the parents too! They get no say in who is actually taking care of their children.
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Meeko 02:33 PM 05-05-2011
I live in Utah. Many families have more kids at home than some day cares! My husband has 12 siblings! (his mother deserved a medal) Two of his sisters have 9 kids each.........So no need to experience larger groups of kids before kindy. They get that at home LOL!!! We "only" have 4 kids....so we're a small family around here!!!
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Sugar Magnolia 04:47 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by nannyde:
In my state it wouldn't work at all. The ratio requirements by law are based on the youngest child in the room. If they combined children from birth up to two then the ratio requirement would be one adult to four kids. If they combined three year olds with ages up to five the ratio would have to be one adult to eight kids.

Centers get killed on birth to two... break even on two year olds (one to six) and make their money off of three to five year olds. They HAVE to have a certain amount of their slots for the infants in order to keep the three to five rooms full.

Doing small groups of 15 would not support the high cost of the physical environment they have to maintain. The sprinkler system... fire code regs, and the grease trap alone could not possibly be supported by that small of a group UNLESS the rates were twice that of a normal center infant slot. It's impossible within the regulations.

We do have a home option to do multi level aged groups and carry 12 full time kids with two part time preK's and two part time school aged. That's the closest I could come to your scenario. Unfortunately they only allow four infants in that ratio so that makes it very difficult to stay full. Maintaining 10 two to five slots with only four infant slots feeding into it is nearly impossible in this economy.
Thank you for your input! We don't do infants, just 1-5 year olds. We have 3 one year olds, 3 two year olds, 5 three year olds and 3 four and five year olds. With three staff members, the ratios are WAY below state mandated ratios. This is the big draw for parents. In Florida, the ratio for 3 year olds, for example, is 1:15. I think ONE adult for 15 kids is obscene! And the state ratios for 1 year olds is 1:6. How can one person manage 6 one year olds? No wonder large centers have massive turnover!!!!

As for the financials, it does work for us. Quite well. We charge the same rate as the kid-mill, errr I mean 'center' down the street, $175 per week for all ages, that is the going rate in our area. We pay our staffer $10 an hour. We own the property, instead of renting, so our costs are low. My husband and I are not getting rich, but we make a decent living. What I really, really, really want is to spread the word about small centers being a viable option. I am MOST interested in feedback on our multi-age approach, and hope to convince other center directors to try it. Multi-age does NOT mean the 1 year olds do the same things the 5 year olds do. We do age appropriate developmental activities in small group settings, but our "routines" are all done together, the way a family would. All ages free play, eat, nap, and go outside together. No seperate rooms for 1 year olds, 2 year olds, etc. Hope people out there understand the concept...and like it.
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Sugar Magnolia 05:07 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by youretooloud:
That is an ideal setting. I wish there were more like that around here.
You can do it too!!!! Its not easy, but NOT impossible either!!! We had plenty of nay-sayers, but we did it our way anyways. I would love to advise anyone that was interested.....
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Sugar Magnolia 05:28 PM 05-05-2011
Originally Posted by Meeko60:
Many of our clients come to us for many of the same reasons. We are licensed for 16. Our kids don't get lost in the numbers as is often the case in a large center, but we have a larger area dedicated to the children than most home day cares.

I honestly think that one of the most important things to the kids is a familiar, loving face each morning. Someone who really KNOWS them and is interested in them. It must be very scary for children to turn up at a large center on Monday morning to find the teacher they have grown to love is gone forever and a complete stranger is there to take care of them. Same for the parents too! They get no say in who is actually taking care of their children.
Yes, sounds a lot like our place! We don't live there, otherwise we are similar to a large family day care. You must do a multi-age approach then too? Yah!!!!
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Meeko 08:00 AM 05-06-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
Yes, sounds a lot like our place! We don't live there, otherwise we are similar to a large family day care. You must do a multi-age approach then too? Yah!!!!
My son lives in the home..(I live in the next town with my hubby and younger children).....but has turned two bedrooms at the end of the house into a bedroom and a living room. The rest of the home is dedicated just to the children. Several playrooms, lunchroom, art room etc. We do not completely separate the babies and older kids. We live like a great big family (my husband has 12 siblings...so this is normal to him) Siblings get to play with each other all day. Older kids get to help with younger ones (5 year old will help 2 year old with putting on shoes etc)

It's been a big selling point with parents. They love the room we have to spread out and yet their kids don't feel like they are off to "school" every morning. I do not believe 2 years olds need to go to "school". They need a home atmosphere with people who love them and they need to be able to interact with their siblings, and children of different ages. I think they get a better education that way than spending their entire day in one classroom with kids all the same age.

We are not licensed as a center, but as a large family group home. We must have two providers...which is usually my son and myself. But my husband and oldest daughter are also state licensed as providers and often come to help out. That way I can leave for appointments etc. and still be on ratio.
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nannyde 08:39 AM 05-06-2011
Originally Posted by Sugar Magnolia:
Thank you for your input! We don't do infants, just 1-5 year olds. We have 3 one year olds, 3 two year olds, 5 three year olds and 3 four and five year olds. With three staff members, the ratios are WAY below state mandated ratios. This is the big draw for parents. In Florida, the ratio for 3 year olds, for example, is 1:15. I think ONE adult for 15 kids is obscene! And the state ratios for 1 year olds is 1:6. How can one person manage 6 one year olds? No wonder large centers have massive turnover!!!!

As for the financials, it does work for us. Quite well. We charge the same rate as the kid-mill, errr I mean 'center' down the street, $175 per week for all ages, that is the going rate in our area. We pay our staffer $10 an hour. We own the property, instead of renting, so our costs are low. My husband and I are not getting rich, but we make a decent living. What I really, really, really want is to spread the word about small centers being a viable option. I am MOST interested in feedback on our multi-age approach, and hope to convince other center directors to try it. Multi-age does NOT mean the 1 year olds do the same things the 5 year olds do. We do age appropriate developmental activities in small group settings, but our "routines" are all done together, the way a family would. All ages free play, eat, nap, and go outside together. No seperate rooms for 1 year olds, 2 year olds, etc. Hope people out there understand the concept...and like it.
In my state, any time the one year oldds were in the room with the other children the whole room ratio has to be one adult to four kids. Antime a two year old is in the room it has to be one adult for six.

so in your scenario there would have to be two adults JUST for your one and two year olds. Then you could have one adult for the three and four year old and one for the five year olds. You couldn't combine them together without four adults for 15 kids.

The other problem is that the combinations are only allowed for the two hours at the front end of the day and the two hours at the back end of the day. So within the operating hours you would have to have 4-5 Staff.

At the income of 2625 per week for all salary you would have at least two grand per week of that just going to salary.

It's a great concept and I think kids DO way better in multi level aged groups... but my State would require this to be done in a home day care with two registered experienced providers with a max of 12 kids and two part time preK. Only four can be babies... babies in my state are any kid under 25 months

I have done that experienced license before for a few years and it's REALLY hard to keep ten prek slots filled with only four infant slots feeding into it.
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sharlan 04:21 PM 05-06-2011
Read your contract, you probably owe them the money.

You did the right thing by removing your child from a situation that was very stressful for him. I've always told my parents that if their child was crying after a couple of days, my home was not the right place for him/her.

Good luck in finding new daycare for him.
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