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  #1  
Old 02-07-2012, 08:50 AM
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Unhappy Doing Time: What It Really Means To Grow Up In Daycare

Has anyone read this book yet? Downloaded it from Amazon last night and it really has me thinking. Written by a mom who was a daycare provider. Says she loved the kids, worked in excellent facilities but she has a lot of stories to tell.

http://www.amazon.com/Doing-Time-Rea...8629773&sr=8-1
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:37 AM
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I hope more and more people read this.

I would LOVE to be put out of business by Moms and Dads staying home with their kids during their tender years. I know it sounds hypocritical, but it is how I feel...

I try really hard to bridge the gap, but I know it will never be the same... I feel guilty knowing what the parents are missing out on, too. You never get a second chance .

I rationalize it because it is what allows me to be home with my own....BUT the guilt stays, nontheless...
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:41 AM
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Is this available in book form? I don't have a Kindle but would really like to read it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:46 AM
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I think also we miss alot of things with our own children. Even though we are home and doing this doing this to be home with our children we still aren't with them but maybe 50% of the time. I know I have missed out on alot as they have been getting older. My kids feel sometimes that the daycare kids are more important than them-
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I hope more and more people read this.

I would LOVE to be put out of business by Moms and Dads staying home with their kids during their tender years. I know it sounds hypocritical, but it is how I feel...

I try really hard to bridge the gap, but I know it will never be the same... I feel guilty knowing what the parents are missing out on, too. You never get a second chance .

I rationalize it because it is what allows me to be home with my own....BUT the guilt stays, nontheless...
I agree with this 100%- I have these same feelings...I've become very anti-daycare! I'm going to go buy this book now.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:49 AM
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Is this available in book form? I don't have a Kindle but would really like to read it!
I don't think it has been published, yet...it is REALLY new.

"A Mother's Job, The History of Daycare" (Elizabeth Rose) is a worthwhile read, too... For some reason it is $60.00 this week It usually runs about $7
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:09 AM
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I think also we miss alot of things with our own children. Even though we are home and doing this doing this to be home with our children we still aren't with them but maybe 50% of the time. I know I have missed out on alot as they have been getting older. My kids feel sometimes that the daycare kids are more important than them-
I have heard this complaint from my kids too on occasion. Like I have a more difficult time going on field trips, helping out in the classroom, or getting him/her to a 4:30 practice.

But then again when I was working outside the home and the kids were in daycare I got gruff about that.

Then I get the complaint too from my 13 year old that since I am home I am always in her business and that she thinks that if I worked outside of the home she would have more responsbilities. Like I wouldnt be hovering over all her homework, chore lists, etc.

It is the "Grass is always greener" concept. Your kids are going to have to seek therapy for some kind of issue that they blame you for anyways right? Will it be this one?

I think it goes back to no one solution is better than the other all the time. You have to outway the good and the bad and do what makes you the "happiest" not necessarily the "richest". Although it is much more difficult to live with a single income family. I think people dont realize it can be done still.
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:36 AM
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I agree with catherder about it being ideal that being put out of business by parents staying home would be awesome! However, I don't see that ever happening in this day and age where parents find having a dual income as being the only way to "keep up with the Jones's" and such...

Anyways, here is an article about the book and talks about some of the messages/ideas the author is talking about.

Scroll down to the part where it discusses some of the highlights of her book. While I agree daycare has become a modern day necessity and a part of today's parenting, I do not agree with all of them....

http://www.nationalreview.com/home-f...suzanne-venker

Last edited by Blackcat31; 02-07-2012 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:31 AM
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YAY it is also an Amazon Prime book. I am going to download it for FREE tonight when I get home.

Count me in on wanting to go out of business bc all Moms get to stay home.

I love daycare and I do it so the kids I care for get a wonderfull place to go each day, but I have SEVERAL who are here WAY too many hours each week.
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherder View Post
I hope more and more people read this.

I would LOVE to be put out of business by Moms and Dads staying home with their kids during their tender years. I know it sounds hypocritical, but it is how I feel...

I try really hard to bridge the gap, but I know it will never be the same... I feel guilty knowing what the parents are missing out on, too. You never get a second chance .

I rationalize it because it is what allows me to be home with my own....BUT the guilt stays, nontheless...
I agree with this soooo much! I try to be what the kids need while Mom and Dad are at work, but sometimes you are just spread thin. I will say, having worked in various centers from small, privately owned to large, tribally funded - and now having a home daycare, I belive child care homes are a much better environment than centers are, as far as being close to "the way it should be." I belive in family child care!
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2012, 06:55 PM
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I took this right from the book:

Most people have not spent days and weeks inside a daycare center. They do not know how hard the staff works and how much is still left undone at the end of each day. They do not know how many hugs were not received simply because two staff members cannot hold, love and nurture twelve children the way parents can love their own children. Even though this seems logical, it is not clear until one witnesses this on all kinds of levels for a duration of time before the truth sets in.

AMEN! Everything I have read so far is very realistic. This is coming from someone who has worked in big day care centers.

Bridget
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Country Kids View Post
Is this available in book form? I don't have a Kindle but would really like to read it!
You can download the Kindle app for PC (or whatever device you have) and read it that way.

From my own perspective I agree with Catherder, but this whole subject puts mothers in particular in a situation that's fraught with guilt, no matter which side you end up on.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:10 AM
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These points are one of the reasons I no longer take infants. I love infants. But they need their parents and it goes against my heart to be a part of a system that allows so much time away from a parent during that important bonding time. I only take children over 12 months, only take 4 children tops (most of the time it is 3) and do not have them here more than when their parents are at work. I still feel bad for my little ones that are still here so much but this is the best scenario I can figure out for my family and my daycare families. I have no idea how people can feel comfortable dropping off in a class with 20 or more kids and just one or two workers. My friend worked in a 3 year old class that regularly had over 25 kids and no aide (an aide was supposed to be in there at all times but they could not keep staff long enough). the dynamics of money with childcare changes A LOT of things. you can't be sure what your daycare is telling you because they dont want to lose that income. very very sad IMO
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:33 PM
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I'm buying this book. It looks very intriguing!

I had a newer mama rush to pick-up by closing when she was about a hour late one day. Her little one is in care about 9 hours/day, but she keeps him home every chance she gets. He has lots of appointments too, and most times she keeps him home all day for them. Anyway, she was so surprised to find the same group of kids still waiting for their parents as when she dropped off in the am. She was so amazed and taken aback that they would be here for that many hours each day.

I told her she's one of the good ones , and that alot of parents just don't get it.

I can't wait to read this one! I'm hoping it'll help with how I interact with parents on the provider side of things too.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:49 PM
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This book is hogwash. I know (from experience) that MANY children get more of what they need at daycare - than if they were at home.
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Old 02-08-2012, 07:54 PM
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I got this book....will post a full review here in probably a week or so
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2012, 10:43 PM
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Oh good. We can have a little book club discussion since I will be finishing it up then too. Have you gotten to the part about the cook and the fire drill?
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by CheekyChick View Post
This book is hogwash. I know (from experience) that MANY children get more of what they need at daycare - than if they were at home.
I'd like to hear your specific review of this book. If anyone knows where to get the non-kindle version, please post.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:13 AM
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Bought it...hope it's a good read although I think it will be. Don't have a kindle (I'm a Nook gal ) But they have the cloud reader. I'll post a review in a few days when I finish the book. Yes, I read that fast. No, I don't ignore the kids while I do it. :P
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:20 AM
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Is this available in book form? I don't have a Kindle but would really like to read it!
You can read it "in the cloud". They have a free, downloadable program that will let you read it on your PC. It's not as good as a real book, or a real ebook, but it gets the job done.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:28 AM
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You can read it "in the cloud". They have a free, downloadable program that will let you read it on your PC. It's not as good as a real book, or a real ebook, but it gets the job done.
Can you link it? Windows Reader was canceled/closed/hijacked and I am nervous to download a program I have never heard of without SOMEONE I know having tried it...

WOT keeps telling me everything I googled has a "bad reputation"....
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Old 02-11-2012, 01:28 PM
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My review on "Doing Time"

First, it's an easy read. It just takes a few hours to read but it's packed with some very interesting first hand accounts of life as a center staff assistant spanning a number of years with experience primarily in infant care but also in two to four year old care. She comes to the table with the academic creds and experience to have an opinion worth considering.

I've never worked in a center. My only experience with centers has been nearly a year of watching multiple cameras for two centers to supervise staff and as a health and safety consultant for both centers. The kind of experiences she wrote about are exactly what I watched in the infant and toddler rooms. I could easily relate to her analysis of "one of many" care as I had watched this unfold day after day in my consulting job.

The first thing I was digging was that she defined "teacher" and "school" and used this throughout the book. She made many references to the misconception that center care is school and the staff assistants are being called teachers. I wish she would have gone even further and advised that State's and regulating agencies REQUIRE centers to STOP using these words and to fully disclose what staff workers are indeed licensed teachers and which ones are not. They should also require some academic criteria with performance/testing statistics if they are going to refer to themselves as a school. In my state you can call yourself a preschool and BAM you are a preschool.

She talked about ratios and did a very nice comparison between states. She also explained how center workers turn over rate is extremely high and how between the different shifts of workers, a child can have multiple unskilled workers over a single day, week, months, and years. She described the staff assistants taken off the street and put into the most demanding areas of the center with absolutely no fundamental knowledge whatsoever of caring for infants.

I really liked how she was able to break down the "direct care" of the children into understandable parts to show parents what it actually takes to have multiple like aged children in one room with few adults. She hit the biggies which are feeding, sanitizing, diapering, outdoor (getting them ready, what is done with them outside, and them unloading them back into the building and rooms), and napping. She drew a pretty specific picture of how it is done and the "cheats" built into the system to make it easier for the adult and how these ultimately affect the kids.

I learned a lot about biting reading this. I don't have that in my child care at all so my experience is only with prevention of biting not the full cycle of biting. She broke down the developmental stage meets center life pretty darn well.

She devoted quite a bit of time on illness in child care and how it is allowed, spread, and even mentioned the "Tylenol" disguise. She did not, however, get as specific as she should have with explaining to parents that their baby/child has a very very high likelihood of sharing a worker, toys, and equipment with children who are knowingly sent to child care sick. She did not talk about parents getting their sick kids into care with words like "teething, allergies, and ear infection". She did not explain that there are many parents who care about the health of the other children in their child's room BEFORE their child gets sick but have no care whatsoever AFTER their child gets sick. IMO, she had an obligation to discuss this beyond just a warning to parents that their child will attend child care with kids who have parents who send them sick. I think she should have described EXACTLY how that is done with specific words and commonalities so parents know the right questions to ask before they enroll.

He discussion of SIDS wasn't specific enough but she did include some current research on the risk of children dying in care within the first day or first week of care. There's enough research out there for her to draw from so I was a little disappointed that she didn't talk specifically about non belly sleepers and babies who have not had belly time at home... being put to lay down on their belly to get them to stop crying and how the first day... week of this is when the infant is in most danger for succumbing to sids. She also didn't devote enough to positional asphyxia and motion equipment and confinement equipment. I would have liked to have seen her be more specific about positional asphyxia and how deaths from this have, in the past, been attributed to SIDs when in reality it was caused by position. Before using the statistics to back up her position, she would have been wise to question how these statistics were difficult to compile due to "sids" being a catch all diagnosis for unexplained infant death.. with direct emphasis on how important it is for medical and state examiners to separate positional asphyxia from SIDS.

There is an overwhelming aura that it is marketed to sell to parents so parents are given a soft place to fall on nearly every really important issue. There is the easy "go to" parental placators that explain WHY parents have it so hard with their children when they have to work, prepare meals, care for the home and the children. Her fundamental position is that children are ALWAYS better off with their parents than in care. She describes the care children receive at home with their parents as being idyllic in contrast to the care they have in group care. I was left to feel she was intimating that the "worst kind of riding beats the best kind of walking" when it came to parental care compared to group care.

I think that is something that will sell her book but it rings empty to me. There are other options out there and we are that option.

Finally I was none too thrilled about her two sentence pass at home child care (at the very end of the book) as a viable alternative to doing time in a center. Her consulation advice was that if you must do home child care you are wise to hire a SAHM who is a good friend and only has a couple of kids because you can't really trust someone you don't know who is not monitored. The "safety in numbers" a center provides with multiple staff is the greatest asset a center has. You won't have that with a home provider so make sure you are friends with the home provider and she doesn't have many kids. This suggestion shows very clearly she doesn't understand a successful home provider. Being bff's with my clients and only running a couple of kids while my kid is little wasn't a business plan that would benefit anyone.. specially me.

The issues that pain her in child care don't exist in my care. My kids are in a multi-level aged group group, they have awesome food, exercise, and toys. My staff assistant changes every three years not every three months, we don't pretend to be teachers, we have the HISTORY with each child from birth to kindy, we have very little illness, and we LOVE them very very much. We aren't the same as parental care but we give good care. It is possible to have a child care where the children receive excellent care and have a substantial amount of awake time under their parents care. I do it every day.


In the end, she did her job. She tackled the two biggies that get a parent to choose a center: Safety in numbers and school. Dismissing the safety and explaining why most centers are not schools and the staff are NOT teachers is a job well done to me. It was a great read and I give her four stars of five. It was awesome for me to read child care material that's new to my brain. Likey that
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:31 PM
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I absolutely enjoyed the book but agree that she spends next to no time addressing home daycares. There is a third option out there....perhaps you should write a book nan
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:07 PM
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I read this book as well, and for the most part I agree with what Nannyde said above.

I was slightly put off by the fact that the author wrote this based on two years of part time work during high school, one summer during college, and an unspecified amount of time as an adult. That short amount of experience should not justify an indictment of all daycare centers nationwide. I don't, however, doubt that she is very sincere in everything that she is saying.

I also found her strong bias off-putting, but that could very well be because I work in the field that she is criticizing.

I also did not like the swipe she took at home daycare providers at the end of the book.

This book reinforces for me that I am providing a high quality service to my families, which has always been my goal.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
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I absolutely enjoyed the book but agree that she spends next to no time addressing home daycares. There is a third option out there....perhaps you should write a book nan
She dismisses home child care for the same reason parents choose centers: Safety in numbers

She is saying home day care is unmonitored (no one to watch you) so it's not a good option.

Well the truth is that center workers are not monitored either. Even if there is a video camera system they are most likely not supervised via the system. It's expensive to hire someone to watch rooms. The video surveillance is usually used AFTER the fact to see what happened after something has gone wrong.

I can tell you that even when they KNOW they are being watched they quickly forget. If they know there is any chance that you won't be focusing on them right at the moment they do as they please. What they please is the easiest possible thing for them to do right now. That's the hill you climb with center workers.

The other thing she fails to discuss is the chance of a child being severely injured or killed in someone's care is higher with parents than child care providers. The parents or parental designee (boyfriends of moms being a very common one) are more likely to intentionally harm their child then a day care worker is.

She also had a platform to discuss hours in care. We need to start looking at State and Federal regulations and accreditation standards and stop accrediting centers and homes that allow more than a 45 hour week in care. It's not developmentally appropriate for any kid to be in care longer than that. We need to stop pretending we can give great service to kids who are spending the majority of their awake time in our care.

We need to require centers to stop fooling parents on their staffs education. Quit counting child care training hours as part of their education. They need to be honest and disclose exactly where the staff are in their education. Do they have a degree or do they not? "Working" on a degree means no degree.

I can't tell you the number of times I have heard center parents say the staff are either ece or they are "working" on it. Working on it is where the money is with staff assistants. Once they have a degree they find out the center doesn't want to pay them for it unless they are willing to have 15 kids per adult in the room. It's a continuous circle of "the lowest educated and lowest paid" person is REALLY the one providing direct care to your kid. They may be supervised in a loose way by someone with an education but the hands on direct care falls to uneducated staff state after state after state. Even crazy arse Georgia has the same provision and they are leading the way.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:35 AM
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Nannyde - I have been reading your many posts on this daycare.com and I love your opinions and your experience! Every parent should be so lucky to find home day care such as yours. I finished Doing Time too. I have been a home day care provider and I have worked in centers. I thought it was a really accurate portrayal of center based care.

Perhaps the author did not dig further into home care because she was trying to write about what she saw. First hand experience only. Since she has not worked in home based care she could only mention it and move on. Unfortunately, I believe you would be disappointed to see how some family care options are not as good as your own establishment. Not everyone gets into the business for the right reasons. For example, there is a woman who started a post on this site about keeping "the terds" off of her furniture because of their snot. She could use Nannyde to stop by and offer constructive suggestions for sure!!!

I plan on posting a longer review of Doing Time when I get a minute.
Bridget
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:48 AM
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I don't have a kindle but I just have one question, you mentioned "shortcuts "
What exactly did she mean by that?
Sometimes when I change diapers, I only snap the two outside snaps on onsies and not the middle one. ( feeling guilty for this) I just get busy and have a lot of diapers to change.. Is it this kind of shortcut?
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Nannyde - I have been reading your many posts on this daycare.com and I love your opinions and your experience! Every parent should be so lucky to find home day care such as yours. I finished Doing Time too. I have been a home day care provider and I have worked in centers. I thought it was a really accurate portrayal of center based care.

Perhaps the author did not dig further into home care because she was trying to write about what she saw. First hand experience only. Since she has not worked in home based care she could only mention it and move on. Unfortunately, I believe you would be disappointed to see how some family care options are not as good as your own establishment. Not everyone gets into the business for the right reasons. For example, there is a woman who started a post on this site about keeping "the terds" off of her furniture because of their snot. She could use Nannyde to stop by and offer constructive suggestions for sure!!!

I plan on posting a longer review of Doing Time when I get a minute.
Bridget
Bridget,

I invite you to become a registered user. I know it makes no difference on whether you are or aren't registered if you are offering good advice or input, which I have noticed you have been doing.

There are, however, some perks to being a registered member, such as not having to wait for your posts to be moderated and having access to the off topic section where many discussions are daycare related just on a more personal level among friends so to speak.

Registering also provides this forum with the credibility of being able to say that there are xx amount of registered users, which in my opinion gives the forum a bit more weight and a good reputation. Having a user name and/or avatar doesn't change any of the content of what you say but for some reason does add a bit of weight to your posts as we have an identity to relate it to.

So on that note, I invite you consider registering.
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nannyde View Post
She dismisses home child care for the same reason parents choose centers: Safety in numbers

She is saying home day care is unmonitored (no one to watch you) so it's not a good option.

Well the truth is that center workers are not monitored either. Even if there is a video camera system they are most likely not supervised via the system. It's expensive to hire someone to watch rooms. The video surveillance is usually used AFTER the fact to see what happened after something has gone wrong.

I can tell you that even when they KNOW they are being watched they quickly forget. If they know there is any chance that you won't be focusing on them right at the moment they do as they please. What they please is the easiest possible thing for them to do right now. That's the hill you climb with center workers.

The other thing she fails to discuss is the chance of a child being severely injured or killed in someone's care is higher with parents than child care providers. The parents or parental designee (boyfriends of moms being a very common one) are more likely to intentionally harm their child then a day care worker is.

She also had a platform to discuss hours in care. We need to start looking at State and Federal regulations and accreditation standards and stop accrediting centers and homes that allow more than a 45 hour week in care. It's not developmentally appropriate for any kid to be in care longer than that. We need to stop pretending we can give great service to kids who are spending the majority of their awake time in our care.

We need to require centers to stop fooling parents on their staffs education. Quit counting child care training hours as part of their education. They need to be honest and disclose exactly where the staff are in their education. Do they have a degree or do they not? "Working" on a degree means no degree.

I can't tell you the number of times I have heard center parents say the staff are either ece or they are "working" on it. Working on it is where the money is with staff assistants. Once they have a degree they find out the center doesn't want to pay them for it unless they are willing to have 15 kids per adult in the room. It's a continuous circle of "the lowest educated and lowest paid" person is REALLY the one providing direct care to your kid. They may be supervised in a loose way by someone with an education but the hands on direct care falls to uneducated staff state after state after state. Even crazy arse Georgia has the same provision and they are leading the way.
Read all this a couple of times and hope I understand what you are saying. Correct me if I'm wrong.

What do you do with the parents that do work more than 45 hours a week? Would you just not take their child? I know of one family (I don't have them) but the commute is an hour each way. Then they are at work 9 hours. Right there you have an 11 hour day 5 days a week. I don't think there would be much you could do but not take them. At least they are working and not sitting home collecting off the state and still putting them in childcare.

Training hours count here even for in home childcare providers. I have to have so many hours a year to keep my liscense. Also, I can actually do a program through certain trainings to earn my early childhhood education. Our CCR&R guide you through the trainings for this. You never have to go to college to obtain the degree is my understanding. So really you can be working on it and it take quite a few years. I do know of someone who took 8 years to receive a business degree doing it on line but they were honestly working on it those 8 years.

Also, another post you were saying I think is that they shouldn't be able to call themselves teachers if they aren't one. In my state you can work in a private school as a teacher and not have to have a teaching degree. Alot of the centers here are "private schools" and go up to 8th grade. So legally they can hire them and call them teachers. What is funny is most of the children that go to this one here-most go pre-k and kindergarten then go to public schools. The ones I have known and my neice who is a teacher has told me quite a few from this center have been her students are very, very smart! They score exceedingly high on all state testing, usually in the tag program, and just blow your mind! So maybe they don't have degree's but they are doing something right!

Just a few points I know from personal experience. I think like the food program, childcare is so vast from state to state that there is no way to make it come under one umbrella.
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:19 AM
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I ask the same question as Country Kids. I have a mom that works 48 hours a week, plus commute time, so, over 50 hours a week. Dad lives out of town, so its basically dcm and me raising this baby. I can't be her mom, but I can be a stable force in her life, love her and provide some consistency for her. I know she's better off with more mom-time, but jobs are scarce around here, and sometimes, the choices are difficult.

I don't feel guilty about providing a space for this mom, I subscribe to the "it takes a village" theory. The more people who love a child, the better their chances of a happy, successful life. I'm just part of the baby's village.

Of course mom and I both wish it were different, and maybe someday, it will be, but for now, it is what it is. Always open to ideas and suggestions for making things better around here, for moms, kids, and myself!
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:01 PM
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Read all this a couple of times and hope I understand what you are saying. Correct me if I'm wrong.

What do you do with the parents that do work more than 45 hours a week? Would you just not take their child? I know of one family (I don't have them) but the commute is an hour each way. Then they are at work 9 hours. Right there you have an 11 hour day 5 days a week. I don't think there would be much you could do but not take them. At least they are working and not sitting home collecting off the state and still putting them in childcare.

Training hours count here even for in home childcare providers. I have to have so many hours a year to keep my liscense. Also, I can actually do a program through certain trainings to earn my early childhhood education. Our CCR&R guide you through the trainings for this. You never have to go to college to obtain the degree is my understanding. So really you can be working on it and it take quite a few years. I do know of someone who took 8 years to receive a business degree doing it on line but they were honestly working on it those 8 years.

Also, another post you were saying I think is that they shouldn't be able to call themselves teachers if they aren't one. In my state you can work in a private school as a teacher and not have to have a teaching degree. Alot of the centers here are "private schools" and go up to 8th grade. So legally they can hire them and call them teachers. What is funny is most of the children that go to this one here-most go pre-k and kindergarten then go to public schools. The ones I have known and my neice who is a teacher has told me quite a few from this center have been her students are very, very smart! They score exceedingly high on all state testing, usually in the tag program, and just blow your mind! So maybe they don't have degree's but they are doing something right!

Just a few points I know from personal experience. I think like the food program, childcare is so vast from state to state that there is no way to make it come under one umbrella.
I would not even interview a family that had a 55 hour work/travel schedule. I know that my home is not a proper place for a child that many hours a week. I could never provide what they need for that many hours a week. The child would be profoundly unhappy here and the parent/child relationship would not work for me. I like taking care of kids who have substantial AWAKE time with their parents every day. I am experienced in caring for those kids. I don't have experience with children who have only a couple of awake hours a day with their parents. I don't have experience with parents who are only caring for their kids awake a couple of hours a day. My expertise and my environment is specificall designed for children who have AWAKE care by their parents every day.

The classes we have here in Iowa are set at about the eigth grade level. They are not equivallent in any way to even a high school level of academics. The classes are not suitable for college level credit or college level learning. Taking classes here for your registration requires twelve hours per year of training and that training is aimed at individuals with less than a GED.

The staff assistants in centers are taking THESE classes and they are not even required to take them until they have been at a center for a full calander year. Because of the high turnover in centers you can have workers that have never had to have a single class in child development. They are also not even required to have even basic first aid or cpr until they have been there a year. The only thing they have to have to work here in Iowa is a mandatory reporter training (four hours) after they have been at the center for three months. That's it. They don't have to have a GED, HS diploma, or any experience. If they follow the normal job change as the ones who came before them they could go years before they have to actually take one of our low level classes.

They should NEVER be referred to as teachers and "working on it" needs to be removed from the centers ability to advertise their services. The should be required to fully disclose what the HAVE not what they say they are doing or say they are going to do. They should also be required to explain to parents that the classes the staff DO take are NOT college level classes. They are child CARE classes and they are set for the least common denominator in skill and education. I've taken 240 plus hours of the classes here and not a minute of any of them were at the level of one easy class in high school much less college.

Parents are being deceived plain and simple.
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:50 PM
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I finished the book a few days ago and found it incredibly accurate to my experience working in a center here in Canada. I was in the toddler room. I had just finished my Bachelor of Education, but because I didn't have an ECE diploma, I wasn't allowed to be called a teacher

I was constantly over ratio doing the job of two people when my partner went on mat. leave. The director was a phone call away, so "technically" we were legal . It was WAY too much work for me, but I was young and needed the job so I kept my mouth shut.

I almost lost one toddler once when I was taking 10 of them from the yard back inside, and he darted off into the road. I left 9 wandering in the center driveway to grab the runaway out of the path of an oncoming vehicle. The parents never heard about that one.

So much of what the author described, I remember quite clearly. I also came away from working at a center with the strong opinion that my children would never go to a daycare center.

I do agree with her that kids are MUCH better off (in the majority of cases) being raised by a parent or very close relative. Yes, the kids that came out of our center were "smart: -- they knew how to count, their ABCs, how to get their own winter gear on, how to line up, how to eat on their own with minimal mess. But there was always a constant crying in that room. I could never have enough arms for all of them. Someone was always hurting themselves, stealing someone else's toy, biting someone, or pulling someone's hair. If there was a poopy diaper, I couldn't change it til the scheduled time. Our change area was up a flight of stairs out of sight of the room. Because we served food in the toddler room, we couldn't change diapers there.

That is NOT how children are supposed to be raised. Warehoused in one room, filed outside for fresh air, sleeping on cots side by side across the playroom floor.

What the author said about center care also does ring true about home daycare, but to a lesser degree. Children DO have to learn to be one of many. Yes, they would learn that with multiple siblings in their own home too, but in my experience, siblings don't all need the same level of care at the same time. In my home daycare, my kids are all between 12 months and 30 months, so they all still need a good amount of hands-on maintainance, leaving less time for cuddling, hugs and being loved on. And I can totally see it in their behaviour . Either form of daycare should only be used as needed (ie. when the parent is actually at work or school), and awake time together with parents should be maximized.

Overall, it's a great book. Not over the top by any means, just incredibly realistic. I wish all parents would read it before considering either a daycare center or a home daycare.
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:39 PM
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Regarding the education discussions, I have seen several different daycare facilities ads for "teachers" in my area and the minimum requirement is a high school graduation with 6 credits of early childhood development degree. That is two classes and not necessarily anything that relates to childcare....it could be general ed courses with a declared major of early childhood. So that being said, these parents may be under the assumption that the "teachers" are degreed or "working on it" when in reality it the "teacher" could be a freshman in college with no hands on experience with kids whatsoever.

Most people know in general that daycare workers are not highly paid. How they expect degreed and experienced teachers on those wages is crazy. Really, I would imagine that many parents are concerned or aware of these discrepancies but feel that they have found the best that they can and just hope for the best for their child. Pretty scary if you ask me. Or they hope that the "teachers" are doing this low paying job because they love children but let's be real here and agree that we all know plenty of daycare workers that do this for many reasons that do not include a passion to care for children all day.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:44 PM
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I haven't read all of the book, but there are certainly some issues in centers that are problematic. However, I've been on both sides -- my eldest was in childcare from 2 1/2 months to 2.5 years and my my youngest from 2 1/2 months to 7 months. Both were in center care, albeit small centers. Firstly, I do think you can tell if your children are not happy somewhere. With our eldest, one well-known center with all the bells and whistles seemed like a great option at first, but after several days, we could tell it wasn't for her -- nothing wrong with the center; it just wasn't a good fit. We subsequently found another center that was a better fit. Fast foward 10 or so years and I am now in the position of working as a director for a privately-owned daycare center. Yes, I see some problems -- group care is group care -- it's hard to cater to each individual. However, on the other side of the coin, there are some children whose family life is far from ideal and for whom center care provides a sense of stability, not only in the routine of center care, but by the provision of nutritious snacks and lunches. Again, I'm not saying that center care is perfect, but there are some pluses and -- despite the low pay and sometimes stressful work conditions -- there are still many in the field who are well qualified and really do care about the children in our care.
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Old 02-17-2012, 10:41 AM
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Snapdragon, I agree that some parents are not capable of taking good care of their kids and that daycare can afford some stability. But that is not the general rule of thumb. Will check out this book for sure. Parents do need some insight into what our day is like as workers.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:24 PM
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Snapdragon, I agree that some parents are not capable of taking good care of their kids and that daycare can afford some stability. But that is not the general rule of thumb. Will check out this book for sure. Parents do need some insight into what our day is like as workers.
I don't disagree with you, which is why I said "some parents." Also, it's not so much that they are not capable of taking good care of their kids either -- that's not what I meant -- just sometimes family life is unstable (parents/family living in temporary housing as just one example).

You are right that parents need some insight into daycare -- there's much that can be improved. However, my point was there are many caregivers who truly love working with children and I would hate all to be tarnished with the same brush - kwim?
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:40 PM
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I just started reading it and I LOVE it.

I have always been anti daycare for my family. My friends who know this about me were puzzled when I started keeping kids before and after school for a supplemental income. However, I have told each one the same thing: You still don't see me putting MY kids in daycare, do you? There ya go.
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:15 AM
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While I havent read the book, I might if I can get it free somehow, but to me it seems like it is giving parents more to worry about when they probably feel guilty about leaving their kids in care in the first place.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:15 PM
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I've been reading this forum for a while, but I just registered so I could respond to this post.

I totally agree with everyone's sentiments. I have been a home care provider and I currently work in a center. The center I work in is part of a large international chain. The company's centers are immaculate, the training is good, the pay is above industry standard, the standards they hold employees to are high and in general they (a bit location dependent) treat teachers as professionals. They actually focus a lot on observation and assessment of children. Parents get parent/teacher conferences, lesson plans, objectives tailored specifically to their child, a truly open door policy, daily sheets with pictures of their children, emails, phone calls from teachers etc. Teachers even call parents and write a detailed report as soon as their child gets a minor boo boo. Customer service is held in high regard and parents get a lot of it. I would go so far as to say they are the best company to work for if you do choose this profession.

Despite all this, group care is group care. Unless it is a Montessori, these children are all the same age group with all the same needs. In a family with multiple children or even a home child care environment the children are multi aged, which helps. We do provide excellent care, but we still deal with the biting, the inability to properly care for children with special needs and burnt out teachers. The teachers that get overwhelmed the most are the infant and toddler teachers. Twos teachers are not too far behind. This is because regardless of everything that teachers do, they are still paid very little. Yes, they pay a few dollars above industry standard, but industry standard is just over minimum wage anyway. The most a degreed (read B.A in ECE) teacher can make is about $13.00 in my state (in my company). Other, less prestigious centers around here only pay about $9.50 for a B.A. Then teachers have to worry about losing hours when there are not many children and what not.

That's the main reason I'm pursuing a MA program in elementary education. Despite my love for what I do, I still need to survive. All of the co-workers that I have ever had have one thing in common. They depend on someone else financially. No, elementary teachers are not rolling in the dough, but at least they make more than a few dollars over minimum wage.

I've come to the conclusion that this field is not for people like me...young professional people who care about education and want to make a living at the same time (unless you're a director or run an in home). It is for people straight out of college or still in college "working on it" who need to get their feet wet with working with children. These people most likely still live with their parents, have a spouse with a decent income, or something similar. It can also be good for older people who have retired and need extra income.

All in all, I don't blame parents if they have to put their children in child care. It is unfortunate because the people that need child care the most (those with low income who need to work two jobs just to make ends meet) end up with the most ridiculously horrible care conditions possible. They can never afford to place their kids where I work. Heck, I can't afford it! Yes, some people do need child care and I don't fault them for it. I don't look down on them either. However, just know that it will never be like the one on one care and attention that mom or dad can provide. Never.
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:25 PM
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We need to require centers to stop fooling parents on their staffs education. Quit counting child care training hours as part of their education. They need to be honest and disclose exactly where the staff are in their education. Do they have a degree or do they not? "Working" on a degree means no degree.

I can't tell you the number of times I have heard center parents say the staff are either ece or they are "working" on it. Working on it is where the money is with staff assistants. Once they have a degree they find out the center doesn't want to pay them for it unless they are willing to have 15 kids per adult in the room. It's a continuous circle of "the lowest educated and lowest paid" person is REALLY the one providing direct care to your kid. They may be supervised in a loose way by someone with an education but the hands on direct care falls to uneducated staff state after state after state. Even crazy arse Georgia has the same provision and they are leading the way.

Yes, centers definitely mislead parents. In GA (where I am) they are now requiring all caregivers to have at least a CDA. Many centers tell parents that their staff either have a CDA or are "working on it." The CDA is just the first step though. Lead teachers are not even required to have AAs...forget about B.As This doesn't mean that someone who has no higher education can't care for children. I did it for years without a degree. However, having a degree does strengthen your knowledge and what you can do to help children and families. It also helps to professionalize the field (a whole 'nother topic).
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:43 AM
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Yes, centers definitely mislead parents. In GA (where I am) they are now requiring all caregivers to have at least a CDA. Many centers tell parents that their staff either have a CDA or are "working on it." The CDA is just the first step though. Lead teachers are not even required to have AAs...forget about B.As This doesn't mean that someone who has no higher education can't care for children. I did it for years without a degree. However, having a degree does strengthen your knowledge and what you can do to help children and families. It also helps to professionalize the field (a whole 'nother topic).
http://nrckids.org/STATES/GA/ga_learning.pdf

(2) Teacher/Lead Caregiver.
(a) A center must have a designated teacher/lead caregiver for each group of children.

And here's the GROUPS: The bolded is the total number of kids in each GROUP where there has to be someone with an education. The other is the ratio.


Infants less than one (1) year old or
children under eighteen (18) months who
are not walking 1:6 12
One (1) year olds who are walking 1:8 16
Two (2) year olds 1:10 20
Three (3) year olds 1:15 30
Four (4) year olds 1:18 36
Five (5) year olds 1:20 40
Six (6) years and older 1:25 50

So simple math tells you that the majority of the children will be cared for by Aides.

(4) Caregivers/Aides.
(a) A center may employ caregivers/aides to assist the teacher/lead caregiver in the care
of children in any group within the center. No caregiver/aide who is 16 or 17 years of age
shall be solely responsible for children.
(b) Qualifications of Caregivers/Aides.
1. Be at least sixteen (16) years of age;
2. Have current evidence of successful completion of a biennial training program in
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a triennial training program in first aid
provided by certified or licensed health care professionals and which covers the provision
of emergency care to infants and children if the caregiver is to be counted as part of the
fifty percent (50%) of the child care staff with the required current evidence of CPR and
first aid training;
3. Participate in the orientation and training required by these rules;
4. Not be suffering from any physical handicap or mental health disorder that would
interfere with the person's ability to perform assigned job duties adequately and in
accordance with these rules;
5. Never have been shown by credible evidence, e.g., a court or jury, a Department
investigation or other reliable evidence to have abused, neglected or deprived a child or
adult or to have subjected any person to serious injury as a result of intentional or grossly
negligent misconduct. The Department may request an oral or written statement to this
effect at the time of application or at any other time. Upon said request, the caregiver/aide
or staff shall provide this statement to the Department.
6. Not have a criminal record; and
7. Not have made any material false statements concerning qualifications requirements
either to the Department or to the proposed or current licensee or commission holder.

The centers were very much behind putting tight regulations on home care because it makes them so much money. If the kid is under THEIR roof they get to have huge ratios and huge numbers of kids per "teacher". If they are under their roof they get to have the kid taken care of by someone who doesn't even have a GED or a HS education.

Just to compare Georgia to Iowa for centers;

Birth to two in Iowa is one adult per four kids under two.
Birth to one is one adult per SIX in Georgia
One year old to two is one to EIGHT in Georgia (that's TWICE the number of Iowa)
Two to three year olds is one to TEN in Georgia. Iowa is one to SIX
Three to four year olds is one to FIFTEEN in Georgia. Iowa is one to EIGHT
Four to five year olds is one to EIGHTEEN in Georgia. Iowa is one to TWELVE

Now you see their HUGE ratios and then look at how they do GROUPS.

Georgia's new "educational standards" for child care providers has done NOTHING for the actual kids. They've pushed kids from home care to centers where they endure huge ratios and huge groups where only a very small handful of people on site have to even have a GED.

It's all about MONEY. It's not about kids.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:26 PM
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It's all about MONEY. It's not about kids.
This is very true. I definitely know the state "standards" which are clearly bare minimum (if that) to keep kids alive until their parents come get them... meaning fed and diapered.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:27 AM
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I haven't read the book and I don't really plan too! I know from experience exactly what she's talking about. I remember when I was completing my ECE and having to do placements I would cry myself to sleep some nights because of the things I'd seen and experienced. Being 'told off' for comforting a crying child or teachers (an ECE is a teacher here) making sarcastic and snide remarks to bewildered children and then having a laugh about it.

This is the reason I chose to do home childcare when my daughter was born. I gave up a unionized position making a lot of money (in daycare standards) to be at home making 1/4 what I was making because I didn't trust anyone. The one daycare I did trust, which is where I worked, was 45 minutes away and I didn't want the commute with my baby. Some parents I know put more time and energy into picking out a new car then they do choosing care for their children. I just got contacted by a woman looking for care in 2 weeks!! How is she supposed to help her child transition to a stranger in 2 weeks??!! UGH.

The state of daycare is beyond ridiculous. Low pay makes workers very apathetic. Being overworked is hard on morale especially when you're making a low wage. Parents disrespect is also hard on childcare providers. It's the crappiest job on earth if you think about it!! Unless you are very dedicated to the profession I don't see why anyone would choose this line of work. Everything gets swept under the rug because they're "only children".
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:57 PM
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Ariana, I agree! I know some good providers and they still are not what I would want my child to be doing all day. No matter what way you slice it, daycare is not ideal ESPECIALLY for kids under 2! There is a reason why humans don't have litters. We aren't made to care for tons of little ones and little ones need more than that too.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:47 AM
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The state of daycare is beyond ridiculous. Low pay makes workers very apathetic. Being overworked is hard on morale especially when you're making a low wage. Parents disrespect is also hard on childcare providers. It's the crappiest job on earth if you think about it!!
Good post

I think it's so interesting that the author pounded the "teacher" concept and how it was so misleading to parents. I think it's a diservice to the staff assistants too. I think they get called TEACHER by parents and directors but inside their heart they know that if they really WERE teachers that they would be given a LOT more pay and respect.

It feels like the centers use this word first to deceive the parents into thinking their kid gets school... but also to give the employee something GREAT that's free to the center. Saying... or calling them "teachers" is free for the centers... doesn't cost them anything but in reality the concept of a 'teacher" goes right out the window the second the person hits the door. When you have the responsibility to teach but not the skill set to really do it.. you can't be happy in the job.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:05 PM
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Good post

I think it's so interesting that the author pounded the "teacher" concept and how it was so misleading to parents. I think it's a diservice to the staff assistants too. I think they get called TEACHER by parents and directors but inside their heart they know that if they really WERE teachers that they would be given a LOT more pay and respect.

It feels like the centers use this word first to deceive the parents into thinking their kid gets school... but also to give the employee something GREAT that's free to the center. Saying... or calling them "teachers" is free for the centers... doesn't cost them anything but in reality the concept of a 'teacher" goes right out the window the second the person hits the door. When you have the responsibility to teach but not the skill set to really do it.. you can't be happy in the job.
I never looked at it that way but you're right in most instances. Luckily when I worked at a centre we made similar wages to regular teachers, so starting salary at $43K and we have the same union. My particular job was very coveted and it made leaving extremely difficult. It's so sad that this is the ONLY ECE job in my city that pays a liveable respectable wage. Before I worked there I was making $10 an hour That's barely above poverty levels.

Right now in Ontario ECE's are being paired with teachers in the full-day kindergarten. According to all the information on it, the ECE is an equal partner to the teacher (leads class equally etc) yet only makes $30K compared to $50K for a teacher. So we're supposed to do the exact same job for less money? How is that for perpetuating the stereotype that ECE's are worthless and creating low morale. We have more education in terms of child development yet we're seen as less educated and 'worth' less yet they need our expertise in the classroom. I have even seen comments on FB about whether or not parents should give the ECE's Christmas gifts....again we're seen as worthless assistants to the God-like teacher. barf.
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Old 03-05-2012, 01:22 PM
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Default Nightline

I thought of this book when I saw Nightline this weekend. A whole inside investigation into who is working at day care centers.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:20 AM
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I tried out three different centers trying to find a good one before I finally opened my HDC. ALL of them were cheating ratios and cutting corners.

The last one I worked at was great for about a year, I had a class of 7 children that I just loved. After that the director started ramping up the numbers. I quit when she enrolled a 13th child into my class (limit is 8) and refused to add an assistant. I reported the daycare several times and nothing was done.

Don't trust them about the background checks either. At the last center there was an employee who had had 3 of her children removed by social services, one on probation for drugs, and one on probation for assault. The first one quit on her own accord, the second worked there until she blew it and went to prison, and the third worked there for several more years.

Children absorb the values of their caregivers. Children are not safer in a center just because its a center.
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Old 04-10-2012, 10:13 PM
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Those poor kids. And why didn't the parents notice or say anything when they saw the numbers go way up???
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ariana View Post
I never looked at it that way but you're right in most instances. Luckily when I worked at a centre we made similar wages to regular teachers, so starting salary at $43K and we have the same union. My particular job was very coveted and it made leaving extremely difficult. It's so sad that this is the ONLY ECE job in my city that pays a liveable respectable wage. Before I worked there I was making $10 an hour That's barely above poverty levels.

Right now in Ontario ECE's are being paired with teachers in the full-day kindergarten. According to all the information on it, the ECE is an equal partner to the teacher (leads class equally etc) yet only makes $30K compared to $50K for a teacher. So we're supposed to do the exact same job for less money? How is that for perpetuating the stereotype that ECE's are worthless and creating low morale. We have more education in terms of child development yet we're seen as less educated and 'worth' less yet they need our expertise in the classroom. I have even seen comments on FB about whether or not parents should give the ECE's Christmas gifts....again we're seen as worthless assistants to the God-like teacher. barf.

That totally pisses me off that ECE's make so much less than the teachers. My DD will be starting kindergarten in September. It is now full day, and she will have a teacher and an ECE in her classroom. We actually go this evening to the school. I called the school and asked if the teacher and ece were going to be there, and she said well of course the teachers would be there but she had no idea about the ece's. Just goes to show how undervalued we really are as a supposed community of educated professionals.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:53 PM
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I hope more and more people read this.

I would LOVE to be put out of business by Moms and Dads staying home with their kids during their tender years. I know it sounds hypocritical, but it is how I feel...

I try really hard to bridge the gap, but I know it will never be the same... I feel guilty knowing what the parents are missing out on, too. You never get a second chance .

I rationalize it because it is what allows me to be home with my own....BUT the guilt stays, nontheless...
These words of yours are what I have been preaching since I closed my commercial facility in 2008.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:54 PM
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These words of yours are what I have been preaching since I closed my commercial facility in 2008.
amen. I feel the same way and couldn't have put it any better.
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  #53  
Old 05-31-2013, 03:57 AM
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I don't have a Kindle. Does anyone know where I can get this in a paperback?
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:25 AM
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I never looked at it that way but you're right in most instances. Luckily when I worked at a centre we made similar wages to regular teachers, so starting salary at $43K and we have the same union. My particular job was very coveted and it made leaving extremely difficult. It's so sad that this is the ONLY ECE job in my city that pays a liveable respectable wage. Before I worked there I was making $10 an hour That's barely above poverty levels.

Right now in Ontario ECE's are being paired with teachers in the full-day kindergarten. According to all the information on it, the ECE is an equal partner to the teacher (leads class equally etc) yet only makes $30K compared to $50K for a teacher. So we're supposed to do the exact same job for less money? How is that for perpetuating the stereotype that ECE's are worthless and creating low morale. We have more education in terms of child development yet we're seen as less educated and 'worth' less yet they need our expertise in the classroom. I have even seen comments on FB about whether or not parents should give the ECE's Christmas gifts....again we're seen as worthless assistants to the God-like teacher. barf.

To be fair (I am an ECE who has many ECE friends working in kindergarten), the ECE is an equal as in working with the children. BUT all the extra developmental documentation required now (a portfolio is being done for each child), the testing, the report cards, the curriculum is all the responsibility of the teacher. The ECE's actual role in the class is to take the boards educational requirements and help turn them into a playbased experience. In reality the teacher has much more responsibility and work load as far as the paper work end of things. The ECE is there for the classroom hours of the day helping present the curriculum and working with the students (as well as prep work for activities and conferencing with the teacher about specific children and how to implement curriculum.) There day ends when the school day ends. This is why they are paid less. Now if they ever move to having ECE's solely running kindergarten classrooms instead of having a teacher in there too (which has been talked about for the last thirty some odd years) Then I would say the ECE needs to be paid more because they would have all the responsibility that now lies with the teacher.

Now you also have to keep in mind the scenario I have laid out is the perfect one. In reality in a lot of classrooms, since it is really up to the teacher on how to partner with the ECE, a lot of ECE's are doing very little other than prepping crafts, setting up centres and interacting with the children. My friend who is in this type of classroom says, "That's fine, pay me $20 plus an hour to do crafts, I'll take it."
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:35 PM
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I don't have a Kindle. Does anyone know where I can get this in a paperback?
If you can't find it in print form there is a free kindle app for PC, android and iPhone. That's how I read it.
ETA - it looks like I can loan this out, so if you want to borrow it just PM me your email and I'll get t to you.
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:00 PM
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I never went to daycare as a child. From age 6, I was left alone with my sister, age 8 every morning at six am until every afternoon at 600 pm.

I had to get up, make mine and my sisters breakfast, we got ready for school and our ride took us to school and brought us home.

We stayed there in the afternoon alone until 600 pm.

During the summer, we were alone all day six days a week.

I often wonder how different it would have been had we had a sitter etc.

At age 13, I had to drive five miles to school without a license, as most of the rural kids did. The one town cop knew it, and he sat at the town limits and kept an eye on us.

Personally I think it would have been better to have had daycare. There was no daycare where I grew up.

But my neighbors five miles away often stopped to check on us and bring us afternoon snacks.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:14 PM
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Default From working to daycare back to working mom

Here is what I have found out.

I worked and our kids went to daycare for 3 hours per day 3 days per week in the beginning. My husband or I always switched shifts so that one or the other would be home the MAJORITY of the time. That said, I felt that I missed out a lot. I decided to do in-home child care and opened up my licensed facility.

When I opened up my facility, I began 24 hours. I felt that it was too much and cut it to 15 then 12-13. I would open as early as 5am and close at 6pm but no one would get more than 12 hours at once. I was EXHAUSTED.

I loved my job at first. In fact, I was just making money all over the place. The first 8 years were perfect as far as the business went. But, I noticed that my kids were acting out. My kids wanted more attention than I could give them. While I may have been home, I feel that I missed a lot that way because I always had some other obligation to someone else and their children. My husband and I could not go out to dinner because planning for it always failed. The parents needed me. No vacations were had and by the time I was "off", my kids wanted attention that I couldn't really give them because hey, I had to clean up and plan activities and menus and before you knew it, it was the kids' bed times. It was no better than working out of the home, except I was there all day and the kids saw me taking care of the 'other' kids all the time. (While I am fairly certain I tried to keep things equal, I know that's not how the kids feel).

I was limited on things I could do as well due to space in my car. It's not like we could just go out on a whim. Then, as the kids got older and started to go to school, the daycare started working less and less. I couldn't really take a lot of youngers because dragging them around was not the ideal situation. Teachers' conferences would be during the day---when I had lots of kids. I couldn't concentrate on my own kids education because I was busy with other kids. It was like the teacher only got 1/2 my attention. And sports? I'd have to rush to sports, meet parents everywhere and hope that I could make my kids events on time. The only plus to this was I was always off on weekends, so if they had a night game that I'd miss, at least I knew I could be there Saturdays.

Then came the last 2 years. Economy tanked and with it, the business. My normal 6 kids all ended up leaving around the same time. My first kid moved 3 hours away because mom could not find a good job as a teacher in our area. Then came the 2nd child whose father was active duty Army and went to MO. Shortly after, the 3rd/4th/5th kids mom got out of the program she was in (state aided daycare) and could no longer afford daycare. And the 6th kid about 6 months later was active duty Army also and went to TX. During the interim I had some drop in kids, but the dynamic was not the same. I had the other children years and it was very hard to let them go. Then I got 2 children as replacements for 2 years and then a bunch of drop-in parents. The 2 children I got as replacements ended up as emergency foster children for 3 straight months. Then 'dad' decided to take over and took the kids away while mom was still in the hospital with cancer. I was never more upset in my life when my 2 babies left, even with my others, these 2 somehow were the hardest to let go.

After those 2 ended up leaving, I had nothing but trouble parents. Some were on state aid, and after several parents "daycare hopping" and trying to avoid copays, I stopped taking state aid. I just felt like they were sending me the types of people I didn't want around my family or kids.

So I started my cash only. I had some drop in people, regulars, but no one really stable. When it came to payments or late fees, parents would just leave one by one. I even had 2 of the parents, after trying to collect, call CPS and say that I abused their children. Of course, those cases were unfounded, but still! It was not a good situation. I just couldn't find good parents.

Then the final summer I did daycare, I found one parent and had only 2 kids in care, but the kids were great! At first, so was mom. Then the stories came. Everyone always has a story. So, for 2 months, I kept her kids for her with VERY little pay, and come to find out her own mom outs her as lying about being low-income and told me not to settle for the pay I was getting.

I quit 2 weeks later. For about a month or so, I had zero prospects. No phone calls, no children, no interviews. It was peaceful. I could do more with my kids, so I took advantage of this time.

Then I started getting calls, but people were trying to get me to change everything about my curriculum, my pay, and my hours. They would not respect me, my time or my family's time. I decided that enough was enough and started applying for outside jobs.

I ended up frustrated, sad, and hopeless and thought I'd never get hired ANYWHERE and would have to go back to a failing business.

Luckily, about 3 weeks later, I started getting job offers, and I took all of them. The day I was supposed to start the highest paying job @ $15/hr as a per diem nurse's aid, I got a job for more money and full time. I jumped on it.

The problem? What to do with my kids! They are all SA's so I figured it'd be easy to find someone who could be there during the year and during summer. It was! I got to choose my shift, and my husband rearranged his again. I now work 10 hour days as does he, so we've finally limited our daycare needs to 2 days per week.

This means: My kids can do their practices, lessons, after school functions AND one of us can still be there for all their Saturday games! They still get socialization at their child care but only for 3 hours during school 2x per week and only 20 hours during summer.

While I hate having to get up in the cold, scrape my car, traipse up to my job in traffic, and I don't even really like what I do (it's redundant work), this has been the best decision ever! My kids are getting mom and dad MORE than when mom was home 24/7.

We are more energized and are more interested in getting away from the house and guess what, we don't have to wait for anyone or to rely on THEIR schedules. We also get paid vacations and holidays without having to fight anyone for them or to wait for our pay or to get excuses as to why we can't be paid or shouldn't be paid for a day off.

I feel that every situation is different, but in our case, the way it worked out, I don't think I'd change anything except maybe WHAT I actually do all day. But no matter how bored I can be at work, I start at one time and get off at one time EVERY SINGLE DAY I work!

I would NEVER EVER return to daycare unless as a last resort. I loved the kids, very very much, but could not stand the parents, the stress, the lack of time off, and the thanklessness of what providers do for parents. I never want my kids to ever feel again that I care more about other people's kids than my own. I never want to have to drag out infants to every game or swim lesson or concert or whatever activity where it makes it hard for me to really pay attention to my children or enjoy them. I never want to feel as though I'm bogged down by people who feel that their lives are more important than my own or my kids' or my husbands' lives.

Working outside the home affords me much more freedom than working inside the home ever did. I am grateful for the time I could be home when the kids were very little, but do not regret for one minute making the leap from SAHM/DCP to WAHM.

.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:47 PM
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I read it on the kindle app too. What I liked is that the author is very fair to daycare workers explaining how hard they work under impossible circumstances. It is kind of a wake up call for parents.
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  #59  
Old 06-05-2013, 10:01 PM
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Just got done reading the book. I think she has a lot of good points about centers. I have never cared for centers since I had a friend who worked in one and then directed one. She said it was just a numbers game. When one class got low they would combine classes so they could send a worker home.

I also agree that home with mom or dad is best but for children that do need to be in daycare an in-home daycare can be a good place. There are LOTS of advantages for infants (and children) who are at an in-home child care. I can have 6 children here with 3 being under 2yo. The infants eat when they like, get changed when they need it,, have a consistent caregiver, have siblings and mixed ages, have no strangers, sleep in a home environment.

I think the parents just need to be observant and know what they are doing when looking for an in-home childcare. I never have openings and have had parents pay for months on end even though dad was laid off to keep their spot here. I have these kids for 5+ years until they go on to real school. I have also been to trainings and see other in-home dcproviders and can tell immediately that I would not leave my child with some of them.
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:10 AM
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I worked in a daycare center when I was younger and never will again! I couldn't stand making kids follow such a strict schedule despite what their needs might be... I love being at home provider - but agree being out out of business because parents stayed home would be great! I also agree being at home providing daycare isn't the same as being a sahm... There are definitely drawbacks for our own kids! But I'm home and raised them and for that I am very grateful!
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