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Old 03-02-2020, 08:54 AM
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Default As a Daycare Teacher, Did I Do Something Wrong?

Hello, wondering if anyone has experienced this…

I work at a daycare with the school kids, kindergarten up to grade 6. One day, a kindergarten mentioned the word sex, or told a girl and boy they should kiss…in front of a group of about 11 students with varying ages, so they all got excited and chatty of course. In the moment, I reminded them it’s not the type or word/s to be talking about at daycare.


Once we went over a rule reminder of not using those words, they’re not nice etc. I went further to ask the child’s older sibling (7-8 years old) where their younger sibling may have heard those words before. (Because it wasn’t the first time these words were used in this context and I wanted to understand where this was coming from). The scenario the sibling explained to me; told me it had to do with hearing mom and dad together, (and what we know happens behind closed doors..)


I assured the child that everything was alright and then told my super about it. I thought she would take it from there, but her reply was suggestions on what I should say to mom. I should have said right away that I wasn’t comfortable with that, but I didn’t.

So, mum’s in a rush, and I felt rushed too, and of course—she became defensive as I told her the little one was using inappropriate words…and that the older one shared some concerning info that may have been related to the words. We just wanted them to be aware of it, I tried to be vague, but she was put off right away—which I can understand, really, but I’m hurt that she believed I asked those questions maliciously.


What is the procedure for this sort of thing? When you suspect a child has witnessed or been exposed to something inappropriate, it should be reported, I know...but we've known this family for years and I just wanted to confirm that this scenario was only an accident. I know that we can't 'investigate' and I didn't think I was interrogating the child, (but I can understand why it sounded that way).


This has been a huge misunderstanding but I've learned from this experience, for sure.

Last edited by Michael; 03-02-2020 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:04 AM
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"I went further to ask the child's older sibling (7-8 years old) where their younger sibling may have heard those words before."

This was the boundary line. None of it was relevant to your students' needs.

This was a hard lesson, you learned from it. Moving on may be the best choice depending on your director's stance.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:26 AM
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I can accept that, thank you. Is this something that I can be reported for?

I've never had a situation like this, and I honestly was trying to understand and make sure this wasn't being discussed with other students, or if it was, I wanted to know exactly 'what' was being gossiped about...so that I could know what I could explain to other parents, if their children went home to talk about what they heard at daycare.

I was not thinking of just the two of them, but of the entire class/other families. I was also suspicious of abuse in the form of neglect, by either purposely or accidentally exposing the children to those things, but I know now that I should have just closed the discussion, and reported it myself, yes...hard lesson learned.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:42 AM
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There is nothing for you to be reported for other than to your director. It could be viewed as an ethics or confidentiality breach. To the parent, it probably felt like a huge breach of trust and a privacy invasion.

A simple apology and maybe taking a couple of training classes on confidentiality and mandated reporter's roles and responsibilities would be all that most directors would ask. We take them annually for a reason.

IMHO, you were simply overreaching. Human sexuality is something kids giggle and talk about, especially since Valentine's Day was last month. It is normal. Unless you see something that really makes you suspect abuse, then report. At no time are we allowed to question children to support our suspicions. That is the professional's job, all we can do is ruin or contaminate an investigation by probing. We should correct the immediate behavior, continue on with our day, then report if we have concerns.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:53 AM
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Thank you, truly.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:01 PM
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Absolutely.

I can assure you, there is no one on this site who has not made a mistake in this field. No one.

Stick around.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:13 AM
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Honestly, you probably shouldn't have asked the older sibling. What difference does it make where the child heard the term. Some families talk very openly about sex, guns, drugs, ect. Saying to the kids we don't talk about at daycare was enough and change the subject and move on was enough.
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