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  #1  
Old 07-15-2015, 09:51 AM
happymom happymom is online now
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Default Switched From Home DCP to a Center

I'm not sure how many of you work in centers but I am struggling a bit with our recent change.

My 3 year old started at a child care center on Monday so today is only his 3rd day. The first day it took him 1hr 20min to fall asleep at nap time. He hasn't napped in over a year, so I knew moving him to a center that required 2 hours of rest time could be challenging. It didn't occur to me that he would be crying on his mat for that long. He told me his teacher came and rubbed his back and he fell asleep. On his report it stated that he had a great day but with difficulties at nap time.

Day 2 he did not nap at all according to his report, but it also didn't say anything in his report regarding his nap time. He tells me he didn't cry (but he also tells me that he took a nap that day....and he's also 3....so you really never know)

What I am trying to learn is when is an appropraite time to talk to his teacher? When I pick him up in the afternoon, his main teacher has gone home for the day and someone else gives me his report. I am working to encourage him to take a nap when the other kids do, I did my best to prep him for it, but I am not having the greatest understanding of how new kids adjust to big changes like this. I don't want him to be a problem and keep other kids awake, etc.

I'm really open to them doing for him what works best for their program, and I want to be able to help, but what's the best way? When I call during the day to find out how he is doing I talk to the office manager at the front desk, she can see him through her window and check on him for me, but I don't really know how to work with them to tackle potential problems like I did with my old DCP (who I am missing terribly right now!! LOL)

Any advice? I'm not sure sure what's appropraite in our new setting and trying to feel it out. Have any of you worked in centers like this before?
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2015, 11:47 AM
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I have never worked in a center, but it seems to me that the best way to communicate with his teacher might be to schedule a meeting with her. Or see if you can email her directly - some centers allow teachers to communicate directly with parents, others want all communication to go through the director.

If you're concerned about what happens during nap time and can get away from work you may want to stop by unannounced during nap time some day.
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:47 PM
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Thanks!

Today I called and talked to the office manager and asked if she could keep an extra eye on him during nap time and that I'd call back mid-way through nap time and find out how he did.

I want to give him more time to settle in and for them to learn his quirks and personalities and everyone get a feel for each other. I'm sure there will be more opportunity for communication but so far it's been a lot less than I am used to.

I am very happy so far! Aside from nap time he's been doing great, he gets a good little report each day and I can tell by how dirty he is when he comes home that he's been playing hard and having fun. He came home with a big ol' skinned knee his first day!!! He was getting very little outdoor playing time previously and I'm so happy he's getting to run and play and he LOVES his "new school"!
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:54 PM
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not to sound harsh, but it's only been a couple of days. They say, whoever they are (lol) that it takes 21+ times to create a habit. So don't be surprised if next week he is still not napping.

At the age of 3, he should be getting at least 11-14 hours of sleep for every 24 hours.

I would not worry about it so much right now, just remind your child of his napping period and in a few weeks if he has still not adjusted, then maybe talk with the teachers.

BUT I love the fact that you are really trying to get your child on board with the new program. big thumbs up for that...wish I had more parents like you...
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:18 PM
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I am being SO impateint, I know!

He's only gone to one other dcp in his life, and he grew up there so I knew how they did things, etc. This is all new, and he is so excited about it, but it's really hard to get information out of him: according to him he eats crackers and cookies for lunch, every day, at both places! Haha! Maybe that's what he WISHES he were eating

It's such a big learning experience for both of us, I remind him each morning that mat time is for sleeping, I'm really trying to encourage it (the extra sleep is MORE THAN welcome) His last DCP just did not have the patience for it so we decided it was not worth the fight every day. I think if everyone naps and they enforce that it's time to lay down.

I struggle because I want to know every aspect of every day and that's just not possible as a working mom. I know it, but I want to do my best while not being an overbearing crazy mom, hahaha!
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:29 PM
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I am being SO impateint, I know!

He's only gone to one other dcp in his life, and he grew up there so I knew how they did things, etc. This is all new, and he is so excited about it, but it's really hard to get information out of him: according to him he eats crackers and cookies for lunch, every day, at both places! Haha! Maybe that's what he WISHES he were eating

It's such a big learning experience for both of us, I remind him each morning that mat time is for sleeping, I'm really trying to encourage it (the extra sleep is MORE THAN welcome) His last DCP just did not have the patience for it so we decided it was not worth the fight every day. I think if everyone naps and they enforce that it's time to lay down.

I struggle because I want to know every aspect of every day and that's just not possible as a working mom. I know it, but I want to do my best while not being an overbearing crazy mom, hahaha!
I hear you. I am sure it is hard not knowing what goes on every day. My understanding with most centers is that because the ratios are so much higher, you loose that open communication you had with your daycare provider. It's just not as intimate anymore.

I have had parents leave me to go to centers and beg to come back and this was one of their biggest complaints.

No news is good news....hard to have to accept, but sometimes that is what it is.

I would maybe just ask the teachers what you can do to help him transition and then go from there. This will let them know that you are on board and want to help. Maybe even on weekends you can start having him lay down for the same time frame to help build the consistency faster, the more consistent his routine, the easier it will be for him to catch on.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:38 PM
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Sounds like you are on the right track. I do have to wonder why the past provider threw in the towel on this. Most of us require a two hour rest time. Now when I say that, if mine at that age are still away after 30 minutes, they can have quiet activities to do on their cot. Lacing cards, books to look at, etc. I agree that at centers it is harder to have the communication due to ratios and staff changes each day. I will tell you that you are the kind of parent I want in my program! So keep trying to work it out.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2015, 03:39 PM
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Great idea!

Thank you. In a way I was looking at having less communication as being a good thing. My old DCP had an instagram account and would post pictures throughout the day some days, and I found myself getting upset when she didn't have time to post, or on days where she posted pictures of other kids and not mine.

I KNEW it wasn't an intentional thing at all, but still, I felt myself having these feelings, which was stupid. It was a luxury and a privilage that I took for granted. I sound like a crazy person.

I'll just keep learning a little bit more every day and eventually I'll know a lot of what happens and what his days are like, I'm excited for that. Thanks again!
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:45 PM
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Great idea!

Thank you. In a way I was looking at having less communication as being a good thing. My old DCP had an instagram account and would post pictures throughout the day some days, and I found myself getting upset when she didn't have time to post, or on days where she posted pictures of other kids and not mine.

I KNEW it wasn't an intentional thing at all, but still, I felt myself having these feelings, which was stupid. It was a luxury and a privilage that I took for granted. I sound like a crazy person.

I'll just keep learning a little bit more every day and eventually I'll know a lot of what happens and what his days are like, I'm excited for that. Thanks again!
I sound just like you ...Total momma bear. I feel the same way and I am glad you brought that up, because I post at then end of each day on FB, no pics of faces, but you can see their arms and legs and tell what they did that day. I don't always get a pic of every child either. I just choose the one that I can crop easily and shows what we were doing. BUt the parents all know which child is theirs based off of the clothing. lol

Well hugs to you and hang in there, it will get better.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2015, 10:39 AM
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He slept for 100 minutes at nap yesterday!

It definitely has taken a little pressure off of me to try to get him in bed by 7:30 every day that he is taking naps sometimes. I'm so happy with how dirty he is when I pick him up, he never wants to leave, he just wants to keep playing.

I'm sure the novelty of a new place will wear off soon, but every day has been a great day, with no tears (aside from nap time and a big fall on the playground) and I'm grateful for that and excited for the future!
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Old 07-17-2015, 11:44 AM
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Glad to hear things are working out for you! The most important part of daycare is to find somewhere you and your child are happy and he can thrive.
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Old 07-17-2015, 12:17 PM
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Glad to hear it is working out. Sometimes these things just need a little time.
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:46 PM
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Sounds like a great update!

I think you have the realistic understanding that center moms will not get the feedback and hand holding that home daycare moms get. The staff and teachers at a center just dont have the time for that. But there are positives to the situation. The structure is providing your child with lots of outdoor time and with naps, things the previous provider gave up on from the sounds of it. You just have to remain positive about what is happening and give yourself and your son the time to adjust. No place will be perfect. It is so hard though because if you were at home, there would still be a lot of questions about you missing your career and all that stuff so no matter what way you slice it, moms have worries. Its just part of the deal. Hang in there!
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:57 PM
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I used to work in a center and each teacher communicated differently with their parents since they had different start and end times to their day. Some teachers that opened and were not there at closing/pick up spoke to parents who had questions at drop off (there was always two staff in the room). If it couldn't be answered/resolved within 5 minutes then they would schedule a phone or in person conference at nap time. Some teachers had "communication journals" that went back and forth from home to school if there were concerns. And again could be followed up with a phone or in person conference at nap time. Parents were told they can call anytime to check how their child was doing. If they called and the teacher was able to speak to them, then they would. If the teacher was doing an activity at the time then the teacher would call back during nap time.

Don't be afraid to ask his teacher how he is adjusting or other questions you may have. Maybe at the end of each week ask how things went that week. Teachers really appreciate it when parents show interest in what is happening at school. This builds your relationship with the teacher and let's them know that you are approachable when there is a problem and when good things happen.

It usually takes about two weeks for new children to adjust to the busy routines and schedule of a big center. Be patient and give it time.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:26 PM
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That's great to hear about your son napping!! I work in a center although I'm a 2 year old caregiver.

I've had a few children come to my room that had not previously been in a center. Same sort of experience- not napping the first few weeks even though they tired. There is a lot going on at a center and for a child not used to it, it can overstimulate them to the point of not wanting to nap until it becomes more familiar to them.

Absolutely ask the front desk about scheduling a conference with the lead caregiver. It can be hard for a caregiver to talk in depth during drop off or pick up because they need to also keep an eye on the other children and be cautious of maintaining your privacy when there are other parents in the room.

In the preschool rooms here they have little workbooks for children who don't nap. My sons occasionally use them- sort of ou on workbooks for 3-5 year olds. Afree about 30-45 minutes the caregivers hand them out to the children still awake. The children know they must stay on their cot with the workbook during rest time.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:07 AM
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We had our first very hard drop off today.

Today and yesterday my little son's usual teacher was not there. Yesterday he was okay with that and ran to go play with some kids. Today he held onto me tight, tried to climb up me. I sat down with him on the floor and tried to ask him why he didn't want me to leave. He was in a panick and wouldn't even look me in the eyes. I walked him to the cafeteria area to see what was for breakfast and try to distract him with that but he still wouldn't let me leave.

Finally an adult at the center came and distracted him by asking if he would want to go for a walk. What are some good tactics to get him to go in without a fight? Or are some days just like this? I'd obviously rather never have hard days....
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:14 AM
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Honestly I wouldn't give it a lot of attention. I would let him cry and move on. The more attention you give it the more he will do it. Likely he will quit crying the second you leave this is almost always a stalling tactic. I am assuming he talks at the age of 3. If he does, he can tell you if something is wrong.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:58 AM
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Honestly I wouldn't give it a lot of attention. I would let him cry and move on. The more attention you give it the more he will do it. Likely he will quit crying the second you leave this is almost always a stalling tactic. I am assuming he talks at the age of 3. If he does, he can tell you if something is wrong.


Hard drops offs are so tough on everyone!
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:25 AM
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Oh yeah, nothing is wrong. He's GREAT at stalling techniques (and I am kind of terrible at handling them to be honest). I really want to get better, but I physically can not leave if he is climbing up me, and I dont feel comfortable yet leaving him in the hall to walk to his classroom by himself especially when no one is at the front desk. I could potentially just put him over the locked half-door and leave him but I feel like someone needs to see him come in so they know he is there.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:30 AM
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Oh yeah, nothing is wrong. He's GREAT at stalling techniques (and I am kind of terrible at handling them to be honest). I really want to get better, but I physically can not leave if he is climbing up me, and I dont feel comfortable yet leaving him in the hall to walk to his classroom by himself especially when no one is at the front desk. I could potentially just put him over the locked half-door and leave him but I feel like someone needs to see him come in so they know he is there.
A teacher may have to help you with this, but likely it isn't the first time they have seen this!
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Old 07-21-2015, 11:03 AM
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Oh yeah, nothing is wrong. He's GREAT at stalling techniques (and I am kind of terrible at handling them to be honest). I really want to get better, but I physically can not leave if he is climbing up me, and I dont feel comfortable yet leaving him in the hall to walk to his classroom by himself especially when no one is at the front desk. I could potentially just put him over the locked half-door and leave him but I feel like someone needs to see him come in so they know he is there.
Can you talk to his teacher and see what they can do? Even if it's just making sure someone is there to make it a quick drop off?
Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:31 PM
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Trying to work though some of these little problems has been tough! Turns out, his teacher quit after he had been there for only a week (I learned a week later from talking to another staff member).

I can tell the daycare is struggling right now and has been borrowing staff from one of the sister centers (this particular center has multiple locations). My son is happy there, but as a parent, I am still struggling trying to learn the staff after these changes especially considering we are still so new.

He's supposed to have a new permanent teacher this week, but I have yet to meet her.

The great news: HE'S NAPPING!!!! EVERY DAY!!! He's falling asleep quickly and staying asleep the entire nap time 1.5-2hrs (we are struggling a bit at home/bedtime with the change --- so if anyone has suggestions in that regards I am happy to listen)
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:07 PM
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Trying to work though some of these little problems has been tough! Turns out, his teacher quit after he had been there for only a week (I learned a week later from talking to another staff member).

I can tell the daycare is struggling right now and has been borrowing staff from one of the sister centers (this particular center has multiple locations). My son is happy there, but as a parent, I am still struggling trying to learn the staff after these changes especially considering we are still so new.

He's supposed to have a new permanent teacher this week, but I have yet to meet her.

The great news: HE'S NAPPING!!!! EVERY DAY!!! He's falling asleep quickly and staying asleep the entire nap time 1.5-2hrs (we are struggling a bit at home/bedtime with the change --- so if anyone has suggestions in that regards I am happy to listen)
darn. unfortunately, that is one of the draw backs of centers. staff change is high.

as for the night time sleep issues. I would just do as the school did and keep a consistent night time routine. if you keep it strict and consistent, he will fall into it. DOn't give in or give up. if bed time is 745, then every night it is that time no matter what. Just like a preschool, we don't ever change the time or say ok youre not tired, you can stay up later. NOPE, it's 745, lights out.

stick to your guns and give it a good month for him to fall into a good night time routine.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:09 PM
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darn. unfortunately, that is one of the draw backs of centers. staff change is high.

as for the night time sleep issues. I would just do as the school did and keep a consistent night time routine. if you keep it strict and consistent, he will fall into it. DOn't give in or give up. if bed time is 745, then every night it is that time no matter what. Just like a preschool, we don't ever change the time or say ok youre not tired, you can stay up later. NOPE, it's 745, lights out.

stick to your guns and give it a good month for him to fall into a good night time routine.
I agree don't give into him. Some of these big centers are horrible for staff turn over. Many times the hours are not great and the pay is low. We have some center owners here, and it sounds to me from reading here that the smaller centers are a little more stable. If you keep having issues maybe you can look for a smaller locally owned center? I bet you would find staff more stable there.
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:56 PM
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Staff turnover has always been the biggest reason why I was leaning away from a center in the first place.

I'm hoping this was just bad timing (after all, a new school year is starting and many of the teachers have been working towards teaching jobs which has generally been the reason for leaving).

I never expected his teacher to be gone so quickly, I took my boy to meet with her a month before he started at the center and we talked about her by name frequently when prepping him for the change. He burst out in tears when I told him she would not be his teacher anymore, he was very fond of her.

I want to give it a lot more time since the center itself is such a great fit and he is really doing well with the consistancy and more rigid schedule. I am building a few relationships with some of the staff who works close with him (one of the ladies I interviewed 3 years ago when he was an infant) -- so I know they absolutely have some solid staff so while turnover may be high in some places, there is still consistancy in the staff. Everyone adores my son, too
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:16 PM
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It is hard when a favorite teacher leaves, but hopefully she is replaced by someone he learns to love as much. It helps when the some of the staff are consistent so it isn't all new people. I hope you and your son continue to enjoy your daycare experience!
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:30 PM
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I hope it continues to work for you. I know how hard this can be.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:32 PM
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I agree don't give into him. Some of these big centers are horrible for staff turn over. Many times the hours are not great and the pay is low. We have some center owners here, and it sounds to me from reading here that the smaller centers are a little more stable. If you keep having issues maybe you can look for a smaller locally owned center? I bet you would find staff more stable there.
I meant don't give in to him when it comes time for bed at night time. We all know how kids will make 1001 excuses not to go to bed.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:04 AM
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I meant don't give in to him when it comes time for bed at night time. We all know how kids will make 1001 excuses not to go to bed.
Yea, I was agreeing. My daughter was the queen of excuses not to when she was little. Now she thinks it is child abuse if we keep her up past nine.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:42 PM
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I agree don't give into him. Some of these big centers are horrible for staff turn over. Many times the hours are not great and the pay is low. We have some center owners here, and it sounds to me from reading here that the smaller centers are a little more stable. If you keep having issues maybe you can look for a smaller locally owned center? I bet you would find staff more stable there.
Centers with decent management, decent pay, and reasonable benefits will usually have the lowest turnover. One of my worst experiences was at a small, local center. There's a couple large chains (maybe national?) that I can think of that have good programs and (generally) treat their staff well. There's a local daycare that's now opened a few other locations that everyone wants to work at (but no one ever can because they're almost never hiring). Turnover will also be higher with the lower positions (aides and assistants) than with higher positions (lead teachers, directing staff).

In my experience, August, December, January, and May tend to be when turnover is highest because of school semesters ending and beginning. And sometimes turnover will cause more turnover. Susy quits because her best friend Jill just quit. Jimmy and Johnny become the new teachers but because they're new, the children test them. Then Johnny quits because the children are struggling with their behavior. Then Jack replaces Johnny but quits because the children are still acting out (and therefor Jack assumes the center is a trainwreck). And it goes on until someone finally is able and willing to handle it.

If your son is doing well, then maybe wait a bit and see if they can get the staffing figured out.

Are you still having trouble with drop-offs?
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:56 AM
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Are you still having trouble with drop-offs?
The last few days I dropped him off were better, not great. No crying and begging, but he was hesitant to stay and it took a staff member to help him in. Last drop off, he was hesitant to even go in the room because there was a toy pony on the floor that should have been put away with the other ponies --- as soon as he picked up the toy pony, he was happy to be dropped off.

The past few days it's been the same staff member at drop off and she has been very helpful and great with him. It's so much better when a staff member sees him coming and knows his name and how to welcome him rather than dropping him off in a room full of playing kids and a staff member who doesn't even look at him until he's been crying for 5 minutes
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Old 08-21-2015, 12:25 PM
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First, I love reading this forum and learning more about daycare in general I think it helps me be a better DCM!

I wanted to update on our situation. My son is napping WONDERFULLY now in daycare after dropping naps over a year ago. He actually likes naps!

Drop off is a hit or miss, but mostly good. It really helps if he has something to look forward to that day. Friday is show-and-tell so we rehearse what he will say about the thing he is bringing and he's so excited to be dropped off on Fridays. I try to put the focus on a thing he can do when I first drop him off "make sure you tell Miss L good morning" or if he has something to stick in his cubby when we first get there, it helps A LOT.

He comes home filthy dirty every day, he has a best friend and knows everyone's name now. I love picking him up after work. He's always outside playing with his friends and I can peak outside and watch him play before he knows I'm there and he comes running to me so happy and tells all his friends goodbye.

He's all recovered from his little injury and I ask him every day if his teachers are putting sunscreen on it and they always are and that makes me feel good because I am worried about a scar. But things are good....there's only been one time where I composed a text to my old DCP begging her to find an opening for him (that I never ended up sending).
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