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  #1  
Old 12-06-2011, 01:01 PM
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Default Observing Before They Go With Me

How many times do you have an interview with a family and they want to come observe how you are with the kids first. This is my 5th interview in 6 months. They have a 6 week old and are first time parents. I had an interview with them last night and the dad just called and said they liked me and had some questions and he wanted to come observe. Is this common to want to come observe?
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:16 PM
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I offer observing for $35 an hour! When can I sign you up for?
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:20 PM
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I have visits with the parents and the child. It's not really the parents coming and observing. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that really. It'd be different if he was bringing his child for a visit with the other kids and was "observing" in that way. Perhaps you could invite him and his child back for a 2nd visit? I think it's a reasonable request if he brings his child too. It'd be a good way for you to observe the child as well My "visits" are 1 hour maximum so as not to disrupt the day.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:24 PM
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The child is only 6 weeks old. He wouldn't be coming to play.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:26 PM
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I don't really do observing. I offer a 4 week trial period. If they aren't satisfied with the level of care their child is receiving, they may exit within that time without penalty.

I also offer one of my current daycare families as a reference.

I've only had 1 family ask. I told her that I charge for that there is a fee for the service and I don't do it under observation. They are welcome to drop off for an hour as a "stay and play" date.

Observation only creates a ruckus among the children. Kids will battle for the alpha dog position and be very attention seeking while people they don't know are there. That's why all interviews are done over naptime or after hours.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:30 PM
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I get this all the time! After I patiently explain to them how pointless it would be for them (my kids are totally different people in front of strangers), and what a huge inconvenience it would be for me, most of them are pretty understanding. It does raise an immediate red flag in my mind though. It's *usually* first time parents but sometimes also from people who I feel will want to micromanage me. It's a deal breaker for me. If they feel they need to observe before choosing me, they can find someone else. I have had a few bad experiences earlier on in my career and I don't want to repeat the disasters.

Sooma
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:31 PM
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Yikes! I'm scared. I don't know what to do.

I was thinking of just doing a game while he was here with the older kids; 6, 4 and 4. I will also have a 15 month, 17 month, and 9 month old here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:35 PM
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Yikes! I'm scared. I don't know what to do.

I was thinking of just doing a game while he was here with the older kids; 6, 4 and 4. I will also have a 15 month, 17 month, and 9 month old here.
Good luck Sista! You do this for them now, you'll be doing SPECIAL every time they ask.

Don't be afraid to tell them no. If this is an infant, he/she will sleep for 50% of the day. What do they expect you to do?

I would go over how you intend to provide care and leave it at that.

The hassle you'll get from the other kids might cause you to lose the job before you even get it!

TRUST ME!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:42 PM
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Good luck Sista! You do this for them now, you'll be doing SPECIAL every time they ask.

Don't be afraid to tell them no. If this is an infant, he/she will sleep for 50% of the day. What do they expect you to do?

I would go over how you intend to provide care and leave it at that.

The hassle you'll get from the other kids might cause you to lose the job before you even get it!

TRUST ME!
I disagree. ALL of my parents observed in my program, with their children as infants, and none of them have ever expected "special" from me. I have 16 children enrolled in my program, with 12-14 here at any given time and have had parents come observe and have never had any issues, and every parent I have ever interviewed has wanted to enroll.

To the OP, as a parent, I would not enroll my child in a program that did not allow me to observe their work/interactions with the children. I suggest you allow them to visit, prepare your group before they arrive, letting them know that you will have a visitor and you expect them to behave, set up a few low-maintenance activities that the children can manage solo with you being available as needed and go about your work while they visit. Don't allow 50 questions, let the parent know before they arrive that you will be working with the children and to please save questions for a phone follow up later in the day if needed.

Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:45 PM
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Should I set a time limit for him?
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:50 PM
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I'd tell him that because having visitors can be disruptive to the children's routine that you limit obervation time to 30 minutes. I personally aloow up to an hour and a half, but I always have other adults working with me.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:51 PM
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If you are stressing about it, then that should be your sign. I would say no to it. So what is the dad going to do, sit and stare at you the whole time, whos going to watch the baby. I had a mom who I did "special" for, she even wanted to reserve her spot. Well, it made me so nervous and her child didn't want to play or eat with the kids and then 6 months later after me holding her spot she went to another place (and another and another) till she found one that she thought was special.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:00 PM
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In the past, I always let my parents come during the day while I had little ones in care. I never had a problem with either the kids or the observers.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by abigailrw5 View Post
Yikes! I'm scared. I don't know what to do.

I was thinking of just doing a game while he was here with the older kids; 6, 4 and 4. I will also have a 15 month, 17 month, and 9 month old here.
Sounds like they want to see your juggling act more than anything. I have all under 2's and all of them came to me because the parents didnt want their babies "underfoot" so to speak. One of my dcms asked me specifically how do I deal with a diaper change, crying baby, making a bottle x's three everyday!!!! I just told her very carefully and very patiently!!!

Good luck with everything!!!!
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:09 PM
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I dont mind them "observing" what I do, and dont think they mean any harm in asking. And he said he has some questions, so its like a 2nd interview. I would set the kids up with something they can do on their own, without fighting, then sit with him to answer his questions. When you are done, say ok its snack time, or outside time, or potty time, but feel free to email or call with any more questions. I would give it 15-20 minutes. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:11 PM
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I disagree. ALL of my parents observed in my program, with their children as infants, and none of them have ever expected "special" from me. I have 16 children enrolled in my program, with 12-14 here at any given time and have had parents come observe and have never had any issues, and every parent I have ever interviewed has wanted to enroll.

To the OP, as a parent, I would not enroll my child in a program that did not allow me to observe their work/interactions with the children. I suggest you allow them to visit, prepare your group before they arrive, letting them know that you will have a visitor and you expect them to behave, set up a few low-maintenance activities that the children can manage solo with you being available as needed and go about your work while they visit. Don't allow 50 questions, let the parent know before they arrive that you will be working with the children and to please save questions for a phone follow up later in the day if needed.

Good luck!
I agree. I almost always have the parents observe. I do observations after morning nap and they include lunch. The child goes home after lunch with the parents. It's about 1.5 on average. Parents are asked to fade into the background and let me lead the way with their child so they can see how I interact and how our day goes. I offer two observation sessions per child and then 4 mornings (8-12) for free for our transition period once they sign a contract with me. I like the newbies to really know our faces when they start FT. I find my transitions goes quickly and smoothly since I started this.

For me, it gives me confident parents and it takes the mystery out of our day. There are some parents that are just worried about how I'll cope or just WHAT we do all day. It also IMO helps the child's transition. My little ones know my face very, very well on their first official day.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:17 PM
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I do not allow observing. I used to.

I had a situation with a dad wanting to "observe" and "visit". He was a child sex offender and his "observing" was my wake up call. He is in prison for molesting his own daughter and several of her friends. He served time for rape of a child in another state before moving to mine. His wife had no idea. He was a sharp, intelligent, well dressed, soft-spoken, church-going man. Not all offenders run around in a dirty raincoat.

For the safety of the children in my care, strangers are not allowed to hang around.....ever.

What will you do if you need to use the restroom? Leave the children alone with these unknown people? What rules will you have in place about them being near enough to touch the children?

There are also a lot of single fathers around now. A woman working at home alone should think twice before allowing a strange man to be in her home watching her all morning!

An observing parent can never know if they are seeing what really goes on in a day care setting. Of course the provider is going to be on her best behavior! She's not going to be a witch in front of them!

I give a LOT of references from both past and present clients and ask the parent to call them ALL. I ask them to call licensing and check my record. I tell them to ask me as many questions as they like. I give a trial period of enrollment. They can leave without notice during that time if they are not satisfied. I encourage them to talk to their child about their day. The child will tell them if they had fun or not. If the child doesn't want to go home at the end of the day...that's a much bigger indicator of a good day care that watching the provider for an hour or two.

Each to their own. I used to be a HUGE advocate of having parents observe. I sadly had a rude awakening and since then have changed my opinion completely.

When a parent asks about observing, I explain my point of view. I ask them how would they feel about an untold amount of strangers being in my home and having access to THEIR child? I have never had anyone not sign up. They appreciate that their kids are very safe here.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:20 PM
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I disagree. ALL of my parents observed in my program, with their children as infants, and none of them have ever expected "special" from me. I have 16 children enrolled in my program, with 12-14 here at any given time and have had parents come observe and have never had any issues, and every parent I have ever interviewed has wanted to enroll.

To the OP, as a parent, I would not enroll my child in a program that did not allow me to observe their work/interactions with the children. I suggest you allow them to visit, prepare your group before they arrive, letting them know that you will have a visitor and you expect them to behave, set up a few low-maintenance activities that the children can manage solo with you being available as needed and go about your work while they visit. Don't allow 50 questions, let the parent know before they arrive that you will be working with the children and to please save questions for a phone follow up later in the day if needed.

Good luck!
Interesting! But what you are saying can't possibly be true. If you have 16 children and you are limited on infants, children can't grow up as fast as what you are saying. That clearly means that not ALL of your children came in as infants and not ALL observed.

Not every parent has the time of day to watch kids play toys.


I can see through what you say. 90% of what you say IS logical but ISN'T possible.

You can't possibly tell me that of ALL those observations you never had a child act out, break the rules or become attention seeking.

AND...YOU wouldn't allow your child to attend somewhere you cant watch the provider in action?! What about those parents that already attend that don't want their child exposed to a stranger?!

Last edited by wdmmom; 12-06-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:29 PM
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Interesting! But what you are saying can't possibly be true. If you have 16 children and you are limited on infants, children can't grow up as fast as what you are saying. That clearly means that not ALL of your children came in as infants and not ALL observed.

Not every parent has the time of day to watch kids play toys.

HAHA Crystal! You are so funny! You lie low until I post something then come out of the woodwork. Especially since Nan isn't here to "defend" me as you call it.

I can see through what you say. 90% of what you say IS logical but ISN'T possible.

You can't possibly tell me that of ALL those observations you never had a child act out, break the rules or become attention seeking.

AND...YOU wouldn't allow your child to attend somewhere you cant watch the provider in action?! What about those parents that already attend that don't want their child exposed to a stranger?!
I have parents here that chose me BECAUSE I don't allow strangers in the house. It makes them feel much safer.

Like I said...each to their own. Some parents may be suspicious if they are not allowed to watch...but others hate the idea that a stranger can come and oggle at their kid all morning......and they get no say so in the matter.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:31 PM
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Meeko, you had a very unusual situation. One that fortunately none of the rest of us will ever encounter.

Back in the old days, I never dealt with a father. In fact most of the time I never even met the father, it was always the mom.


Today, either the mom comes alone or both parents come. I do have a single father now. He came after the grandparents came, interviewed and observed.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:39 PM
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wdmmom, I always took my girls with me when I interviewed a provider for them and I always went during daycare hours. I was uneasy about leaving the kids with somebody they didn't know.

In the past, I always asked my potential clients to bring the kids and hangout for awhile and then to leave the kids for an hour or so. That way we could get aquainted a bit before they started full time.

My last two came and hung out for a bit before starting full time.

We ALL handle things differently. What works for one won't work for another. You have to do what works for you.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:44 PM
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Meeko, you had a very unusual situation. One that fortunately none of the rest of us will ever encounter.

Back in the old days, I never dealt with a father. In fact most of the time I never even met the father, it was always the mom.


Today, either the mom comes alone or both parents come. I do have a single father now. He came after the grandparents came, interviewed and observed.
Both parents came to the initial interview. The mom came and observed by herself and then the dad did too. (Supposedly couldn't schedule together) After sign up, he came by often with the excuse that he had to work late that night and wouldn't see his daughter, so he wanted to spend time with her.....or that he had a long lunch break and wanted to spend time with his daughter. He was actually coming to "observe" both her and the other children in my care for other reasons entirely.

In my naive world, that all seemed very sweet and thoughtful of him. But after a while "something" made me nervous and his daughter made some weird comments. I did some detective work and found out what a monster this man was. You would never have known by looking or talking to the man. He even managed to keep his past record hidden from his then wife. She didn't have a clue of who she was married to.

The whole situation was horrible. A heartbroken mother and wife, testifying in court, police reports, talking to my other day care parents (who were wonderfully supportive the entire time, thank goodness)

It CAN happen to anyone. We do NOT know who is coming into our homes.

I can see that I am paranoid about it now...but I say better than being sorry.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:49 PM
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wdmmom, I always took my girls with me when I interviewed a provider for them and I always went during daycare hours. I was uneasy about leaving the kids with somebody they didn't know.

In the past, I always asked my potential clients to bring the kids and hangout for awhile and then to leave the kids for an hour or so. That way we could get aquainted a bit before they started full time.

My last two came and hung out for a bit before starting full time.

We ALL handle things differently. What works for one won't work for another. You have to do what works for you.
For my own safety and security, I would never do that and I doubt the daycare parents I work for would want me to do anything less than I already do.

I do a phone interview first and get distinguishing information. Name, age, dob, etc. I then run a check through Iowa Courts Online. If anything comes up that might be a red flag to me, I don't decline the face to face interview.

I'm all about keeping myself and my kids as safe as possible and I'm quite certain that my families appreciate that very much!

(I had a family awhile back that freaked out when I had a contractor downstairs installing a new furnace! She didn't want her child around ANYONE under ANY circumstance. Any time I had a contractor here, I tried to schedule it after 3pm which was when she was picked up or I notified her mom in advance and even then she didn't like the thought of anyone in the house.)
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:57 PM
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For my own safety and security, I would never do that and I doubt the daycare parents I work for would want me to do anything less than I already do.

I do a phone interview first and get distinguishing information. Name, age, dob, etc. I then run a check through Iowa Courts Online. If anything comes up that might be a red flag to me, I don't decline the face to face interview.

I'm all about keeping myself and my kids as safe as possible and I'm quite certain that my families appreciate that very much!

(I had a family awhile back that freaked out when I had a contractor downstairs installing a new furnace! She didn't want her child around ANYONE under ANY circumstance. Any time I had a contractor here, I tried to schedule it after 3pm which was when she was picked up or I notified her mom in advance and even then she didn't like the thought of anyone in the house.)
That mom though will really have her eyes opened when her child starts school. There are always people back and forth at schools and I'm sure most of the time not everyone knows who is on school grounds. There are always people from the district doing yard work, maintenance, parents visiting, special programs going on.

I would have to tell a parent that I would have to work on the contractors scheduling not the parents!
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:03 PM
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IMHO, it's really not the strangers that you have to worry about, but people who are the child on a frequent basis.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:12 PM
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Should I set a time limit for him?
Yes. When I've had observations, they are scheduled from 10:30 till 11:30. I tell them that they should plan to leave before lunch as I'm scheduling the time.
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:27 PM
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Interesting! But what you are saying can't possibly be true. If you have 16 children and you are limited on infants, children can't grow up as fast as what you are saying. That clearly means that not ALL of your children came in as infants and not ALL observed.

Not every parent has the time of day to watch kids play toys.

HAHA Crystal! You are so funny! You lie low until I post something then come out of the woodwork. Especially since Nan isn't here to "defend" me as you call it.

I can see through what you say. 90% of what you say IS logical but ISN'T possible.

You can't possibly tell me that of ALL those observations you never had a child act out, break the rules or become attention seeking.

AND...YOU wouldn't allow your child to attend somewhere you cant watch the provider in action?! What about those parents that already attend that don't want their child exposed to a stranger?!
WHOA! WTH? I didn't realize I was "lying low" until you posted and then I "came out of the woodwork" especially considering I have been posting frequently the past couple of days. Wow, you must REALLY think I am very interested you.

Anyways, Yes, it is possible. I have several children, (5 now school-age) who are NOW part time. They have ALL been with me, (sans one, she started at 1 year old) since they were babies.

No, my kids have never acted out. My kids, because they are with me from INFANCY know my expectations and are VERY well behaved.

And, NO I would not enroll where I could not observe, and I also would not enroll where I was not welcome to drop in unnanounced and observe/inspect. If the provider didn't allow it, I'd simply move on to the next place.

Not sure where your personal attack came from....I see no reason why I cannot disagree with you without you taking it personally. Me responding to YOU has absolutley NOTHING to do with it being YOU who made the post and CERTAINLY nothing to do with Nan not being here, it's not like I am scared of her or something, lol! But, really, have a nice day
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:40 PM
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Ya know WDMMOM, the more I think about it, the more it bothers me that you have basically called me a liar. You don't know the ages of the children in my program so how could you possibly step up and call me a liar? You were completely out of line there. What is up with that? Alot of nerve there lady.......
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Old 12-06-2011, 03:54 PM
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Actually Chrystal, I was wondering the same thing about your infant ratio. The only reason I was doing this is because here we can only have 2 under the age of 2. So if I started with infants i could only accept 2 new clients every 2 years. So even with a child that had been with me since the beginning was 4 I would have only been able to have enrolled 4 more children in that 4 years bringing my count up to 6 children in 4 years. That is if I always enrolled around the birthdays of the 2 year old.

Now with the bigger group homes in our area they are only allowed 4 I believe under the age of 2. So even in 4 years you would only be up to 12 children in my area if you started them all at infants.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:00 PM
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I have allowed parents to observe in the past, however, it can be difficult for some kids to have a "stranger" be present.

What I have done most recently however, is do the interview during regular child care hours. That way the prospective clients can see me in action as I handle things as they happen. I try to discuss the important issues before hand on the phone BEFORE we ever meet face to face. The "meeting" and observing then is simply a way for potential clients to ask additional questions and to visually see what my program is like and how the other children respond to me and how I respond to them. We then do a follow up phone call to tie up any loose ends or unanswered questions.

I do inform my current clients that I am doing an interview and will have a potential client observation happening but none of them in all my years of being in this business has ever had an issue with it. They trust that I will not allow anything to happen to their child while on my watch and that I have done the necessary safety checks on all potential clients.

Crystal~ I agree with what you said and feel that it IS possible to be safe and allow observations.

wdmmom~ Why such hostility to someone who disagrees with you? I saw NOTHING in her response that was mean or disrespectful to you. She simply did not agree with what you said. She is right though that not all parents expect "special".



It saddens me that there are so many providers (who by nature should be warm, caring, supportive people in light of what they do) automatically assume that all parents are out to get as much as they can and get "special" at every opportunity.

Providing child care should be a partnership with parents and should be a trusting relationship. I actually feel sorry for providers who feel that way about parents because they are really doing themselves a diservice to be so cynical and negative. As child care providers, we strive to teach our DCK's tolerance and acceptance as well as celebrating differences and yet this thread is proof that we do not model the same practices that we preach!
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:05 PM
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I am allowed up to 4 infants at one time. I have actually had 6 enrolled at one time (3 years ago) as infants and they shared spaces, as they were all part time. I also have school aged children, who range from 5-8 years old.

I do not mind being ASKED about my ratios, I DO MIND be called a liar.
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:06 PM
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I have allowed parents to observe in the past, however, it can be difficult for some kids to have a "stranger" be present.

What I have done most recently however, is do the interview during regular child care hours. That way the prospective clients can see me in action as I handle things as they happen. I try to discuss the important issues before hand on the phone BEFORE we ever meet face to face. The "meeting" and observing then is simply a way for potential clients to ask additional questions and to visually see what my program is like and how the other children respond to me and how I respond to them. We then do a follow up phone call to tie up any loose ends or unanswered questions.

I do inform my current clients that I am doing an interview and will have a potential client observation happening but none of them in all my years of being in this business has ever had an issue with it. They trust that I will not allow anything to happen to their child while on my watch and that I have done the necessary safety checks on all potential clients.

Crystal~ I agree with what you said and feel that it IS possible to be safe and allow observations.

wdmmom~ Why such hostility to someone who disagrees with you? I saw NOTHING in her response that was mean or disrespectful to you. She simply did not agree with what you said. She is right though that not all parents expect "special".




It saddens me that there are so many providers (who by nature should be warm, caring, supportive people in light of what they do) automatically assume that all parents are out to get as much as they can and get "special" at every opportunity.

Providing child care should be a partnership with parents and should be a trusting relationship. I actually feel sorry for providers who feel that way about parents because they are really doing themselves a diservice to be so cynical and negative. As child care providers, we strive to teach our DCK's tolerance and acceptance as well as celebrating differences and yet this thread is proof that we do not model the same practices that we preach!
Thank you.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:07 PM
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I can have 8 infants now, all newborn if I wanted, as I have an assistant. I am sure as she is allowed more children then I am her ratios are different. Also I have 14 enrolled and 8 here on a daily basis, so enrolled and daily are two different things.

Let us know how the observation goes.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:01 PM
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I have parents here that chose me BECAUSE I don't allow strangers in the house. It makes them feel much safer.

Like I said...each to their own. Some parents may be suspicious if they are not allowed to watch...but others hate the idea that a stranger can come and oggle at their kid all morning......and they get no say so in the matter.
This is how my clients feel . They don't want ANY visible signs from outside that this is a childcare facility. A person would have to know who they were looking for to find my home and that is one of my biggest selling points (I also do short term/emergent respite).

I am able and willing to ask permission of my clients if I feel the need for a daytime observation with a stranger/newcomer to town (like someone who had a bad daycare experience already). My family is Public Safety so my clients know I will bend over backwards to protect their kids and will grant me some level of trust. My Spidey Senses are fine tuned.

AFTER I have all enrollment package information on a prospective family to include a criminal background check (I pay and run up to sheriffs office myself after closing, takes 20 minutes tops), physical address, copy of drivers license AND my husband scheduled to be here, I will schedule a daytime visit.

I will not, however, allow them to touch another child. Observation is from behind the safety gate entrance and their own child is 100% their responsibility at the time.

If they are not comfortable with the level of security I offer or with giving me their info....then it should be obvious to them that I am not the provider they want. Most locals already know who I am, anyway ("touristy" area). You can throw a rock randomly in town during off season and have it hit someone I am related to or provided care for.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:08 PM
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I knew there was a reason I was off the forum for awhile. Might have to take another "vacation."

There really isn't much of a point in discussing anything with anyone on here when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or someone has to come up with an attack all because your method of thinking isn't the same.

When I have a daycare vet (Nannyde) that lives 10 miles from me, I talk to everyday and has a proven successful career, I'm going to go with that over someone I don't know in California! In this case, I have to go with what I know and that is precisely what I stated.

Parents around here don't want their children around children they don't know let alone strangers.

So, if your having a tough time deciding, ask your current daycare families what they think of the situation!
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:21 PM
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when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or
Sorry... I just have to adapt a bit to what is presented to me. Every time I think my views are set in stone on a subject, life teaches me that there is no black and white. There is an exception for every rule.

So:

Do I like strangers observing... NO.

Do I think it gives even the slightest hint of what our days actually look like... No.

As a seasoned provider would I tell parents this is the way to know how we treat kids.... No.

Do I think there are situations that may emotionally necessitate a parent seeing what you do for a bit (ex. a mother whose older child died of an unrecognized seizure in former center) .... Yes.

Is that the current trend and becoming expected...... Yes.

Have I accepted the fact that to stay in business in my market area I have to adapt to the changing times and viewpoints.... Yes. (if you follow my posts you can watch the 5 stages of grief progress...it is funny to me, now .)
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:53 PM
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I don't let parents observe because it will be a distraction for me, for my daycare kids, and it'll be a disruption to our routine. I used to let parents observe me interacting with their children before they signed the contract and the only thing that the observation did was disrupt the routine for the day.

I think that observation is more effective when the people being observed are not aware of being observed.
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:15 PM
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I don't let parents observe because it will be a distraction for me, for my daycare kids, and it'll be a disruption to our routine. I used to let parents observe me interacting with their children before they signed the contract and the only thing that the observation did was disrupt the routine for the day.

I think that observation is more effective when the people being observed are not aware of being observed.
Exactly. The worst worker in the office is going to be on his or her best behavior if the supervisor is sitting in their cubicle with them. Does the supervisor really think he is going to get a good idea of the workers true performance level that way?!!!

When Mr. Child Molester came to "observe" and "visit" my day care. I was on my best behavior just like he was. I thought he was a loving, caring father. Just goes to show how silly it is to assume you are looking at a nice person simply because they are behaving in front of you.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:20 AM
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I also hate the "drop in unexpectedly to check up on your provider" mindset too.

If a parent is THAT unsure of me and feels they have to sneak up on me to catch me unawares....then they need to take their child elsewhere.

I have a great relationship with most of my clients (a few like to push the rules). We are both concerned about the child and our relationship is one of trust. I couldn't stand to think that they feel the need to come by and check up on me. That just screams "I don't trust you further than I can throw you and I am going to try and catch you doing something wrong."

I would NEVER leave my child with someone I felt I couldn't trust. If my child was coming home happy and didn't want to leave at the end of the day and cried on Saturday morning because they wanted to go to day care.......why would I feel the need to "catch" the provider off guard?

Talk about an unhealthy, disfunctional working enviroment!
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:27 AM
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I knew there was a reason I was off the forum for awhile. Might have to take another "vacation."

There really isn't much of a point in discussing anything with anyone on here when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or someone has to come up with an attack all because your method of thinking isn't the same. If you are referring to me, I did NOT attack you. I politely disagreed with you and then shared my personal experience witgh the OP. Also, post #18 (the original one that I quoted and replied to, not your edited post) was a DIRECT attack against me.

When I have a daycare vet (Nannyde) that lives 10 miles from me, I talk to everyday and has a proven successful career, I'm going to go with that over someone I don't know in California! In this case, I have to go with what I know and that is precisely what I stated. First, let me state, I never gave YOU any advice. I gave the OP advice. Secondly, And well you should. She is familiar with the clientele needs in your immediate area. I see no reason, however, that I should not offer my advice to the ORIGINAL POSTER in this thread, which is exactly what I did in my first post. I just happened to disagree with you, and was not rude about it with you, I just stated my opinion/practices. As an aside, I am "qualified" to give such advice, just as nannyde....I have 15 years under my belt, as well as a degree in Child Development. I'm pretty sure that I know what I am doing.


Parents around here don't want their children around children they don't know let alone strangers.Cool. But here, my parents are all aware that, on the VERY rare occasion I do interview that the prospective client will be observing and they are fine with it. It may help that every new client I have ever had has been referred by a current client, however.

So, if your having a tough time deciding, ask your current daycare families what they think of the situation! Now THAT is a GREAT idea!
I replied to your individual comments in bold above. Again, I am not sure why you feel I attacked you when I simply disagreed with you. I am baffled at why you took such offense. I have heard hundreds of times here how we should all be able to share our opinions/advice/experience, we all do things differently, yada yada yada. I just do not understand WHY I cannot disagree without it being considered personal, but hey, whatever
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  #41  
Old 12-07-2011, 07:31 AM
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I also hate the "drop in unexpectedly to check up on your provider" mindset too.

If a parent is THAT unsure of me and feels they have to sneak up on me to catch me unawares....then they need to take their child elsewhere.

I have a great relationship with most of my clients (a few like to push the rules). We are both concerned about the child and our relationship is one of trust. I couldn't stand to think that they feel the need to come by and check up on me. That just screams "I don't trust you further than I can throw you and I am going to try and catch you doing something wrong."

I would NEVER leave my child with someone I felt I couldn't trust. If my child was coming home happy and didn't want to leave at the end of the day and cried on Saturday morning because they wanted to go to day care.......why would I feel the need to "catch" the provider off guard?

Talk about an unhealthy, disfunctional working enviroment!
I get what you are saying. My families do not do it, as they have no need too. BUT, they know they can if they choose too. I find it is reassuring to a new family when they are aware that they have that option.

Me personally for my own children, I don't care how good the provider is....I don't 100% trust ANYONE with my children....I've heard the stories and witnessed provider negligence and abuse.....from what were considered excellent providers....you just never know for sure........

And, my working environment is just fine
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:02 AM
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I knew there was a reason I was off the forum for awhile. Might have to take another "vacation."

There really isn't much of a point in discussing anything with anyone on here when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or someone has to come up with an attack all because your method of thinking isn't the same.
I am not understanding why you are acting as if YOU were the one that was attacked?

Again, no one was attacked until you said another member was basically lying.

In regards to the second comment, isn't the point of having a discussion board forum to actually share DIFFERENT viewpoints and opinions?

This whole forum confuses me. I am continually amazed at how many providers/posters want to share their opinions but ONLY if everyone agrees with them.

I personally enjoy a good discussion, especially when there are many differing viewpoints. As long as the discussion doesn't turn personal, I think it is a great way to learn tolerance, understanding, acceptance and see other perspectives.

ALL of which is important in the job we do.
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  #43  
Old 12-07-2011, 08:34 AM
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I get what you are saying. My families do not do it, as they have no need too. BUT, they know they can if they choose too. I find it is reassuring to a new family when they are aware that they have that option.

Me personally for my own children, I don't care how good the provider is....I don't 100% trust ANYONE with my children....I've heard the stories and witnessed provider negligence and abuse.....from what were considered excellent providers....you just never know for sure........

And, my working environment is just fine
If. as a parent, I thought I could not trust anyone with my children....I simply would not use day care at all. I would move heaven and earth to stay home myself.

I cannot imagine the hell of being at work and worrying and not being 100% sure my child was being well taken care of. Any place that I felt I needed to "sneak up on with a surprise visit" .....well let's just say...I wouldn't put my child there in the first place. There is no reason other than mistrust to do the surprise visit thing. And a relationship built on mistrust is not a healthy one.

If parent's don't feel they can trust me...well they need to make other arrangements because I can't work that way. I earn their trust through their children. Their children tell them how much they love me, and how much fun they have here.

There is no need for "let's try and find something wrong, but do it with a fake grin" visits. They're not kidding anyone.

Their children are happy and healthy and can't wait to get here each day. A few really, truly don't want to go home (and I don't blame them) I have older children in the 9-12 age range who are extremely vocal and would tell their parents the second they were not happy.

But...I am not against those who choose to allow observation and visits. Like I said before...I used to allow it and was actually a big advocate of it. I got burned big time and changed my point of view, that's all.

I actually still have an open door policy which means a parent can come any time to visit THEIR CHILD (as per state regs). Their child is brought out into another area of the day care to be with them. They get one on one time with their child. It keeps the other children safe and I can continue to work. I do not allow parents to enter the same area as the other children or to stare at me while I work. It's a completely pointless exercise in my opinion.

I had INVITED a rapist into my home. I happily let him sit with us. I happily let him mingle and chat with the kids. I was a huge advocate of an open day care where parents could come and go at will. I never, ever thought of what could...and did....happen. It could have happened to anyone...but I felt so bad. The kids are my utmost concern. Bottom line is THEY are what's most important. If a parents doesn't get that....then move on.
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  #44  
Old 12-07-2011, 08:37 AM
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I knew there was a reason I was off the forum for awhile. Might have to take another "vacation."

There really isn't much of a point in discussing anything with anyone on here when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or someone has to come up with an attack all because your method of thinking isn't the same.

When I have a daycare vet (Nannyde) that lives 10 miles from me, I talk to everyday and has a proven successful career, I'm going to go with that over someone I don't know in California! In this case, I have to go with what I know and that is precisely what I stated.

Parents around here don't want their children around children they don't know let alone strangers.

So, if your having a tough time deciding, ask your current daycare families what they think of the situation!
Aren't you the lucky one!! I wouldn't mind living near her, but I'm a few states away.

I don't allow observation either. I'm home alone with the kids during the day and do all interviews in the evening or weekends when my husband is home. That is no only for my safety but the kids too.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:26 AM
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If. as a parent, I thought I could not trust anyone with my children....I simply would not use day care at all. I would move heaven and earth to stay home myself.

Exactly my reason for quitting my job and starting my daycare 15 years ago

Just based on posts on this forum I would not trust another daycare provider to care for my children....I have seen plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children.
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  #46  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:39 AM
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If I were a sole provider, I would only allow 15 minute observations *no adult interaction* with women. No men. I know that I alone can contain the children's attention to what we're doing for a limited time before playing 20 questions about the adult watching. I also know that I am uncomfortable with strange men, and if need be to protect myself or the children, I do not have the strength that a man has.

Since I have my husband here, child bouncer and body guard, I am willing to do observations with parents. (I see him being here another reason that they WOULD want to observe. I understand that.) They would be limited to 30-45 minutes.

I totally agree, if as parents they need to drop in or have an early surprise pick up to be assured of the quality of care, it is not the right fit for their kiddos.
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  #47  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:51 AM
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Let's keep things nice and civil here okay?

Simple question, lots of view points...it's a tough subject and a touchy subject with a lot of gray area.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:52 AM
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When we do have observations, the parent is like a fly on the wall. They do not interact with the children or myself. They are informed in advance that if they are not to interrupt our routine, and that if they have any questions, they are welcome to call later to discuss.

For me, it would not work to not allow "strangers" into my program. As a Mentor Teacher for the colleges, I have student teachers here frequently. I have the R&R visiting/observing. I have professors visiting/observing. Just last semester I had three student teachers here, with one here every day of the week.....one of them was a huge black man.....my parents didn't question it at all, because they TRUST ME. I have parents who come to pick up that hang out and observe while their children continue playing. Etc. It works for ME and MY families.

My parents TRUST ME enough to trust that I will make the best decisions for their child while their child is in my care. They trust that I will protect their children and that I would not allow someone in that should not be here. Honestly, soliciters scare me more than a parent who is seeking child care services, and I get those nearly every day.

My one BIG advantage is that my husband works with me, so he's an added level of protection. I realize MOST providers don't have this luxury, so naturally they will go about observations, etc. differently, but I still feel that it is a good idea to allow parents to observe if they ask too.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:55 AM
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Let's keep things nice and civil here okay?

Simple question, lots of view points...it's a tough subject and a touchy subject with a lot of gray area.
I tried, but I don't take kindly to being called a liar and I don't take kindly to being told I am the one who "attacked" someone when all I REALLY did was politely disagree and was then directly attacked myself.

Otherwise, I am being civil.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:58 AM
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If I were a sole provider, I would only allow 15 minute observations *no adult interaction* with women. No men. I know that I alone can contain the children's attention to what we're doing for a limited time before playing 20 questions about the adult watching. I also know that I am uncomfortable with strange men, and if need be to protect myself or the children, I do not have the strength that a man has.

Since I have my husband here, child bouncer and body guard, I am willing to do observations with parents. (I see him being here another reason that they WOULD want to observe. I understand that.) They would be limited to 30-45 minutes.

I totally agree, if as parents they need to drop in or have an early surprise pick up to be assured of the quality of care, it is not the right fit for their kiddos.
The only problem with this is that it takes TIME to develop that trust. There is NO WAY I would 100% trust someone to care for my child in the beginning. Just as any other relationship takes time to develop trust, so too does the relationship woth a child care provider. Now, if it is something that occurs for months, then there is a major issue, but in the beginning, I think it SHOULD be done by EVERY parent who puts thier child in the care of a STRANGER
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:00 AM
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I tried, but I don't take kindly to being called a liar and I don't take kindly to being told I am the one who "attacked" someone when all I REALLY did was politely disagree and was then directly attacked myself.

Otherwise, I am being civil.
No worries, it was a general reminder intended for everyone.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:19 AM
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I do not allow observing. I used to.

I had a situation with a dad wanting to "observe" and "visit". He was a child sex offender and his "observing" was my wake up call. He is in prison for molesting his own daughter and several of her friends. He served time for rape of a child in another state before moving to mine. His wife had no idea. He was a sharp, intelligent, well dressed, soft-spoken, church-going man. Not all offenders run around in a dirty raincoat.

For the safety of the children in my care, strangers are not allowed to hang around.....ever.

What will you do if you need to use the restroom? Leave the children alone with these unknown people? What rules will you have in place about them being near enough to touch the children?

There are also a lot of single fathers around now. A woman working at home alone should think twice before allowing a strange man to be in her home watching her all morning!

An observing parent can never know if they are seeing what really goes on in a day care setting. Of course the provider is going to be on her best behavior! She's not going to be a witch in front of them!

I give a LOT of references from both past and present clients and ask the parent to call them ALL. I ask them to call licensing and check my record. I tell them to ask me as many questions as they like. I give a trial period of enrollment. They can leave without notice during that time if they are not satisfied. I encourage them to talk to their child about their day. The child will tell them if they had fun or not. If the child doesn't want to go home at the end of the day...that's a much bigger indicator of a good day care that watching the provider for an hour or two.

Each to their own. I used to be a HUGE advocate of having parents observe. I sadly had a rude awakening and since then have changed my opinion completely.

When a parent asks about observing, I explain my point of view. I ask them how would they feel about an untold amount of strangers being in my home and having access to THEIR child? I have never had anyone not sign up. They appreciate that their kids are very safe here.

Great points!
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:22 AM
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Both parents came to the initial interview. The mom came and observed by herself and then the dad did too. (Supposedly couldn't schedule together) After sign up, he came by often with the excuse that he had to work late that night and wouldn't see his daughter, so he wanted to spend time with her.....or that he had a long lunch break and wanted to spend time with his daughter. He was actually coming to "observe" both her and the other children in my care for other reasons entirely.

In my naive world, that all seemed very sweet and thoughtful of him. But after a while "something" made me nervous and his daughter made some weird comments. I did some detective work and found out what a monster this man was. You would never have known by looking or talking to the man. He even managed to keep his past record hidden from his then wife. She didn't have a clue of who she was married to.

The whole situation was horrible. A heartbroken mother and wife, testifying in court, police reports, talking to my other day care parents (who were wonderfully supportive the entire time, thank goodness)

It CAN happen to anyone. We do NOT know who is coming into our homes.

I can see that I am paranoid about it now...but I say better than being sorry.
I think having a family observe for one hour initially with their child during the interview process is completely different than coming in all the time to "observe". I do see your point for sure but there might be a happy medium as well.
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  #54  
Old 12-07-2011, 10:32 AM
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If. as a parent, I thought I could not trust anyone with my children....I simply would not use day care at all. I would move heaven and earth to stay home myself.

Exactly my reason for quitting my job and starting my daycare 15 years ago

Just based on posts on this forum I would not trust another daycare provider to care for my children....I have seen plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children.
None of the posts that I have read constitute neglect or strong disinterest in caring for other people's children. I wouldn't judge anyone who posts something when they have had a rough day or had a parent who has tried to take advantage of them. I see it as letting it out. I do not personally know them and neither do you, so I would say that is pretty harsh judgement on your part.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:44 AM
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Absolutely, trust does take time! And I am very selective of the people surrounding my children, whether I am or not there.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't refuse a brief visit or early pick up, but I would appreciate, and lean towards insisting, notice. If they are flat out uncomfortable and are trying to catch us doing something terrible, they are not right for us.

We've already had custody and feuding parents problems. Early surprise pick-up from one parent without other parent's consent during lunch caused a spiral of problems which included but was not limited to phone calls, broken-hearted child, broken-hearted sympathetic children and uneaten lunches. It was no mere inconvenience, you know? And this was with a good, maybeit broken, family.

What if another parent chose to drop in or had a surprise pick up then? If I, as a paranoid new parent, saw a hysterical parent in the driveway calling other parent and lawyer (at times yelling and swearing, then weeping ) I would have reason to worry.

I am not saying that I think everyone should have these rules, and that is fine, but we do. I think this is a situation in which one choice doesn't fit all. Among others.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:11 AM
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If. as a parent, I thought I could not trust anyone with my children....I simply would not use day care at all. I would move heaven and earth to stay home myself.

Exactly my reason for quitting my job and starting my daycare 15 years ago

Just based on posts on this forum I would not trust another daycare provider to care for my children....I have seen plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children.
I have been watching the different opinions here as comments have been made back and forth. All have valid points. I agree with many of them but not all of them.

But Crystal, I have never seen (quote) "plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children".

Just how high and mighty can you get?

I have seen differences of opinion, different ways of approaching a situation, different styles of discipline, different styles of care. That's what makes this forum interesting. We can take or leave the various opinions.

But I have never seen what you are saying. Or do you mean they don't do things your way and are therefore not fit to be providers? Your comment is an insult to each and every provider on here.

I am weary of constantly hearing how perfect you run your day care and how perfect your children are and how perfect your dcp's are and how you never put a foot wrong.

Sorry honey...but your poop stinks just like everyone else's does.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:17 AM
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None of the posts that I have read constitute neglect or strong disinterest in caring for other people's children. I wouldn't judge anyone who posts something when they have had a rough day or had a parent who has tried to take advantage of them. I see it as letting it out. I do not personally know them and neither do you, so I would say that is pretty harsh judgement on your part.
That's not a fair comment to make. I've come across many who think differently from me about things, but that doesn't make them neglectful or disinterested or me either. I don't think parents want cookie cutter providers either. Different strokes for different folks, you know?.

Sorry...this was meant for Crystal!!!!!
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:35 AM
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I don't do 'observation' either. The only time I had that request was from an expecting couple, and they had a list questions, and of do's and don'ts straight from a parenting site. OMG, it was worse than a formal interview at a corporate office.

Now, I will do interview during daycare hours, and only at snacktime. Once snacktime is done, the interview is over. If more time is needed, I will schedule a time after hours. That is the extent of graciousness. What I have seen during daytime interviews, is that is it less of wanting to see me in action, and more of just being nosey on the what kind of kids(race, income-level/parents jobs, special needs) I have in my house. Smooth move on their part, because I would nt answer those questions anyway. And wanting to see if their kid will have a 'playmate'.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:38 AM
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It's defintiley a fair comment to make. There have been hundreds of posts on this forum that I felt constituted intervention from licensing......nothing recent, but it has happened. Parents have even come here and said the same.

You can feel that they are just differences, but then you likely do not know which posts I am referring to, and I am not going back to dig them up as it would take far to much time.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:46 AM
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It's defintiley a fair comment to make. There have been hundreds of posts on this forum that I felt constituted intervention from licensing......nothing recent, but it has happened. Parents have even come here and said the same.

You can feel that they are just differences, but then you likely do not know which posts I am referring to, and I am not going back to dig them up as it would take far to much time.
HUNDREDS of posts????? HUNDREDS???? Really???????

Good grief Crystal...thank goodness you aren't a licensor. Providers would get written up for taking more breaths per minute than you thought necessary.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:47 AM
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Yes, hundreds. But, do realize that I have been here since 2009, so I have seen alot of them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:49 AM
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FTR, my post regarding observatioons was not about early pick ups, etc. It was about the intial observation, prior to enrolling in care.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:51 AM
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I think having a family observe for one hour initially with their child during the interview process is completely different than coming in all the time to "observe". I do see your point for sure but there might be a happy medium as well.
Exactly.

And, again FTR, I don't have parents come in all the time to observe either. They may hang out for a few minutes at pick up and observe interactions, etc. but that is simply because their child is still playing, not because they feel the need to check up on me.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:52 AM
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Yes, hundreds. But, do realize that I have been here since 2009, so I have seen alot of them.
I can maybe buy a handful that may be questionable. But HUNDREDS in just two years??? That would make nearly all of us unworthy in your eyes.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:53 AM
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None of the posts that I have read constitute neglect or strong disinterest in caring for other people's children. I wouldn't judge anyone who posts something when they have had a rough day or had a parent who has tried to take advantage of them. I see it as letting it out. I do not personally know them and neither do you, so I would say that is pretty harsh judgement on your part.
Just because you haven't read them does not mean they do not exist. They are there, for sure. I am talking about posts over a couple of years time, not recently.

You're right, I don't know them, but I have read their "opinions" of children and families and some of them CLEARLY should never have become providers in the first place.

Anyways, this is all totally off topic and I am tired of trying to defend my statements, so unless there is some vitriol spewed at me again, I'll leave at that.
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Old 12-07-2011, 11:55 AM
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It's defintiley a fair comment to make. There have been hundreds of posts on this forum that I felt constituted intervention from licensing......nothing recent, but it has happened. Parents have even come here and said the same.

You can feel that they are just differences, but then you likely do not know which posts I am referring to, and I am not going back to dig them up as it would take far to much time.
I don't know how that could be a fair comment. You don't personally know the people who have written these posts. I haven't read any of them and I really don't need to. There is no way I would ever feel that someone would need an intervention from licensing for what they have written. Written words can be taken in many ways. I would have to see it first hand and know the person before I would feel they needed an intervention from licensing.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:02 PM
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I don't know how that could be a fair comment. You don't personally know the people who have written these posts. I haven't read any of them and I really don't need to. There is no way I would ever feel that someone would need an intervention from licensing for what they have written. Written words can be taken in many ways. I would have to see it first hand and know the person before I would feel they needed an intervention from licensing.
Okay. Have a nice day
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:09 PM
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The OBSERVATION is done!!!! I was so nervous! Before he came I told him my concerns (that you all mentioned). I'm here alone and the kids might act out. I asked him if he could keep it to 20 minutes or less. He said no problem. He was here for only 10 minutes and everyone was good! Thanks for all the replies! He said he'd call me tonight. I'll keep you informed on what he decides!
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:11 PM
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I have been watching the different opinions here as comments have been made back and forth. All have valid points. I agree with many of them but not all of them.

But Crystal, I have never seen (quote) "plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children". They are on here. Not recently, but they are.

Just how high and mighty can you get? Not being high and mighty. Being honest. Two years ago, ALOT of posts were what I describe

I have seen differences of opinion, different ways of approaching a situation, different styles of discipline, different styles of care. That's what makes this forum interesting. We can take or leave the various opinions. I agree.

But I have never seen what you are saying. Or do you mean they don't do things your way and are therefore not fit to be providers? Your comment is an insult to each and every provider on here. Oh, no. Not at all. There are a few provider here whom I very much admire and respect. And, for the most part I "like" them all, with a few exceptions. Had you read what I stated thoroughly you would have noticed I said that these posts were not recent, so it would not apply to anyone here, now.

I am weary of constantly hearing how perfect you run your day care and how perfect your children are and how perfect your dcp's are and how you never put a foot wrong. Oh, I make mistakes, and I have parents who upset me from time to time....I just don't vent or rant and rave about it on an open forum. I come here for 1. entertainment 2. a break from reality 3. to help when I can and 4. to get an idea of the "face" of child care in our country today. However, if you are weary of reading my posts, then just skip them, or register and then you can put me on ignore

Sorry honey...but your poop stinks just like everyone else's does.Ah, of course it does. Probably worse though, I eat alot of cabbage!
Sorry, I just saw this.

It has nothing to do with me or the way I do things. It has nothing to do with me being "high and mighty". It has nothing to do with me never doing anything wrong. It has to do with posts I have personally read, where children have been called names, where providers have admitted to allowing children to cry for hours at a time, where providers have admittedly "thrown" a child onto their nap mat or MADE them lay there for HOURS, where providers have admitted that they don't like certain kids, where providers have done nothing but bitch and moan in every single post they made about the children AND the parents. I have seen parents come here to ask a question and be berated and attacked by members. I have seen providers admit to trying to place blame on another child in care when an infant in care was SERIUOSLY injured, I have seen providers admit to withholding food...or technically withholding snack while trying to "make" the child eat an old, disgusting meal from earlier in the day as punishment for not eating lunch, I have seen providers admit that they make young children sit in their own feces or urine when they have potty accidents OR make the child clean up the feces themselves....ALL of it on THIS forum...... Frankly, it is disgusting. If you did some digging I assure you, you could find what I speak about....if that's not enough to prove my point, then, well, so be it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:11 PM
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The OBSERVATION is done!!!! I was so nervous! Before he came I told him my concerns (that you all mentioned). I'm here alone and the kids might act out. I asked him if he could keep it to 20 minutes or less. He said no problem. He was here for only 10 minutes and everyone was good! Thanks for all the replies! He said he'd call me tonight. I'll keep you informed on what he decides!
YAY!!!! Congratulations. Not so bad, huh?

Good luck, I hope they decide to sign with you
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:20 PM
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I guess I am confused....what is a parent supposed to magically see in 10 minutes? sounds like a waste of time to me (sorry if that is too harsh)

Generally, I don't allow any strangers around the kids, period and don't allow observing. I understand that parents may not be comfortable with that but that is what I am comfortable with so they can take it or leave it. Actually, its pretty rare than anyone asks to observe.

I just think it is silly to say "oh I observed for 10 minutes and that is enough for me to make my choice".
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:33 PM
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I agree that 10 minutes doesn't allow much time to get a real "snapshot" of the day. That's why my observations tend to be 30-90 minutes. I just go about my day as usual and act as though they are not there.

Cheerfuldom, can you tell me, do you ever have potential clients request observation, and if so, how do they respond when you tell them no? I just can't see a parent accepting that and moving forward with enrollment.

It is almost always requested by families in our area (based on conversations with local providers) and I think alot of providers would not have full programs if they refused an initial observation, so I am wondering what it is like in other areas.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:37 PM
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Wow, that was a lot of reading! Quite a varied set of viewpoints.

Anyway, my take on it is this: This is a first-time parent making a really big decision. If 'observing' the person that they think they want to go with makes them feel better about it, what's the big deal? JMHO.

I have three points of contact with a prospective family. First is on the phone, the second is a parents/provider only sit down, the third is parents/child during daycare hours. I make sure my assistant is here during that time. After the third visit a decision is usually made and contracts are signed or we part ways.

I have never had a parent ask to observe over and above the third part of the interview, so I'm not sure how I would handle it to be honest. I would have to decide on a case by case basis.

abigailrw5~glad the 'observation' is over and it went well! I hope they sign with you
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:41 PM
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I'm glad it was 10 minutes even if thats is silly for him to be happy with. That obviously did the trick. If someone watched me for 90 minutes I would die.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:43 PM
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I think the reason I never have been asked about having an observation is because all my parents have been refered by another parent here. I guess they go with their feeling that if the person that is referring them is happy why wouldn't they be.

Also, my parents seriously have no time to do a observation. When three of my 6 preschoolers needed care it was on the next day basis. One had one quit on them, one needed to find a person immediately due to some issues on providers part, another one provider didn't know if she wanted to continue childcare or not. So there was no time to observe. Also, all these parents were referred to me by a friend or client.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:43 PM
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This is how my clients feel . They don't want ANY visible signs from outside that this is a childcare facility. A person would have to know who they were looking for to find my home and that is one of my biggest selling points (I also do short term/emergent respite).

I am able and willing to ask permission of my clients if I feel the need for a daytime observation with a stranger/newcomer to town (like someone who had a bad daycare experience already). My family is Public Safety so my clients know I will bend over backwards to protect their kids and will grant me some level of trust. My Spidey Senses are fine tuned.

AFTER I have all enrollment package information on a prospective family to include a criminal background check (I pay and run up to sheriffs office myself after closing, takes 20 minutes tops), physical address, copy of drivers license AND my husband scheduled to be here, I will schedule a daytime visit.

I will not, however, allow them to touch another child. Observation is from behind the safety gate entrance and their own child is 100% their responsibility at the time.

If they are not comfortable with the level of security I offer or with giving me their info....then it should be obvious to them that I am not the provider they want. Most locals already know who I am, anyway ("touristy" area). You can throw a rock randomly in town during off season and have it hit someone I am related to or provided care for.
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None of the posts that I have read constitute neglect or strong disinterest in caring for other people's children. I wouldn't judge anyone who posts something when they have had a rough day or had a parent who has tried to take advantage of them. I see it as letting it out. I do not personally know them and neither do you, so I would say that is pretty harsh judgement on your part.
Got to pull these back up for my response for me I agree in full with. For me, I don't like the drop in and observe but do I understand why parents want to ...of course. I would like that option but i would understand if that provider wld not allow it I guess I would have to meet with her a couple times to get a fill for the daycare space and the provider. I have never observed my children while at daycare or preschool. Its always pretty quick for me in and out as I was a TA at one time and understand it is hard just to be there around your child and your own child can't adjust properly. Not to mention it really has the teachers/assistants and providers on edge. You know I've never had a parent ever ask to observe though. I have a gated house and I know that all my parents would not be conferable w/me allowing a potently person come observe. But, if I was able to convince my parents that I had every intention of making sure the kids where safe and that my husband was there with me not to mention that it would be a 30 time line that would be it. I agree Crystal with you on that...parents now in days are really curious as to what goes on and they deserve to see what and how we interact with the children. With all my parents I have in my phb that any parent can drop in at any time and some will come at diff. times of the day or their pick up time is def. they get to see me at diff. stages through out the day. For the OP- I think that you should have a 2nd interview and talk to all your parents before hand on how they fill about having a potential parent come an observe you for 30 min max. Keep them far away from the children and do not have them inter act or help you in any way. Make sure you explain that to them that that is for the safely of the children and your self. I would also have your husband there also as another pair of eyes. It never fails the parent is always asking questions and if I am there by my self there is no way I can entertain the parent and the children all at the same time. If you have a assistant that would be good as well as a extra pair of eyes. I just don't ever do observing on my own with my kids. Their my first priority always.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:48 PM
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I agree that 10 minutes doesn't allow much time to get a real "snapshot" of the day. That's why my observations tend to be 30-90 minutes. I just go about my day as usual and act as though they are not there.

Cheerfuldom, can you tell me, do you ever have potential clients request observation, and if so, how do they respond when you tell them no? I just can't see a parent accepting that and moving forward with enrollment.

It is almost always requested by families in our area (based on conversations with local providers) and I think alot of providers would not have full programs if they refused an initial observation, so I am wondering what it is like in other areas.
Crystal, I have had parents ask and I have told them no. I give them my reasons why and I see the lights go on in their brains.. I have never lost a client yet. They are actually just repeating what they have seen written in some yuppy parent magazine or such and have never really put any thought in it. Once they start thinking about if THEY can hang out...then so can any other Tom , Dick and Harry and then they start seeing the light....
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:49 PM
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I think the reason I never have been asked about having an observation is because all my parents have been refered by another parent here. I guess they go with their feeling that if the person that is referring them is happy why wouldn't they be.

Also, my parents seriously have no time to do a observation. When three of my 6 preschoolers needed care it was on the next day basis. One had one quit on them, one needed to find a person immediately due to some issues on providers part, another one provider didn't know if she wanted to continue childcare or not. So there was no time to observe. Also, all these parents were referred to me by a friend or client.
This parent was referred by a very happy family of mine. When he asked to observe I aked if he wanted another referral. And he said no because he was happy with the one he had.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:50 PM
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I think the reason I never have been asked about having an observation is because all my parents have been refered by another parent here. I guess they go with their feeling that if the person that is referring them is happy why wouldn't they be.

Also, my parents seriously have no time to do a observation. When three of my 6 preschoolers needed care it was on the next day basis. One had one quit on them, one needed to find a person immediately due to some issues on providers part, another one provider didn't know if she wanted to continue childcare or not. So there was no time to observe. Also, all these parents were referred to me by a friend or client.
My parents have been referred by others in care as well. I think they want to observe to get an idea of what their child's day will be like, how I respond under stress, how I handle meal times, how I "discipline", etc. Unless the parent sees it, it's hard to believe that we can handle all of the stuff that can get thrown our way on any given day. It's peace of mind and knowing that their child is going to have good days, good friends, good food, etc, etc, etc.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:51 PM
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I guess I am confused....what is a parent supposed to magically see in 10 minutes? sounds like a waste of time to me (sorry if that is too harsh)

Generally, I don't allow any strangers around the kids, period and don't allow observing. I understand that parents may not be comfortable with that but that is what I am comfortable with so they can take it or leave it. Actually, its pretty rare than anyone asks to observe.

I just think it is silly to say "oh I observed for 10 minutes and that is enough for me to make my choice".
This is exactly how I feel. But I'm glad it went OK for the OP!! Hope they sign up with you!
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:13 PM
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My parents have been referred by others in care as well. I think they want to observe to get an idea of what their child's day will be like, how I respond under stress, how I handle meal times, how I "discipline", etc. Unless the parent sees it, it's hard to believe that we can handle all of the stuff that can get thrown our way on any given day. It's peace of mind and knowing that their child is going to have good days, good friends, good food, etc, etc, etc.
I understand where you are coming from Crystal...I really do. On the surface it all sounds very nice. But here's the problem.

Mom and Dad want to know what Miss Provider's day care is like. So they ask for a chance to go observe. Miss Provider tell them they can come for an hour tomorrow.

Miss Provider makes sure she has a fun activity lined up...even though she normally ignores the kids.

Miss Provider threatens the other kids to be good or else while the visitors are in the day care.

Miss Provider is all smiles because she wants the money. She's normally a sourpuss.

If a child DOES misbehave, Miss Provider gently puts the child in a short time-out or re-directs. She normally yells and punishes instead of disciplines.

Mom and Dad see the sweetest Mary Poppins wannabe ever and are so excited!

Miss Provider shows them the door after an hour.

It's all been a complete waste of time. Mom and Dad have a completely false idea of what life is like at day care....and their child will suffer.

Or......Miss Provider may really be Mary Poppins personified! No way to tell until the child has been in care a while and TRUST has been established.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:24 PM
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I understand where you are coming from Crystal...I really do. On the surface it all sounds very nice. But here's the problem.

Mom and Dad want to know what Miss Provider's day care is like. So they ask for a chance to go observe. Miss Provider tell them they can come for an hour tomorrow.

Miss Provider makes sure she has a fun activity lined up...even though she normally ignores the kids.

Miss Provider threatens the other kids to be good or else while the visitors are in the day care.

Miss Provider is all smiles because she wants the money. She's normally a sourpuss.

If a child DOES misbehave, Miss Provider gently puts the child in a short time-out or re-directs. She normally yells and punishes instead of disciplines.

Mom and Dad see the sweetest Mary Poppins wannabe ever and are so excited!

Miss Provider shows them the door after an hour.

It's all been a complete waste of time. Mom and Dad have a completely false idea of what life is like at day care....and their child will suffer.

Or......Miss Provider may really be Mary Poppins personified! No way to tell until the child has been in care a while and TRUST has been established.
I can see that happening.

BUT, most people can see right through that if it is the case. Especially in an hour.....no provider who is a witch to the children can manage to not slip up a time or two in an hours time.....for years I have done ECERS and FCCERS on other programs and within less than an hour I can tell if they are being genuine or not. (and I was able to do this on the very first ob I ever did, so it wasn't a honed skill)

Also, I think the environment says alot. My environment is, well, beautiful. It is clearly well-maintained, clean, well-lit, LOTS of materials are ALWAYS available, not just a random activity and the children have complete access to all of those materials during observation. Typically there is 1-3 children in each area, all the time, and this is what parents see. Also, I always redirect, I don't use time out and it works very effectively, making it clear that that is all I need to do with the children to get compliance.

While I can see what you say happening in a very brief observation, an hour or more should be enough time for a parent to get the real jist of the providers and children's day.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:25 PM
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Also, meeko, your post is precisely why the parent SHOULD do an unnanounced drop in after enrollment....to see if the provider was indeed being genuine at the observation.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:29 PM
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Wasn't though there a case just not to long ago with California's childcare provider of the year. Something about men coming and going, children not being watched, maybe a death in the childcare? It also sounded like there were always parents coming in and out. So what about a case like that! Top provider yet all these things are going on still. I don't think a person can really see anything form one time.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:31 PM
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I had a parent want to observe a while back. I completely understood and although I agree with others about how the "reality" of the day is not shown in one observation, I agreed. However, I did not agree to allow the parent's child to accompany them. That would have been setting up the child, parent and myself for failure as we all know kids act up in odd or unnatural situation such as a parent and a caregiver being present at the same time.

What I did do was invite the parent to come and assist me in my daily routine. I put her to work as I would any other assistant. This parent was able to see first hand how our day works and what goes on during the day. She got a perfect view of how I handle bad/negative behaviors and how the children act and behave to not only me but to others.

If I were to have parent ask to observe again, I would say "No, but you can come volunteer for the afternoon."

Much like many of the Early Childhood and Head Start classrooms believ; supporting parent involvement is a good practice.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:38 PM
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Wasn't though there a case just not to long ago with California's childcare provider of the year. Something about men coming and going, children not being watched, maybe a death in the childcare? It also sounded like there were always parents coming in and out. So what about a case like that! Top provider yet all these things are going on still. I don't think a person can really see anything form one time.
Actually, that isn't exactly what happened. There weren't men coming and going, but she did leave the children in the care of her assistant while she and her own child went to another location where she met with a man she was having an affair with.

BUT, you're right it shows one observation can't guarantee anything AND proves that parents should indeed do UNNANOUNCED drop in visits, as it goes to show you can never 100% trust anyone with your children.

This particular provider was friends with all of her families, and they basically all lived in the same neighborhood, had barbeques together etc.

This provider was county provider of the year a couple of years ago. There was an infant death. The provider put the child to sleep, upstairs (against regs) with the parents knowledge that she had always done so. The baby was left unnattended in a carseat with a propped bottle and died. The provider then moved the child to a play pen and did not call 911 or perform CPR. It wasn't until the father arrived that she ran down and said call 911. She is facing criminal neglect charges and appears in court this Friday.

So, yep, parents should observe and should do unnanounced visits....if provider of the year can do these things, well, then, so might any one of us.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:45 PM
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Thanks for clarifying the story. I was trying to recall what I had remembered from reading about it.

Yes, it does show you that no matter how well you may know someone, there still maybe something going on that you don't know about.
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:54 PM
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Thanks for clarifying the story. I was trying to recall what I had remembered from reading about it.

Yes, it does show you that no matter how well you may know someone, there still maybe something going on that you don't know about.
You're welcome. And, thank you for helping me prove my point (even if that was not your intention )
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:00 PM
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I had a parent want to observe a while back. I completely understood and although I agree with others about how the "reality" of the day is not shown in one observation, I agreed. However, I did not agree to allow the parent's child to accompany them. That would have been setting up the child, parent and myself for failure as we all know kids act up in odd or unnatural situation such as a parent and a caregiver being present at the same time.

What I did do was invite the parent to come and assist me in my daily routine. I put her to work as I would any other assistant. This parent was able to see first hand how our day works and what goes on during the day. She got a perfect view of how I handle bad/negative behaviors and how the children act and behave to not only me but to others.

If I were to have parent ask to observe again, I would say "No, but you can come volunteer for the afternoon."

Much like many of the Early Childhood and Head Start classrooms believ; supporting parent involvement is a good practice.
Nice idea. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:13 PM
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Here's my two cents.

When I was teaching, my kids (3 and 11months at the time) were in this great daycare. She was so nice and flexible with my subbing schedule. I just loved her. Well, I got off early one day and called her to say I was coming early. I walked in the door two minutes later to see her beating my 11 month old son. Apparently she was rushing to get his diaper changed and he was wiggling and she snapped. I'm so glad I witnessed this, because what would have happened had I not seen it?!

So that makes me an advocate of dropping in unannounced (not a lot mind you, but come early one day). I can guarantee you'll see who your provider truly is. And that could be a good or bad thing. I don't treat it as an issue of trust, more just checking in if you're having doubts. Your suspicions will either be confirmed or put to rest.

I agree with other pp's in that a scheduled observation doesn't really give anyone an accurate depiction of how your daycare works. If you are a great judge of "true character" and can spot phonies, then that's awesome but I don't think a lot of people have that. Apparently I didn't!
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:17 PM
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Here's my two cents.

When I was teaching, my kids (3 and 11months at the time) were in this great daycare. She was so nice and flexible with my subbing schedule. I just loved her. Well, I got off early one day and called her to say I was coming early. I walked in the door two minutes later to see her beating my 11 month old son. Apparently she was rushing to get his diaper changed and he was wiggling and she snapped. I'm so glad I witnessed this, because what would have happened had I not seen it?!

So that makes me an advocate of dropping in unannounced (not a lot mind you, but come early one day). I can guarantee you'll see who your provider truly is. And that could be a good or bad thing. I don't treat it as an issue of trust, more just checking in if you're having doubts. Your suspicions will either be confirmed or put to rest.

I agree with other pp's in that a scheduled observation doesn't really give anyone an accurate depiction of how your daycare works. If you are a great judge of "true character" and can spot phonies, then that's awesome but I don't think a lot of people have that. Apparently I didn't!
Good example. I had my kids in THREE daycares within 6 months due to this type of thing. That is why I started my own daycare.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:19 PM
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Good example. I had my kids in THREE daycares within 6 months due to this type of thing. That is why I started my own daycare.
I was very fortunate to find someone after that incident who gave me the ability to trust again, and showed me what a true childcare provider was like. I was so grateful to that. But there's still a small part of me that always wonders whenever someone watches my kids. What are they hiding? Sad right?!
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:21 PM
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Here's my two cents.

When I was teaching, my kids (3 and 11months at the time) were in this great daycare. She was so nice and flexible with my subbing schedule. I just loved her. Well, I got off early one day and called her to say I was coming early. I walked in the door two minutes later to see her beating my 11 month old son. Apparently she was rushing to get his diaper changed and he was wiggling and she snapped. I'm so glad I witnessed this, because what would have happened had I not seen it?!

So that makes me an advocate of dropping in unannounced (not a lot mind you, but come early one day). I can guarantee you'll see who your provider truly is. And that could be a good or bad thing. I don't treat it as an issue of trust, more just checking in if you're having doubts. Your suspicions will either be confirmed or put to rest.

I agree with other pp's in that a scheduled observation doesn't really give anyone an accurate depiction of how your daycare works. If you are a great judge of "true character" and can spot phonies, then that's awesome but I don't think a lot of people have that. Apparently I didn't!


I think this is why a lot of us started out own daycares. I won't even go into detail what my 3 kids went through in various daycares. It never crossed my mind to ever call licensing, either. My girls were in 8 different daycare situations in 2 1/2 yrs.
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:23 PM
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I think this is why a lot of us started out own daycares. I won't even go into detail what my 3 kids went through in various daycares. It never crossed my mind to ever call licensing, either.
I didn't report it either. I didn't know how licensing worked and I was worried about slander.
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Old 12-07-2011, 07:59 PM
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I pulled mine from a Christian Facility Childcare at a church mind you when I witness right there the teacher punishing my son with corporal punishment...he was 3 yrs old mind you. He went to a child and tried taking a toy away from him and the teacher grabbed him by his upper are (while I was still there putting his things away in his cubby) and started shacking him and yelling at him. I was I went straight over there and gave her a HUGE talking to. I went straight to the director about it and pulled him that very day. He went to Tutor Time...and I loved him over there not to mention all the staff. I did find out from the directors daughter that they let go of the teacher in the 3's class. They would not elaborate but they did say she had a military background...

Zoe- I can't even imagine walking in on seeing your son beaten during changing time. That's awful!! I have one little guy who from day one is strong willed...he likes to do everything on his own and he wiggles all the time for me. It gets sooo frustrating...but to beat a child over it!! Thats just awful!! I tell my little guy "Ok, you can go naked then"..lol!! I don't mind it...he does though!! LOL!!! I am dead serious to and I've told his parents also bc it's a total battle here.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:48 PM
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Zoe- I can't even imagine walking in on seeing your son beaten during changing time. That's awful!! I have one little guy who from day one is strong willed...he likes to do everything on his own and he wiggles all the time for me. It gets sooo frustrating...but to beat a child over it!! Thats just awful!! I tell my little guy "Ok, you can go naked then"..lol!! I don't mind it...he does though!! LOL!!! I am dead serious to and I've told his parents also bc it's a total battle here.
Yeah! Kids squirm! You'd think most providers would know that! Whatever. He's fine now and I'm more careful about who I leave my kids with. And furthermore, if I'm EVER feeling frustrated, I take a step back, because I NEVER want to snap like she did.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:19 AM
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I knew there was a reason I was off the forum for awhile. Might have to take another "vacation."

There really isn't much of a point in discussing anything with anyone on here when everyones viewpoints are ever changing or someone has to come up with an attack all because your method of thinking isn't the same.

When I have a daycare vet (Nannyde) that lives 10 miles from me, I talk to everyday and has a proven successful career, I'm going to go with that over someone I don't know in California! In this case, I have to go with what I know and that is precisely what I stated.

Parents around here don't want their children around children they don't know let alone strangers.

So, if your having a tough time deciding, ask your current daycare families what they think of the situation!
If your going to have a view point, stand up for it. Your not alone in your thinking. So don't run every time you come up against this. WE all do what works for us, and sharing is a great way to stay connected and learn from one another. I wish I had that vet 10 miles from me- she is a wealth of information.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:33 AM
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It saddens me that there are so many providers (who by nature should be warm, caring, supportive people in light of what they do) automatically assume that all parents are out to get as much as they can and get "special" at every opportunity.





Providing child care should be a partnership with parents and should be a trusting relationship. I actually feel sorry for providers who feel that way about parents because they are really doing themselves a diservice to be so cynical and negative. As child care providers, we strive to teach our DCK's tolerance and acceptance as well as celebrating differences and yet this thread is proof that we do not model the same practices that we preach!
I think almost all of us are warm and caring, supportive people- we have to be, we tolerate so many different people. When providers come to the boards its usually for help towards a problem, so it does look like we complain etc... a lot. We don't. We are just looking for support towards a situation. Unless you have great families that you are working with- all being great(yes it does happen) your lucky because I have been doing this for a long time and in many avenues of care- you see it all. Right now I have awesome families, not always been the case. When you are a loving,caring person it takes you even further back to fathom that someone else could not be on their game, esp having a love for the children and care and concern. So don't roll us all into one nut shell ball and assume we should be and we are not.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:40 AM
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(if you follow my posts you can watch the 5 stages of grief progress...it is funny to me, now .)[/quote]

I don't think your grief is funny. It will never be funny. I can't imagine what you went through and am sending you a big hug. You will never be the same- but I admire you for moving on and living for the people around you that still need you and the people that you touch in your walk of life.

Out of experience- The only thing that heals a loss is time, and that never totally closes up the wound. It's like a bruise if you touch it just right it still hurts.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:50 AM
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If. as a parent, I thought I could not trust anyone with my children....I simply would not use day care at all. I would move heaven and earth to stay home myself.

Exactly my reason for quitting my job and starting my daycare 15 years ago

Just based on posts on this forum I would not trust another daycare provider to care for my children....I have seen plenty of posts on this forum that constitute neglect and a strong disinterest in caring for other people's children.
This is why others attack you- and the fact that you hardly ever agree with anyone other then yourself-
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