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Parents and Guardians Forum>As a Daycare Teacher, Did I Do Something Wrong?
questions 08:54 AM 03-02-2020
Hello, wondering if anyone has experienced this…

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


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


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

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


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


This has been a huge misunderstanding but I've learned from this experience, for sure.
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Cat Herder 09:04 AM 03-02-2020
"I went further to ask the child's older sibling (7-8 years old) where their younger sibling may have heard those words before."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stick around.
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Unregistered 07:13 AM 03-29-2020
Honestly, you probably shouldn't have asked the older sibling. What difference does it make where the child heard the term. Some families talk very openly about sex, guns, drugs, ect. Saying to the kids we don't talk about at daycare was enough and change the subject and move on was enough.
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StacyMendez 09:25 PM 07-21-2020
Were you trained at all? If yes, how long after were you on your own? Early Childhood Education should be about that - education of the young child. It sounds like you are babysitting. Was this going to be your career or was this going to be a job for a while? You may want to ask yourself why they are so understaffed that a sick employee cannot be out. You would think that they would want a sick employee to be out.
click test
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Cat Herder 04:38 AM 07-22-2020
Originally Posted by StacyMendez:
Were you trained at all? If yes, how long after were you on your own? Early Childhood Education should be about that - education of the young child. It sounds like you are babysitting. Was this going to be your career or was this going to be a job for a while? You may want to ask yourself why they are so understaffed that a sick employee cannot be out. You would think that they would want a sick employee to be out.
Not everyone entered this field to educate young children. That is a new construct that was forced upon childcare providers.

Some of us even entered this field to care for medically fragile children while their parents work.

Many see no reason to educate young children as they will have the majority of their lives to be dictated to by educators. It is a pendulum swing. If you stay in this field long enough you will see it swing right back to letting young children play and providing excellent CARE.

Care is what is missing right now. Nutrition, rest, exercise, freedom to explore naturally, stability in caregivers and social & emotional connections. That is what young children need.
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Unregistered 12:31 PM 07-22-2020
Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
Not everyone entered this field to educate young children. That is a new construct that was forced upon childcare providers.

Some of us even entered this field to care for medically fragile children while their parents work.

Many see no reason to educate young children as they will have the majority of their lives to be dictated to by educators. It is a pendulum swing. If you stay in this field long enough you will see it swing right back to letting young children play and providing excellent CARE.

Care is what is missing right now. Nutrition, rest, exercise, freedom to explore naturally, stability in caregivers and social & emotional connections. That is what young children need.
I second this! I am currently working in an ECE center and I feel there is too much emphasis on making sure the children are on target rather than letting them develop naturally on their own. I feel the ECE starts the comparison game way too early. Some of the trainings I have taken keep up the mantra if children arenít being academically educated before kindergarten they will be woefully behind.

Iíve known a lot of individuals who have not had the early learning and have had a great deal of academic success.
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284878 01:57 PM 07-22-2020
That reminds me of a tour when a parent asked to see the curriculum that I use for infants. "Curriculum for infants, no I don't do Curriculum for them, I just read them books randomly."
We weren't a good fit.

(FYI: I do more than just read books to infants)
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Unregistered 09:43 AM 06-07-2021
Is it just me or does it look like one poster copied another poster on this thread?
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Michael 11:07 AM 06-07-2021
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
Is it just me or does it look like one poster copied another poster on this thread?
Yep, darn little pesky spammers from India. He was deleted.
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Cat Herder 01:17 PM 06-07-2021
I had to delete some links that were placed in quotes this weekend, too. This was a busy thread.
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Tags:complaint, confidentiality, inappropriate behavior, mandated reporter, minor children, parent, teacher
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