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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Then Why Am I Doing It?
daycare 12:13 PM 09-25-2011
I run a preschool program at my home. I have since I opened years ago. During the summer I run an art program and take the summer off from teaching.

I have had the same group of kids for several years. I think the newest kid to my group has been here for about 8 months. Lately when the children come to daycare they are so exhausted that they canít participate in class time or any form of activities for that matter. Imagine your typical ďretrainĒ Monday every day.

At the beginning of the school season, I asked each family to participate in tracking their Childs eat and sleep patterns. I was shocked that the ones that did participate sent the papers back stating that their 3-4 year olds went to bed past 10:30PM and none of them took naps while at home. Just about every child here arrives around 7:30-8:00am; so therefore, none of them are getting enough sleep.

I have spoken to the parents about it and none of them seem to care that their child comes here and sleeps 5-6 hours a day. Not all of them but 80%. Some of the parents have asked why no project coming home, how come he didnít do this or that etc. etc. etc. And this from one of the parents whos child sleeps all day.

I am to the point where I am beginning to wonder why am I spending all of these hours building a curriculum to teach and then have no one to teach it to most of the time, because the child is either having massive behavioral issues from being overly tired, or sleeping.
How would you feel if your provider sent you a note that said (of course this is not what I would say):

That no child in daycare is benefitting from class time due to being overly tired and sleeping through class time, therefore I will no longer continue to teach?


I donít get paid a lot for what I do and monthly I reinvest about $300-$350.00 back into my program to teach the kidsÖ A lot of what I do comes from the heart and I love doing this for everyone. But I donít love doing it for no reason. I need help addressing this matter and how should I tell the parents that I wonít be teaching anymore.

Do I tell them the reason why? At this point, I am willing to let everyone go and restart if I have to. I have thought long and hard about this since class resumed at the end of August.
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AnneCordelia 03:28 PM 09-25-2011
Tell them you are reinventing your business and are focusing on your preschool curriculum, as that is where your passion lies. I would explain an addition to my contract that each child needs to be rested and ready for the day ahead of them, and that if they are too tired to participate in the preschool lessons then they are too tired to attend your daycare that day. I would follow through. If you are trying to do your preschool at 10am and Jonny is sleeping or grumpy from lack of sleep, then I would call mom and say, "Jonny is unfortunately too tired to participate today and, as per our contract, I will need you to come pick him up."

Either they will shape up, or they will ship out...and either way you are prepared for it.
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daycare 04:10 PM 09-25-2011
I'm way past the point of calling parents to pick up kids that are overly tired and can't participate. I can't call them everyday. I have already held conferences, meetings, letters and what not.

Now I just need to move forward and make the necessary changes. Which means I change my program to suit the needs of thechildren.
Now I have to let the parents know.
Just still trying to answer my first questions....
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cheerfuldom 05:40 PM 09-25-2011
I think you should let the parents know that you are currently revamping your program to suit the needs of the children in your care. You will be taking a break for traditional preschool curriculum and only working in curriculum on the days that the children are up to it or you can do a short learning time at a certain time each day and whoever is awake and attentive gets to participate. you will not wake sleeping children to participate nor will you allow those with behavioral issues to participate on that particular day. each parent is welcome to address the issues and needs of their particular child in order for them to participate (aka if they want their kid up for preschool, they get the extra work of putting them to bed early, etc) put it back on the parents and do not guarantee anything as far as preschool goes.
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mom2many 05:48 PM 09-25-2011
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I think you should let the parents know that you are currently revamping your program to suit the needs of the children in your care. You will be taking a break for traditional preschool curriculum and only working in curriculum on the days that the children are up to it or you can do a short learning time at a certain time each day and whoever is awake and attentive gets to participate. you will not wake sleeping children to participate nor will you allow those with behavioral issues to participate on that particular day. each parent is welcome to address the issues and needs of their particular child in order for them to participate (aka if they want their kid up for preschool, they get the extra work of putting them to bed early, etc) put it back on the parents and do not guarantee anything as far as preschool goes.
Ditto this!
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countrymom 05:56 PM 09-25-2011
sadly I will guarentee that most parents just don't care, sure they will ask at the beginning why their children aren't bringing anything home but that will soon fade too. I just don't understand why parents don't want their children to nap on the weekends, I live for naps, I get so much done so why don't others. and why would I want to entertain a child till 1030 every night, I would never get a break. My 13 yr goes to bed before 9pm (she watches tv in her room) but is usually sleeping by 930pm.
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daycare 09:05 PM 09-25-2011
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I think you should let the parents know that you are currently revamping your program to suit the needs of the children in your care. You will be taking a break for traditional preschool curriculum and only working in curriculum on the days that the children are up to it or you can do a short learning time at a certain time each day and whoever is awake and attentive gets to participate. you will not wake sleeping children to participate nor will you allow those with behavioral issues to participate on that particular day. each parent is welcome to address the issues and needs of their particular child in order for them to participate (aka if they want their kid up for preschool, they get the extra work of putting them to bed early, etc) put it back on the parents and do not guarantee anything as far as preschool goes.
This was a great post! Thanks for responding. Now if I can get a letter together in words I'll be on my way in the right direction.
Trust me I have no issue with allowing a child or several children sleep several hours here, but no way am I going to continue to spend all this time and money for no reason.

Thanks again, I'm going to go work on my letter!! Feel free to give me any input! Lol
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Heidi 06:16 AM 09-26-2011
I have another idea, don't know if it will work, though...

Can you have a quiet/rest time right at the beginning of the day? When the kids first arrive? Maybe they wouldnt fall asleep that early, but perhaps they would...It would be a little extra prep time for you if it worked...
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daycare 07:54 AM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by bbo:
I have another idea, don't know if it will work, though...

Can you have a quiet/rest time right at the beginning of the day? When the kids first arrive? Maybe they wouldnt fall asleep that early, but perhaps they would...It would be a little extra prep time for you if it worked...
Problem is that I am on the food program and they all get here about 15-20min after arrival. I honestly feel like I have tried everything and it's come to this. Z

My last thought is to have naps after breakfast, but then again I would have to wake everyone to eat am snack and lunch because most of them are sleeping 4.5-6 hours. I could then hold class after naps and lunch, but now it's 3pm and would have to get two kids out the door by 4:00pm.
I'm in a loss, so I'm just going to stop teaching until something changes.

Thank you for your advice
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LittleD 09:32 AM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by daycare:
I honestly feel like I have tried everything and it's come to this. Z

My last thought is to have naps after breakfast, but then again I would have to wake everyone to eat am snack and lunch because most of them are sleeping 4.5-6 hours. I could then hold class after naps and lunch, but now it's 3pm and would have to get two kids out the door by 4:00pm.
I'm in a loss, so I'm just going to stop teaching until something changes.

Thank you for your advice
I'm sure having them sleep for so long can't help. If they are only having 2-3 hours of nap, they may go to bed earlier at night. our licensing states that we can only provide 2 hours MAX for nap, 1 hour if they do not fall asleep. Have them go down after snack, then wake them for lunch (even if it's a little later) once they start getting back to a decent routine (home and daycare) then switch it to after lunch.
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daycare 10:39 AM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by LittleD:
I'm sure having them sleep for so long can't help. If they are only having 2-3 hours of nap, they may go to bed earlier at night. our licensing states that we can only provide 2 hours MAX for nap, 1 hour if they do not fall asleep. Have them go down after snack, then wake them for lunch (even if it's a little later) once they start getting back to a decent routine (home and daycare) then switch it to after lunch.
again BTDT.. Ever try to wake a child that does not want to be woken up? It turns into a huge disaster and then the ones that are awake are affected by it.

I tired over the summer to not allow the kids to sleep past 3pm, then had to deal with major drama. If a childs needs are not being met at home, then Ifeel that it's only right that I meet them here. Some of these kids don't go to bed until after 11:30pm.

Not trying to be rude, but can you tell my how and why you would want to keep a child awake?

I feel if they are sleeping that long, they must really need it....
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christinaskids 10:51 AM 09-26-2011
I would send out a letter to parents that effective immediately, you will no longer be teaching classes due to children not getting enough sleep at night and they are unable to focus on the material. I would also mention how much you spend on it and attach a good article about how much sleep children really need, the importance of sleep, and how to establish a good bedtime routine. Sounds like this is a fixable problem with an easy solution and perhaps the parents just need to be more educated. They may think that their children dont get tired until they do.
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daycare 11:02 AM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by christinaskids:
I would send out a letter to parents that effective immediately, you will no longer be teaching classes due to children not getting enough sleep at night and they are unable to focus on the material. I would also mention how much you spend on it and attach a good article about how much sleep children really need, the importance of sleep, and how to establish a good bedtime routine. Sounds like this is a fixable problem with an easy solution and perhaps the parents just need to be more educated. They may think that their children dont get tired until they do.
this is exactly what i am doing thanks to a lot of your guys help.

This is a battle i cant win, so I am throwing in the towel. i have started the letter and trying hard to keep it sounding professional and not sounding like i am complaining.

BTW I did hand out several articles on sleep and how important it is, I even did a whole week of a theme called healthy me and we really talked about the importance of sleep for these ages. I sent home tons and tons of stuff to the parents...This was my last attempt and it didnt work.....
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Blackcat31 01:40 PM 09-26-2011
I completely understand where you are coming from and I know that you love to teach the kids but really in reality if no one is "buying" so to speak then you are right to quit "selling." If these parents are truly looking for preschool curriculum then they need to do their part in supporting it and making sure their child is prepared for the day. When they do not do their part it is virtually impossible for you to do yours and you will find your self stressed, annoyed, feeling disrespected and unappreciated...oh wait, you are already there.

Honestly, if I were you I would go back to the basics. Stop putting so much effort in and getting so little back. Focus on giving the kids what they need rather than what you think they (parents) want.

You will probably find yourself a whole lot less stressed, find a renewed love of your job and be alot happier at the beginning, during and end of the day.
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daycare 01:46 PM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by Blackcat31:
I completely understand where you are coming from and I know that you love to teach the kids but really in reality if no one is "buying" so to speak then you are right to quit "selling." If these parents are truly looking for preschool curriculum then they need to do their part in supporting it and making sure their child is prepared for the day. When they do not do their part it is virtually impossible for you to do yours and you will find your self stressed, annoyed, feeling disrespected and unappreciated...oh wait, you are already there.

Honestly, if I were you I would go back to the basics. Stop putting so much effort in and getting so little back. Focus on giving the kids what they need rather than what you think they (parents) want.

You will probably find yourself a whole lot less stressed, find a renewed love of your job and be alot happier at the beginning, during and end of the day.
this is exactly where I am and the decision that I have already made. I have been writing a letter to inform the parents that I will be redoing my program to better suit every childs needs. It stinks, but oh well it is what it is and life goes on.

I will still plan some fun things for those that are able to participate, but I don't think that i will do much more than just centers and let them play at the centers..

thanks everyone for your help and support... on my way to finish the letter... if anyone has advise for wording on the letter i welcome anything you have...

You guys rock and thanks cat again for always shooting it straight.
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Crystal 02:54 PM 09-26-2011
I agree with the poster that said you are letting them sleep too long, and that if they didn't sleep that long at your place, they may sleep earlier at night. I have never heard of a provider allowing 4-5 hours of naptime....that's CRAZY hours of sleep at daycare!

Sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear, but that is A LOT of sleeping time. Even some of my kids WOULD sleep that long, but they are always woken up if they aren't up by three. Even if they are cranky, they still get up.
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daycare 03:26 PM 09-26-2011
Originally Posted by Crystal:
I agree with the poster that said you are letting them sleep too long, and that if they didn't sleep that long at your place, they may sleep earlier at night. I have never heard of a provider allowing 4-5 hours of naptime....that's CRAZY hours of sleep at daycare!

Sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear, but that is A LOT of sleeping time. Even some of my kids WOULD sleep that long, but they are always woken up if they aren't up by three. Even if they are cranky, they still get up.
Turst me, there are some that I can wake up and they are able to particiapte...but i have 3 kids daily who are not getting their needs met at home. Parents have admitted to me that becuase they are here all day 11+ and they want some form of time with them that they are allowing them to stay up most of the time past midnight...

HOw do I keep them awake. Lets do the math...if they go to bed at midnight and are back at my house at 7:45 with a 10 min commute time, I am going to assume that they are being woken up at 7am, these kids ages 17 months-3-and 4 are only getting 7 hours of sleep while at home. They can barley make it through breakfast. I am lucky if they do. There are a lot of other reasons taht I cant lay them down right away, one being breakfast, but what do you reccomend that I do? Hold their eyes open for them and force them to stay awake??

trust me when I tell you I would agree with you on normal circumstances, but there is nothing normal about a parent keeping their child up until after midnight for any reason....

the question should be why are these parents letting thier kids stay up so late....Not why am I letting them sleep...........
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Unregistered 06:10 PM 09-26-2011
I agree that your letting the kids sleep too long. 5-6 hours, yikes! You should go by your program not what is being done at home. Unless we are talking about an infant. Under one, I usually go by the babies need for nap. Over one I try to get the child into my routine for naps. 12-3 usually ends up being a two hour, hour and half, by the time we settle down, change the diapers. I don't let a child sleep past 3. Even if you let the youngest sleep an hour in the morning and a two hour nap in the afternoon.....that is enough sleep in your care to be able to function to the end of the day. Might make for some crabby moments, but hey you have to deal with a few cranks. Once you get the kiddo's into your routine you will be golden, don't think about what goes on at home-just do what you would do for your routine at care. This will force the parents to deal with cranky tired kids that need sleep. Play hard during the waking hours. You have to do what is going to be best for the whole of the group. Change up the times that you do some things, but for a few things have routine and structure-meals and nap are scheduled here and it helps make the day go smooth. Do I have days when it all flies out the window........of course, but then we try to get right back into the routine again as soon as possible. Good Luck
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Mom_of_two 06:44 PM 09-26-2011
Good luck- keep us posted on how your transition goes!
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Unregistered 10:56 AM 09-27-2011
you answered your own question....they are letting them stay up to have some form of a time with them. How is that going to fly when school starts? It won't. You should not bend so backward for this family that your ruining the day for the rest of the group. If you want to continue your program then you need to conform the kids to what works for you-not what is going on at home. If you continue to allow the parents run your care program then you will be closed in no time, you already don't want to do your program now. Ugh! They might be better suited for a Nanny then a group care program, and then home schooled.
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