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Old 12-20-2010, 05:49 PM
Elizabeth
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Default Director Doesn't Hit Or Touch The Children But Is Verbally Very Harsh

In researching about proper and positive discipline in daycares, I came across daycare.com on the internet. I work at a small daycare (it is not listed with daycare.com) and the director is very strict with the children. For the first 45 minutes before the other caregivers start work, it is just the director and me looking after the children. She makes them watch TV and makes them sit still, no talking, not allowed to play quietly with toys nor even read a book. I supervise the children watching TV for about 20-30 minutes and I don't think it is appropriate to make young children (ages 1-4) sit still for more than 5-15 minutes.

This director doesn't hit or touch the children but is verbally very harsh. For example, she is always telling Bobby (not his real name) to sit still and be quiet and told me he will cause trouble. One time, Bobby came to daycare with a pencil and he was jumping around while holding his pencil. I asked him, "What would happen if you jump around with a pencil in your hand?" Bobby answered, "I might get hurt" I said, "That is right, you might hurt your eye or tummy. How about if you put your pencil on this shelf?" Bobby replied, "I will put my pencil in my cubby." And he did so. When Bobby came back, he was happy and bouncy and kind of skipped back to the room. The director yelled at Bobby, "Sit down, quit your jumping around." I tried to explain that Bobby made a right decision and she would not receive that info.

Another example, the director demanded to know who took a toy off the shelf during this time of TV watching. She then told the 4 year old boy, "Pick up the toy! Pick up the toy! Pick it up! Put it back and go sit down."

When the children come in from outdoors, they are not allowed to talk and often are made to walk down the hallway with their hands behind their backs. This may be appropriate for older children but for 3-4 year olds? The children are often crying after she yells at them and then she tells them to stop crying. I have never seen this director hug a child nor reassure a young child. I do think that young children (and even adults) need hugs from time to time.

I am my wits end because I can't prove to anyone that this harsh verbal yelling is going on because as soon as a parent entered the daycare (and we can hear them open the front door) she is nicer to the children and is very friendly to the parents. Some of the parents think she is wonderful because she has a good and friendly relationship with them, but as soon as all the parents have left the daycare, she is harsh with the children.

This is the second daycare I have worked at in less than a year. ( I homeschooled my children for about 13 years and now am back in the workforce. I love children and though working at a daycare would be wonderful.) This daycare is better than the previous daycare. At that daycare, a couple of caregivers would cover the older babies and toddlers' faces with their blankets to get them to take a nap. The nursery caregiver would put a 3 month old on the floor for tummy time and walk away while this baby was screaming. She said that the mom wanted her baby to do 15 min of tummy time. I am absolutely sure that this mom didn't want her baby left on the floor screaming and upset. The 4 year old teacher (who was the assistant director) would make these 4 year olds lie on their mats for 3 hours (nap time) without even allowing them to read a book, while she would talk or text on her cell phone. I do know that 4 year olds don't need 3 hour naps. And there were other issues such as some of the caregivers didn't have FBI clearance. This daycare was shut down a few weeks after I left.

Both daycares are licensed and are inspected on a regular basis. These directors know how to look good in front of parents and the inspectors. As a homeschool mom, I had issues with public schools but after working at these two daycares and hearing reports about daycares, it seems that daycares can be worse than public school. There needs to be a lot more accountability in daycares. I have told my children never to send my (future) grandchildren to a daycare unless they have cameras in every room.

It is indeed a challenge to ensure that ALL daycares are high quality and are caring, loving and kind places for young children.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:53 PM
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QualiTcare QualiTcare is offline
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sadly, what you describe is all too common in daycare centers. my children went to a center where everything wasn't always perfect. there was a teacher who covered heads with blankets and some who liked to squeeze their wrists which to a by-stander just looked like an unruly child being "led" when in fact the reason they appeared unruly is because they were screaming due to the fact their wrists were being squeezed. i was lucky to work at that center and point these things out to the director. in my case, the director did care. it didn't make me the most popular employee, but oh well. this was known as "the best" center in town. unfortunately, even "the best" centers only require employees to have a GED and pass a background check. that leaves the door open for all types. before anyone gets their panties in a wad, i'm not saying everyone who has a GED isn't capable of caring for children, but the standards for daycare center employees ARE low and IMO invite these situations because people desperate for a job, ANY job will settle for daycare CENTERS.

my degree is in early childhood education and i would've never dreamed this daycare would have these problems had i not witnessed them. the only reason i DID see them is because i worked there. point being: parents just don't know - they have NO clue what is happening unless they see it. they are not likely to see it if they don't work there. therefore, they never find out.

i took my children out of that daycare at one point because i moved and i was also fed up with them for several reasons. i was very impressed with the new daycare. they had an elaborate safety/sign in system, the director appeared very professional by her dress and demeanor, and had her degree posted on the wall (yes, that does make an impression on me, personally). it was clean, the kids seemed happy, etc, etc. i asked her directly, "are you NAEYC accredited," and she said, "YES."

that daycare only lasted a matter of weeks. my son didn't wear diapers EVER and i got a note asking to replace diapers that were borrowed from a child. of course, i told them NO bc he hadn't had a problem with accidents for months at his other daycare and i wasn't going to buy a pack of diapers to replace ones that should've never been on him (they had put them on during nap i guess bc they didn't take my word for it and probably too lazy). afterall, how could a 2 year old possibly be potty trained?

i got off work at 5:30 so it was typically 5:45 when i would pick up and they closed at 6. i noticed at that time my son would be in a highchair (with a snack) in front of a TV and the older kids would be in the floor AND the lights would be off. at first, i didn't think too much of it. i'd worked in daycare and thought this was probably a last 1/2 hour thing so they could clean up. besides, everything else appeared normal. then, i picked up early a couple days (by early i mean around 5 which is an hour before close) and it was the same scenario - my son in a highchair, lights out, TV. i called the old daycare and asked if/when i could get back there so i could pull my kids from the new daycare ASAP. keep in mind, the "old daycare" wasn't perfect either - it was a matter of choosing the lesser of the two evils for me at that time. luckily, they were able to take them back within a matter of a couple days. i discussed the whole "situation" with my boss at the school i worked at the time and said something to the effect of, "i'm just shocked. i feel like i know daycares. i know what to look for. i know what questions to ask. they're NAEYC accredited..." and she said, "NAEYC? i don't think so." she got on the computer right then and looked up the center - they were NOT NAEYC accredited. the director flat out lied when i asked. of course, i could've gone online and looked, but when you ask a seemingly professional daycare director to their face, "are you NAEYC accredited?" you don't think they're lying if they say, "yes." that was my last straw. if she lied about THAT, what else had she lied about? apparently, a lot.

when i gave the director at the "new daycare" notice (which was a short notice, btw) i pulled her to the side - it was a dark, empty classroom actually - and told her exactly WHY i was taking them out. i told her it was ridiculous to put children in high chairs in front of the TV for an hour (at least, to my knowledge) and in the dark at that. i also told her she lied to me about being accredited. her response was, "well, we're accredited by one of those." one of those? really? you KNOW if you are NAEYC accredited. she stood there like a deer in headlights. i was furious. i SERIOUSLY wanted to tell every parent in that daycare how horrible it was. most of the parents were middle class, educated people. as i said, you just don't know if you don't see. not to mention - they don't all have early childhood degrees so probably weren't looking as closely.

sorry for the rant, but i just HATE these stories and i feel bad for the kids and the parents who i know are in the dark - not to mention desperate for childcare.

i agree with you - i will do whatever i can to keep my grandchildren out of daycare PERIOD. i don't feel guilty that mine went. it was necessary at that time in my life and it was a learning experience. i do tell everyone i know that if they have to have childcare to use a family member if possible. if not, i urge them to choose a small home provider - and even that is not guaranteed to be "quality" but there's a better chance IMO since a home provider has something INVESTED besides someone saying "you're hired."

i don't know what to tell you other than find another place to work. when you leave, do like i did and tell her everything you've seen that is despicable. the other option would be to report her if you plan to stay. if you do it after leaving it could be seen as retaliation. someone may interview you and if so, tell them EVERYTHING.
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:41 AM
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Grab a small tape recorder so you can tape her screaming at the kids. And write down specific instances including times, places, and as many facts as possible. Try to remember to be as objective as possible. Don't use 'he was upset' use 'he looked down at his feet and cried as he walked into the room'. These will give you some documentation to have when you report her. Verbal abuse is harder to prove but if you document it than they'll look into it more.
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Old 12-21-2010, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QualiTcare View Post
even "the best" centers only require employees to have a GED and pass a background check. that leaves the door open for all types. before anyone gets their panties in a wad, i'm not saying everyone who has a GED isn't capable of caring for children, but the standards for daycare center employees ARE low and IMO invite these situations because people desperate for a job, ANY job will settle for daycare CENTERS.
Well at least your State requires a GED. My State requires the employee be 18 if they are to be alone with kids and have 2 hours of child abuse training within three months (online now) and 12 hours of training by the end of the first year. Criminal/child abuse check. Physical. That be it.

Considering the high turn over in Centers most employess don't make it to the end of the first year. When they switch jobs the clock starts over. They have another twelve months to get the twelve hours.

Now if you are a staff assistant for a HOME day care you must have a GED or high school diploma AND you can't be left alone with the kids.

One thing I know about child care is that the masses will go to the least educated cheapest person. Even in Georgia where they have made DRASTIC changes in educational requirements when you REALLY look at the numbers and what everyone has to have to work it still comes down to the bottom line that the one caring for the kids doesn't have to have jack. They allow "groups" where only one adult has to have a one year technical degree or some version of an ECE degree... BUT that person can be the lead teacher with a LARGE (AND I MEAN LARGE) group of kids.

So when it's all shook out it's basically the same... in Centers there will be low educated workers. When you get to the prek level THEN you see more education but you also see a WAY higher adult to child ratio.

If I moved to Georgia today I couldn't do home day care. I'm not qualified. 31 years of kids, RN, 17 years of child care in my home... not good enough. BUT.. I could take over a 300 kid Center the day I crossed State lines.

Aint that sumpin............
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