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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>I'm Quitting - Big Rant
Unregistered 11:40 AM 02-28-2021
I just can't do this anymore.

My center closed when the pandemic hit and I opened a home daycare. I figured that I could keep the numbers low and have more control over health and safety on my own. But it has just been ridiculous!

Over the last year I have had 5 children enroll with me. Two moved (due to the pandemic), 2 were terminated by me, and the last one is just too much.

The terminations were both because of the parents. The first one was because of non-payment that I stupidly kept letting slide while trying to help the family out. When the mom was caught in numerous lies (including her lying about the child having a negative Covid test when they never got tested at all) I finally had to demand payment (16 days late!) only to have the mom dope and drop the very next day. When I sent the child home with a 24 hour symptom free notice, she tried to return the next morning. The payment bounced and I had to write my first ever termination letter.

The second family lasted two days! After the current/last child I have now began care (and things started becoming clear about them and their parents) I implemented a 2 week trial. And I'm so lucky I did! This second last child was super sweet and calm during our initial interview. Then on their very first day, as soon as their parents left, this child went full rampage! Chasing the other children, pushing, hitting, grabbing any toy they even looked at, having screaming meltdowns any time anyone else resisted or any time I intervened. Then at nap time they ran around screaming and pulling things off of the shelves then trying to escape out the front door. I ended up calling the parents for a pickup and they decided then was a good time to tell me oh ya, this child has autism.

I wouldn't have ever denied care to a child just because of a diagnosis but a heads up would have been nice! It turns out the child (4 years old - when my cut off is 3, and the parents knew this) wasn't just shy about talking but completely non-verbal and had never been around other children before! When they said he had been in a home daycare before they actually meant he had been with grandma (alone) and they failed to mention that she had refused to keep watching him after just a short time, herself. We came up with a modified integration plan but the very next day the child put my child in a choke hold then smashed his head into a piece of furniture. I had to call and tell the parents that due to the safety risk to the other children, we couldn't continue. They were understanding about it then told me they were expecting it because he didn't even make it through the interview at the daycare centre near me because he had bitten another child part way through! This is important stuff to mention!!

And now the last child... I wrote about this one before - this is the one who, after more than a month of care - still just sits and stares at me all day long. I can not get this child interested in anything! I've been trying so hard but the child is so clingy, needy and demanding that I am just completely exhausted. Not to mention that my own child who is here all day gets 0 attention while I try to keep this other one from constantly melting down over any perceived lack of 100% of my focus and attention. And now the mom is just becoming too much to deal with on top of it all.

This Mom seems to always be asking for more and more and it's just getting too hard to accomodate. And after every interaction with her I just feel worn down and like nothing I do is good enough. She is constantly trying to skirt my policies (doesn't want the child to have to go outside if they don't want to, wants special accommodations for sleep time due to her attachment parenting style not matching my group care expectations, wanting extra coddling and for me to be immediately available for updates and pictures at any time during my work day/family time) and just recently there was a major policy and safety infraction.

It is in my written policies (that I printed out and gave to her) and we have discussed it numerous times that I do not administer Tylenol or Advil at daycare and I do not accept children into care who have been given Tylenol or Advil in the 6 hours prior to care. My health policy excludes for symptoms and not necessarily cause so it doesn't matter if your child just likes a little Tylenol pick me up with their orange juice in the morning - If they are unwell enough to need medicinal intervention, they are too unwell to be at my home.

So the other day, while I am working and (mom knows) I have 3 other children in my care, I get a text asking about the child's day so far. Then another one when I don't answer soon enough. I have been honest this whole time because i know parents' first complaint when things don't pan out is always "TheRE wAs nO cOMmUnicAtiON" so I told her that again as usual, the child was reluctant to leave my side but that I was still trying to engage them in playtime. So then mom tells me oh, the child hasn't been feeling well so just give them some of the Tylenol that's in their bag.


2. If the child is unwell enough to need medicine, they are too unwell to be in my home.


Let alone the fact that she KNEW I wouldn't have allowed it if she had told me during drop off and that's why she waited to spring it on me, the complete disregard for the safety of all of the children in my home is just mindboggling.

I was so angry that I (as soon as I ran and got the bag secured) actually had to sit and take a breather. Of course, since I left their side, the child was now shrieking and trying to climb up into my face and then mom sends another text because I didn't immediately respond. That was when I knew I was just done.

The problem now is my backbone. I get so angry and worked up when I think about all the work I've put in but then how I feel I am treated. But the moment I think about confronting the parents and them coming back at me... I just deflate.

I have decided that I am completely done. I am not doing this anymore so really, it doesn't matter if the mom goes on a rampage to smear my name as a childcare worker. She can leave all the bad reviews she wants because I am closing and my daycare will cease to exist. But the thought of her getting up in my face and attacking me as a person literally has me feeling sick. And I do think she is the type to attack.

Even if she wasn't, I do feel terrible about taking away her child care services. We spoke for MONTHS before her child began and I worked so closely with her to make sure she and the child were as comfortable as possible with the arrangement. It will be a big blow to their family and I know they are going to struggle finding new care.

But then I think about my child... This whole thing was supposed to be for him, too. He was supposed to have me with him all day plus playmates and a well structured learning routine. Instead, he cries on the weekend when we walk toward the playroom and tries to back away while saying "No, [child's name], no scream". He gets 0 attention from me during the day because I'm either directly dealing with the other child or, if he manages to sneak in for a quick hug or cuddle, the other child meltdown and tries to pull him away from me. The other child also refuses to participate in any activity and screams and clings to me the whole time I'm trying to do it with my own child. Then my baby just gives up because of the screaming and will go sit alone to look at a book while I calm the other one down. My baby is 18 months old. On Friday during one of the child's screaming fits (because I stood up to stretch my legs) my son ran to the corner with his blankie and put his head down on the floor and just started quietly crying "all done screaming". I just can't put him through this anymore. I can't do it anymore. We're all just so done.

If you've read this far, what would you do? How do I just end it all?

What is the best way to tell a family that already struggled so much with the idea of childcare that they now have to find a different childcare, during a pandemic and while they are both busy working full time because I, a seasoned early childhood educator, would rather outright quit my career than spend any more time caring for their child?
Michael 12:19 PM 02-28-2021
Thanks for your thoughts. I think many are having a very difficult time with their businesses during this past year. When I was in Florida I noticed the schools where are in session. Not so in California.
Pandaluver21 12:52 PM 02-28-2021
First- Terminate Jr. Screamer immediately. Send home notice today, they will not be allowed back in care tomorrow.
Second- If you're done, that's completely understandable, but don't let bad parents ruin the job for you! I have been doing this for 13+ years and have had plenty of bad parents but have also had some AMAZING parents! Trust me, the good ones make it so worth it. Easier said than done, I know, but you have to make sure you are firm from the get go, NO leeway. Many parents will just keep taking a little at a time, the more you give the more they want. Once you have built a professional relationship with the family and you WANT to give a little, do so on your terms (or don't, that's up to you)
Third- If you KNOW for sure you want to leave the job (and not just the "bad" parents) Then I would give at least 2 week notice (except for Jr. Screamer, he's done) If you think you can/want to do a month to give families plenty of time, go for it, but be prepared for most to leave before that.
Fourth- IF you want to allow Jr. Screamer tomorrow and terminate face to face, see if you can get your licensor (if you're licensed), husband/friend, or a local officer to be in the house if you are afraid of physical/verbal confrontation.

I'm sorry you had such a rough year. Bad parents spoil the job, but it really is worth it if you want to keep going. DO YOU though! If you're really done, that's ok!
Josiegirl 02:18 AM 03-01-2021
PP said it all, right down to the advice of having someone with you when you confront dcm.
You sound 100% professional in this business and have gone above and beyond what any (sane) parent would expect. As Pandalover said, there are wonderful parents out there and being a home provider gives you the opportunity of being able to create a group of dcks who get along as a family, some days good some not so good but always worth sticking together. I worked almost 40 years and the first 20 were as you described. More support in this business came along, I gained more control of who I'd accept or not, developed my handbook/contract/policies, etc.
I'd hand her a written termination letter with the end date, along with telling her it's not working out and your dc isn't a good fit for her child. End of discussion. She should know by now the whys of what's not working.

Every dcparent has the opportunity of trashing their provider on social media. 'Tis the way of the world now. Take the higher road and ignore it if you can. Know in your own heart you did the best you could. Also let your state know about this dcm who could raise issues for you. A head's up to them is always a good idea in the case of a dcparent gone crazy.

I'm not sure I could give the 2 week notice because it sounds like it'd be he!! to pay for those last long days, having to see her every day. If you know she's breached her contract, I'd be done with her. It sounds like she did with many policies. Do you have a list of policies that would enable you to immediately term? I had a list of certain things, such as the dope and drop, nonpayment, or destruction from the child to other children or property, which warranted immediate dismissal, including but not limited to, and at my discretion.

PLEASE DO NOT feel bad that they'd have to search for dc again. They brought it on themselves and should've known better. That is their problem and on them. Just keep thinking and asking yourself how this is benefiting your child and your family. That's what comes first, now and always.

As far as quitting dc, that's a completely personal decision for you and your family to make. If working with children is truly what you want to do, maybe take a step back, restructure your dc program, your approach, handbook of policies, advertising. Then start anew or in a different niche working with children.

Good luck and hope it all works out for you!!
rosieteddy 08:58 AM 03-01-2021
Sounds like you have had enough. I would terminate sooner than later. Maybe take a month without other children. Then decide about closing completely. A good lesson to learn is you come first. Your family is your most important priority. You will never get this time back. I can guarantee that the DC families put themselves first. Tell parents that this is the childs last day ,you cannot make them happy .Suggest a nanny or other type of care. Good luck.
284878 11:40 AM 03-01-2021
I feel for you and agree with others, TERM the screamer now! I just termed a dcb that brought nothing but stress to my ds, I gave them 2 weeks and it was a long 2 weeks. I did it to be kind but I was really hoping that they would keep him home since they were home all day but they didn't.

My first families were the worst.
I had a dcm that thought she was better than me because she went to college and got a degree in nothing. Then married an illegal and could not hold a job, left when she got fired. When she told me that she was fired I was so excited but trying not to show it.
The next dcm tried to bully me and so did her kids. I had enough and let them go. She was shocked and disappointed in me.
The last one, the dcb sat on my dd, pulled my dd hair, and pushed her out of a fort on the swing set. They left before I could term, for yet another dc that was cheaper.

I went months with only one dcb 3x a week (also the most amazing dcf ever). During this time, I found this forum, rewrote my handbook, and changed my approach. The next 2 families only needed m-th and that made it worth it. From then on, it has only been me and my dd (now ds) on Fridays. It for me was worth continuing and staying closed on Fridays.

One more thing, whether you are license or licensed exempt, call your local license office and let them know of the term. They will want to know in case they do get a call on you, they appreciate the heads up when it comes to screening crazy.
e.j. 01:12 PM 03-01-2021
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
She is constantly trying to skirt my policies

It is in my written policies... If they are unwell enough to need medicinal intervention, they are too unwell to be at my home....So then mom tells me oh, the child hasn't been feeling well so just give them some of the Tylenol that's in their bag.


Let alone the fact that she KNEW I wouldn't have allowed it if she had told me during drop off and that's why she waited to spring it on me, the complete disregard for the safety of all of the children in my home is just mindboggling.
Read what you wrote in your post. You are not "taking away her child care services" She gave them up when she refused to follow your policies. Please don't feel guilty about terming. Her child is difficult to deal with, she has shown little respect for you and your policies and you and your own child are feeling the impact of that. It makes sense to end the relationship if it's not working for you.
Tags:quitting, quitting daycare, terminate - screaming
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