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  #1  
Old 06-20-2021, 06:30 PM
Unregistered629
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Default Reusable Utensils and Licensing Violations

Using an unregistered account for "throwaway" purposes.

I work a a small daycare that is under new ownership. The new owner has been a DISASTER. At best, she's having us do things that make no logical sense (like deep cleaning the classrooms in the middle of the day instead of doing it at the end of the day). At worst, she's having us do things that violate licensing.

The previous owner had to get special permission from the state to allow us to have microwaves and mini-fridges in the classrooms. The students are technically supposed to have ready-to-eat foods in their lunches. She even had to fight to allow us to have things like single-serving cereal bowls and other pre-packaged snacks. We are not licensed to serve food.

Typically, we will transfer food to paper plates/bowls from the containers the kids have. We also provide disposable utensils.

Today, at 6pm (which is a time that many families are doing evening routines with young children), the owner sent messages to the families telling them to provide reusable bowls/plates/utensils for their children. My boss wants to be "green" (she wants to save money) by moving away from using disposable dishes/utensils.

These dishes/utensils will remain at the school and we will be required to wash them after every meal/snack.

We do not have a 3 compartment sink available to properly wash and sanitize any dishes. Plus, these items will likely not be labeled which makes keeping track of ownership challenging.

There's no point in reminding her that we can't do this. She takes offense to anybody questioning or challenging her. The other day, she mentioned not needing me to work past 5:30pm. I simply reminded her that it would depend on how many children are in the center at the time. If numbers are low enough, yes, that could work. However, at 5:30 we often have more than 6 children remaining which requires two staff members on site (even if she's in the office and I'm in ratio in a classroom alone).

I already filed a report against her for leaving three children outside alone the other day (she was outside with the children; I was inside cleaning when she came inside to get one child's belongings). I don't want to rock the boat when it comes to my job (mainly because I need the income), but I also don't feel comfortable doing things that I know the state would disapprove of. I still filed the report against her for the incident the other day because I was legally obligated to, but I'm definitely struggling with how to move forward.

[In the past, we've also been forced to do things like leave one adult in charge of 10+ children ages 1-8 in two classrooms (divided by half-walls) so one person can pick up children from the elementary school. In that situation, refusing to leave one teacher alone would mean abandoning 1-2 children at the elementary school. Either way, it's a lose-lose situation]
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Old 06-21-2021, 11:03 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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If the parents are already providing meals, it is really simple to have them also provide personal utensils and serving dishes as well. All you would need to do is maybe rinse them and toss them back into each childs bag after meals for washing at home. Each day they should come in with fresh, clean, personal use items.

If you don't want to rinse them, you could even have them toss in a "dirty bag" ziplock that the dirtied dishes go in for rinsing and washing at home. That is how it is done throughout their whole public school experience.

Unless I am misunderstanding your post.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:05 PM
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The issue is that

1. Not everyone has spare utensils/dishes they're willing to take out of the house and it's really not fair to drop that on a parent on Sunday night. That's something you tell parents on Friday.

2. We are not going to be sending the dishes home. We are going to be washing them at the center even though we do not have the proper equipment to do so. We had to get special permission to have a refrigerator and serve single-serving bags of goldfish crackers. The state is not going to approve us washing dishes when we don't have any way to properly sanitize them.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:26 PM
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Got it.

Sounds like you have two choices, quit or cope. No, I am not being a donkey, I am being literal.

You can quit and file a complaint with the state. It sends the message quickly, but can hurts your ability to get another job in daycare. I cannot tell you how many investigators have told daycare center owners who filed the report. The bigger the center, the more it is protected. The bigger they are, the more federal $$ it brings in for the state so it benefits them to keep them open.

You can cope by 1) follow directions and wait for the state to witness it. 2) follow directions and wait for a parent to complain. 3) follow directions while you interview for another job. 4) follow directions while you set up your own daycare.

Until you make it off the entry level line, you can't bring about a lot of change. Hang in there, it does get better in time. You just have to learn how to play the game.
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Old 06-21-2021, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered629 View Post
The issue is that

1. Not everyone has spare utensils/dishes they're willing to take out of the house and it's really not fair to drop that on a parent on Sunday night. That's something you tell parents on Friday.

2. We are not going to be sending the dishes home. We are going to be washing them at the center even though we do not have the proper equipment to do so. We had to get special permission to have a refrigerator and serve single-serving bags of goldfish crackers. The state is not going to approve us washing dishes when we don't have any way to properly sanitize them.
I agree with Cat Herder

If parents are sending their children's food, isn't the food already in containers? I don't understand the problem if it's ready to eat food. The lunch bags/boxes are sent home everyday anyway. I wouldn't even rinse the used dishes (that's a great way to spread germs if not sanitized), if parents don't want the dirty dishes spilling in the bag/box, then they can have a "dirty" bag in the lunch box so the dirty dishes can be contained in a ziplock-type bag. I don't understand why an extra spoon in the lunch box would inconvenience parents much. If necessary, your center could gift each family with a couple of spoons - inexpensive and very "green."

Last edited by Michael; 06-21-2021 at 09:42 PM. Reason: agree with previous post
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:37 PM
Unregistered629
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The issue is, some parents use things like Ziploc bags for food instead of containers. So, we need to put the food on plates or in bowls if they need to be microwaved. Other parents pack the containers so full with food that the kids can't get it out without making a mess.

And I have reported the director for leaving children alone outside already. I would love to quit, but even at less than minimum wage, it's better than having no income. I'll be putting in my notice as soon as I find something new.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered629 View Post
The issue is, some parents use things like Ziploc bags for food instead of containers. So, we need to put the food on plates or in bowls if they need to be microwaved. Other parents pack the containers so full with food that the kids can't get it out without making a mess.

And I have reported the director for leaving children alone outside already. I would love to quit, but even at less than minimum wage, it's better than having no income. I'll be putting in my notice as soon as I find something new.
If they are paying you less than minimum wage, that's also illegal.

I agree with CH. We ALWAYS knew exactly who reported what. The State aren't "suppose" to tell but they did anyway.

Good luck in whatever route you choose.
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