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  #1  
Old 02-20-2010, 06:12 PM
working9to5
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Exclamation Home Daycare Assistant Minimum Age - and Supervision?

My son is 17 months old and I came to pick up a little early recently at the home daycare I use. The woman that runs the daycare was outside down the block taking a walk with 2 other children. I was surprised to see this. I went inside and the teenage son who is around 14 (I never asked his age because I didn't know he'd be watching the kids ever, let alone by himself) was with 3 children alone who range in ages from 17 months - 2 years old. Now I looked up DCFS regulations and it states a teenager can be an assistant with a minimum age of 14, but that they have to be supervised at all times.

Does an assistant need to also be CPR certified? Do home daycare providers need to be CPR certified? I worry that should something serious have happened, the daycare provided - even though reachable via cell phone - was not close enough to be 'supervising'.

I am very concerned and feel that I should have been told the son is the assistant. The contract states that in emergencies, a capable assistant of her choice will be used, but this was not an emergency. But now I wonder if more of a regular occurance?

Do I have a right to be concerned? I know my son gets along well with the teenager - but teenagers are teenagers and in my opinion not completely responsible. I think if the assistant was a girl I might feel better because girls mature sooner than boys....but a 14 year old boy could easily lose focus with a cell phone call or text from a friend. My opinions...but I am still very concerned.
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:11 AM
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I would be extremely angry. In my state our assistants and substitutes must be at least 18 years old and have 3 years of qualified experience. As a parent, I would never leave my child alone with a 14 year old child, especially a child I new nothing about in regards to experience, friends, extra curriculars ect. Not to mention this "child" watching children had a few children at the same time. Very dangerous in my opinion. In my state, it is also mandatory that we notify parents if there is a sub/assistant caring for the children.

As a provider, I find this completly irresponsible and unprofessional. She should have invested in a wagon or double/tripple stroller if she wanted to walk. How did she react? Did you stay to speak to her?
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:07 AM
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In my state it is 18 as well.

Now, even though I can't, my son is 14 and would be capable of keeping an eye on a few kids briefly.

I began babysitting when I was 13, for two little girls full time in the summer. Of course, all teenagers are different.

However, rules are rules, and regulations are there to be followed. I would first speak to the provider and ask her why she left him in charge. Did another child run down the street and she needed to go get him? was it some sort of emergency? now, if she leaves him in charge regularly, and it is against your state regs, I may be concerned, and possibly say something to her or even turn it in. like i said, all teenagers are different, and he may not be capable of such responsibility.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:17 AM
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I would be very angry as well. I have four boys, ages 17, 13, 12, and 20 mos. All three of my older boys have watched their younger brother for us on occasion. However, I know my older boys and I agree to it because I am comfortable with them. I would never leave them for longer than a few hours and I would never leave them if there was more than one baby.

Having said that, what this daycare worker did was unacceptable and unprofessional. Period. Leaving your child with someone is hard enough, but you can do it because you trust this person with your child's life, his/her well-being, and his/her safety. The fact that she handed your child off to another human being without first making sure that was ok, not to mention that she did so with other people's children, makes me think she doesn't take her responsibility as seriously as you do.

I agree with the above poster, if she wants to take a walk, why not invest in a stroller that will allow her to take them all out at the same time? If not, she needs to stay wherever those children are.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:54 PM
working9to5
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I have not spoken to her yet as my husband picked up the last couple of times and I have not seen her yet. My husband doesn't seem as bothered as me. I will see her this week and am planning how or if I should say anything. If a child is choking, would this teenager know how to respond? Is he mature enough to even be paying attention to the children very closely?

Even if she says that she didn't realize I would mind, it appears she broke the State Licensing rules and I feel a bit betrayed. What else is she doing that I am not aware of? My child can't speak yet, so I wouldn't know.

According to the below info I found online, the son should have been working under direct personal supervision and maintains audible or visual contact and be 'on the premises' at all times. Being a cell phone call away doesn't count because she was not on premises.

I found this online for my States Licensing Standard for Day Care Homes:

a)Assistants shall have passed the background check in Section 406.9(a).
b) Assistants shall be at least 14 years of age and at least 5 years older than the oldest child they supervise. Minor assistants shall be employed in accordance with 56 Ill. Adm. Code 250 (Illinois Child Labor Law).
c) Assistants under age 18 shall work under the direct personal supervision of the caregiver at all times. Direct personal supervision means the caregiver maintains audible or visual contact with the assistant and children on the premises at all times.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by working9to5 View Post
Even if she says that she didn't realize I would mind, it appears she broke the State Licensing rules and I feel a bit betrayed. What else is she doing that I am not aware of? My child can't speak yet, so I wouldn't know.
JMO, but... I think that says it all right there.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:49 AM
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I would say that if you are happy with her care otherwise, then just have a talk with her. Be honest and tell her that something has been bothering you since that day that you would like to discuss it. Let her know that you were unaware that her 14 yr old son would ever be supervising the children alone and that you are very uncomfortable with that. Tell her that you can't speak for other parents but you would like for YOUR child to be in her direct sight and sound at all times. If she has to take a walk tell her you want her to take your baby with her.

If you weren't happy with her care to begin with then use this as your reason for terminating.

Also, make sure that she is licensed. If she isn't, then maybe that's why she is not adhering to state regs.

Last edited by Michael; 02-22-2010 at 02:57 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:47 AM
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Here we can have assistants at 16, but they cant be left alone until 18. Our assistants/helpers have the same training requirements as we do, and can't be left alone until 18 and have had the SIDS/shaken baby and other training. I expect many home daycare providers use older teenage children as helpers in some form- I know I did/do, but that's generally more to provide extra eyes and hands in the yard to push swings, play with kids, or lead a craft activity or game of musical chairs, or help w/ meal cleanup. My daughter is 17 and has been helping for years in the summer (last year she went & got a better paying job lol) but I would never leave her alone. Since she is an accomplished musician and talented singer, I occasionally have her do music w/ the kids while I clean up from a project or prepare a meal. She might keep an eye out in the yard w/ school agers after school while I'm in house changing a baby diaper or helping a toddler go potty for a minute( I would never have her help w/ diapering/potty either, except her own brother when he was small) - but in my state school agers can play in the yard without me as long as I am "available" anyway, while other ages need me within sight/hearing. She has had 1st Aid /CPR etc but not infant trainings. Most of my families have used her as an evening /weekend babysitter since they know her and the kids are comfortable with her. Leaving the actual property as this provider did is really unacceptable without a qualified substitute/helper, the definition of which may vary by state as to age and qualifications. I would definitely want to know more about the young man that was helping (age, training, background check, and what those rules for the state are) because that provider needs to know that is unacceptable, probably illegal, and downright stupid and risky.
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  #9  
Old 02-27-2010, 08:16 AM
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I would think that the bigger problem was that you've lost trust for her, more so than her breaking state daycare regulations. My sister was about 13 when she started watching my children as babies, but that's family. I could tell you all day how responsible she is and how perfectly comfortable I felt letting her care for my own children (never actually alone for more than an hour), but I would never have handed someone else's child over to her without their prior consent. That's the line--obviously I trust her, she had responsibility of my own children (you know, the most precious thing in the world to me), but that doesn't make it right to have her watch someone else's kids without them consenting first.

If you do talk to her (I don't understand why you wouldn't talk to her), remember that you are talking about her son and she may feel immediately defensive. The problem is, she had a responsibility to get your permission first. You should never have to worry about her judgement and now I'm sure you worry all day long while she has your son in her care.
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  #10  
Old 12-06-2011, 05:04 PM
jenniferjbw
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Default Assitant Teacher at Minnesota DayCare

Can an assistant be left alone in the building with kids for any amount of time? I do the all the same job duties as a Lead Teacher and am getting paid for being a janitor.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2012, 06:45 AM
zhane.george
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Smile have a son i love little baby

longer than a one baby.

Having said that, what this daycare worker did was unacceptable and unprofessional. Period. Leaving your child with someone is hard enough, but you can do it because you trust this person with your child's life, his/her well-being, and his/her safety. The fact that she handed your child off to another human being without first making sure that was ok, not to mention that she did so with other people's children, makes me think she doesn't take her responsibility as seriously as you do.

I agree with the above poster, if she wants to take a walk, why not invest in a stroller that will allow her to take them all out at the same time? If not, she needs to stay wherever those children are.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:10 AM
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If your that concerned speak with her before pull your child out. She can probably explain to you why, and if she knows your dislike for it she may agree not to do it again. However, if you talk to her and get the feeling she doesnt really care you should put in a notice.
I think pulling out regulation books might insult her as if to say you know the law and shes violating it. Most people dont want it thrown in their face like that.

Some people dont see a problem with a 14 year old keeping an eye on a few kids while she tries to calm some of the other ones down. Im assuming her walk with only 2 kids might have been for that purpose?

I wouldnt mind, my sitter had a 16 year old sister who would watch my kids from time to time while she drove her daughter 5 minutes away to school when it was raining or had a teacher conference. But this is YOUR baby, if your not comfortable find someone else, there is no telling how many other times she has left your child with him.
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