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Parents and Guardians Forum>Would Like Daycare Worker Opinion Please
cddweller 12:37 PM 07-19-2010
I'm thinking of starting my 3 1/2 year old in daycare but am unsure if it's a good idea. My husband is looking at our dwindling savings and is anxious for me to get back to work. My 3 1/2 year old is really shy and slow to warm up, not for lack of socialization (we have lots of regular playdates), but just an unfortunate genetic trait that he inherited from me

As all parents are I'm scared to start him in daycare. My plan is to have him attend daycare 2 days a week and then enroll him full time after a few months. I don't want to have him go from full time days with me to full time daycare, it seems a bit cruel. does this seem like a good idea? How do you feel about kids in daycare, do you think that 3 1/2 is too young for full time (50 hrs a week)? How do the shy kids adjust?

Also, the daycare center that I've chosen has 24 3 year olds for 2 adults to watch! I live in Texas and this is the best ratio that I could find. Just seems like way too many kids for 2 teachers to keep an eye on, as daycare professionals how do you manage so many kids, do the shy kids like mine who tend to hide when upset just get forgotten about and lost since they aren't making a fuss?

Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Michael 03:50 PM 07-19-2010
Thats a lot of questions. You can also use our search function:

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kpa0627 06:00 PM 07-19-2010
In my professional opinion 24 toddler/preschoolers is way too many for 2 teachers to effectively watch. I do not think these kids would get great attention and probably receive the bare minimum (fed and changed.) They probably are not doing projects, circle time, library, played with, etc. But most shy children do open up in centers or in home daycares in just a matter of time. It does help though if the teacher pushes them a little to play with others and gets them involved in a game or such (and I don't know if these teachers would have the time to do this). I would see if you can find an in home daycare because surely the ratio is less but it's still giving your child the chance to be around others.
cddweller 06:52 PM 07-19-2010
Thanks for the feedback! I'm kind of set on a center-based program just for safety reasons. I had a bad experience with a nanny and just don't trust people (or my ability to judge character) anymore. I have him signed up for Primrose, I really liked the program as well as the teachers but am unsure if I'm going to send him or wait until he's 4.
cddweller 07:54 PM 07-19-2010
I was thinking that perhaps I would stick around for a couple of weeks in the classroom but sit on the sidelines and give my kid some time to adjust and get familiar with the place before I start dropping him off and leaving. Is this bad? Do daycare workers absolutely hate this or does it help.

I know I have a lot of questions but I'm really stressed about all of this.
QualiTcare 09:05 PM 07-19-2010
wow - about the ratios, i'm assuming your talking about a center that has an infant room, toddler room, 2's room, 3's room, and 4's/preschool room.

your son must be in the 4's (sometimes still 3)/preschool room - because i've never heard of a 3 year old class (which also sometimes has 2.5 year olds) being more than 1 teacher to 10 children.

4's/preschools rooms are typicaly 1:14 - so 2:24 really isn't uncommon even if its not ideal. public schools that offer preschool programs typically have 2:20 ratios and kindergarten has 1:20+. when i worked with school age children (5 and up) i could be alone with 20 children.

do i think full time for a 3.5 year old is too much? NO WAY! i do personally think you should've done this sooner, but that's a matter of opinion. i've had to care for kids that have never been away from their parents even at 2 years old and they had a ROUGH 2 weeks. don't let that deter you from putting him in preschool. if you don't do it now, it'll be EVEN worse when he has to start kindergarten.

NO WAY should you go and hang out at the preschool - EVER, AT ALL! you need to talk to him about what is getting ready to happen. take him to visit the preschool once or MAYBE twice. then, you drop him off. you hug him, kiss him, and tell him goodbye - then you LEAVE! kids adapt pretty easily. he'll cry when you leave (probably - maybe not) but don't think he's crying all day (which again, he may) but you're prolonging the inevidable. drop him off and you can call and check on him after 30 minutes to see how he's doing. pick him up at noon on the first day. the second day pick him up right after nap time is over. the third day, pick him up later. talk him through it. he will be fine and you're not doing him any favors by avoiding preschool. he'll eventually have to go to school and he'll have a much easier time adjusting if he's been to preschool.

my own children started daycare at 6 weeks old and i'm glad they did. they have a secure attachment, they know i'll be coming back, and they're way ahead academically/socially than most children their age. as a former kindergarten teacher, i can say - it is OBVIOUS and HARD when a child who has never been away from their mom comes to kindergarten. do everyone a favor and enroll him in SOMETHING!
cddweller 07:19 AM 07-20-2010
Thanks for the feedback. You have no idea how helpful it is to get feedback from the actual people doing the job! I'll definetly take your advice on picking him up at noon the first day, then after nap, then a little later and ease him into the routine.

Unfortunately in Texas 1:12 ratio in the 3 year old room is good, the state maximum is 1:15 for 3s and 1:18 for 4s. Most daycares out here are at the 1:15 ratio for 3s so this was the best I could do. I was shocked by the ratio as well and wish that there were more options I'd be willing to pay a lot more to get better numbers. There are part-time preschools that offer lower ratios but they don't offer full-time care.
Lilbutterflie 07:35 AM 07-20-2010
I guess that ratio is a little high, but it doesn't sound outrageous for 3 yr olds.
I agree that you should not spend time there, it will just make it worse! My daughter is also very shy, and before I became a daycare provider I worked full time. I enrolled her in a christian preschool near my work when she was about your son's age. When I dropped her off, I gave her a big hug and kiss and said goodbye. For two weeks, she screamed bloody murder when I left; but the teachers always said she stopped crying within 5 minutes and did just fine. It took about a week for her to start making friends, but before I knew it she was playing with all of the others and having the best time! She soon started asking to go to school on the weekends! LOL
Texas DFPS has a great website where you can check out the daycare center to see if they have had any infractions or incidents. It even gives the details of what the infractions were. Here is a link to the DFPS list of all Primrose daycare centers in Texas.
Lilbutterflie 07:38 AM 07-20-2010
Hmm, that link doesn't work. Try this:
Type in Primrose as the Operation name, and click search.
Tags:3 year old, adjustment period, high ratio, start a day care
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