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  #1  
Old 01-24-2018, 10:17 PM
jennym135
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Exclamation Help With Possibly Losing Job

Iíve been working in daycare for 3 years now. I know that Iím not the perfect daycare teacher, but I try my best to do my job the way Iím supposed to everyday. But things happen. Today, I was out of ratio for quite some time(thatís normal) I had about 16 or 17 school agers and pre-K students. A lot of the kids donít listen very well, and obviously when you have 17 or more kids in the same room, itís gonna be loud and I bit uncontrolled. But I was doing my best to sit them all on the carpet and we were gonna play a game together. I have one child at the daycare whose mother never comes downstairs, she just Calls her child upstairs at pickup time. Some days I donít see him leave cause itís kind of crazy downstairs. Today that happened. My memory isnít the greatest, but I do seem to remember one of the other kids. Saying that he was leaving. But around 5 or so, the childís dad comes downstairs to get the child. The child is NOT downstairs. I glanced around, checked the bathrooms to be safe. The child was not downstairs. Dad goes to all his ex-wife to see if she picked him up. I didnít hear anything after that if the child did get picked up. My director never came down to ask me about anything, so Iím hoping that Mom did pick the child up, and just didnít tell Dad. Have you guys ever experienced anything like this happening?! Iím very nervous that Iím gonna get written up or worse. Need some advice! Thank you.
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:39 AM
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Hmmm, sounds like a terribly unsafe situation. Is being in charge of that number of kids, by yourself, even in ratio according to the state? I'd bring it up to the director and also make dcps greet you face-to-face. In the past, I had dcparents who would simply drop their child at the door or even inside the door, without greeting me. If we're in the playroom and busy, I don't hear them. So a new policy I had to make was greeting your provider face-to-face. It only makes sense safety wise. But 17 kids seems like an awful lot! One of my preschool dcks class has 14 kiddos and 2 teachers. And even that can be challenging.
Your center needs some new policies!
Rereading your post, now I see you admit the ratio is too much at times. That fault and responsibility lies with the director/owner of the place!
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Old 01-25-2018, 04:14 AM
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You know running out of ratio is illegal so I will leave that alone.

You really need to be looking for another job, this one may land you in jail or with a neglect charge ending your career before it even begins.

In the meantime, set up a sign in/sign out sheet system and refuse to be left out of ratio. Tell the director you are a mandated reporter and will report her to licensing if she pushes.

Sorry this is your introduction to childcare. Know that is the exception, not the rule.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:39 AM
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I wouldnt worry about it too much. The owner is at fault for keeping you over ratio and you could turn around and call licensing on them and get them in trouble. Which I would do anyway. Reports are annonymous so they could think a parent called and your work conditions could become better
Ive actually called licensing on a center i worked at because they wouldnt listen to me when I tried to tell them they werent in compliance.
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Old 01-25-2018, 05:40 AM
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I have to agree with CH on this- find somewhere else ASAP. Stuff like this can end really badly. Yes job hunting sucks. It sucks more when the last place listed in your job history just got shut down for violations.
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Old 01-25-2018, 06:47 AM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but:

-You regularly work alone with 16 or 17 children

-You don't know how many children you have when you've got them

-You aren't doing a regular head count to make sure you've still got all the children you started with

-You daily allow a child to leave the space without verifying that the child is being safely picked up or officially checked out by a legal guardian or approved alternate pick-up person

-You aren't sure who took that child yesterday. . . which means you aren't even sure if anybody took the child at all

-There's no record of the child being picked up or by whom

-You don't know if anybody ever tracked that child down

-But you're primarily worried about getting written up

In the wrong job? Yes. The facility you work for should not be open. And you should not be working with a lot of children at this point in your life, because it sounds like you've gotten too overwhelmed with the daily chaos to keep the kids safe. They can't advocate for themselves and you shouldn't endanger them for your own financial security. I know it's a terrifying, humiliating struggle to be out of work, especially if you're supporting others, but you need to think of this kind of child care facility as not even a job option. Take it off the table. Work a McDonald's drive-thru, sell newspapers on a street corner, do anything but participate in a "job" that endangers vulnerable people. It would be better to end up living out of a car than to be responsible for a child's kidnapping or death.

Honestly, I have no idea what'll happen, if anything, because clearly there's no oversight in this situation. But if that child was picked up by an unapproved person or, God forbid, left the facility on their own, you can probably write your job off and maybe start looking for a lawyer. If the child is safe and was picked up by an approved person, then--you still need to leave the job immediately. The way things are operating, you'll end up with charges against you someday.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennym135 View Post
Iíve been working in daycare for 3 years now. I know that Iím not the perfect daycare teacher, but I try my best to do my job the way Iím supposed to everyday. But things happen.
This. Just.. no. This situation sounds like more than ďthings happenĒ as from the way you describe it this was not a random occurrence. You are endangering these children every day by operating out of ratio and not being able to control them. The number one thing when you work school aged group care is to ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS know how many kids you have in care, above all else. That is the first question I was asked any time we had a licensing visit, no matter who the inspector was. I know it can get hectic at the end of the day but this is sooo important. All children need to be accounted for on a sign in sheet and signed in/out. No one should be able to just leave to go upstairs with their mom. How are you sure she is up there? You arenít until you have eyes on her. The child could wander out of the building and get taken and that would be on you and you could potentially be facing much more than ďgetting written upĒ.
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Old 01-25-2018, 08:32 AM
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The way thing she are set up at your daycare sound awful. Now Iíve never worked in a center, just home daycare, but it would seem to me that changes need to happen immediately. Being out of ratio is something that shouldnít be happening so I would insist that it stop if I were you. Speak to the director and really put your foot down about it. If all else fails, report it.
As for children leaving without the parent seeing you face to face, that should always be 100% unacceptable. Do not let the child go up and leave when the parent comes. The parent needs to come downstairs and check the child out from you. Teach these children and parents starting today that they MUST sign out with you.
You should always know where your kids are at all times and the fact that you didnít shows you how much you need to change the way you do things. Also, it seems to me that if that had happened, I wouldnít have gone home without calling and speaking to a parent to confirm the child had been located and was with one of them.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2018, 08:54 AM
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I have several comments but will refrain as none of them are helpful, respectful or useful.

So with that being said, can I ask... how old are you? Is this your first job with children or being an aide in a child care?

Were you provided with any sort of training or any type of rule summary that dictates state rules/regulations for this type of program?

It's one thing for a director or trained staff to leave someone else in charge but leaving someone in charge that honestly doesn't understand the full gravity of the situation is frightening and very alarming.

If I were you, I'd report this facility immediately to DHS
Here is the information to report (according to what I know about your location) https://www.daycare.com/missouri/

If something happens while YOU are providing "supervision" for these kids, the program will definitely be inspected, fined, shut down..whatever the consequences are but if a child is injured or worse......lost...YOU will be prosecuted by not only the law but more than likely barred from working with children or vulnerable adult for the rest of your life. Your boss(es) and co-workers will not be supportive...they will do everything they can to let you be the fall guy.

Get out of this job now. Report them immediately.
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2018, 10:50 AM
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Take this from someone who worked at a facility very similar to the one you work at for WAY too long...please get out. If you are serious about wanting to work in childcare, another job is very easy to find - I work at a private preschool and another daycare and both are hiring. Needing a job is not a good reason to stay.

Even though we work for the center, each teacher is a separate entity legally responsible for the children we have in care. If this incident blows up, you will be legally responsible, and you wont be able to blame it on the craziness of the center.
We are responsible for not working out of ratio, knowing who is in our group, and knowing the details of their coming and goings. That's Daycare 101 along with feeding them and making sure they don't get hurt. Everything else is relative.

I hope this all blows over. If it does, I advise you to not go back. At the least, put in two weeks notice, and as someone said, during that time refuse to be out of ratio, man the door and create a sign in/out sheet. The moment you become out of ratio, march the kids to the directors office until they either pull some kids from your group or give you some help. After a few times of this, they will either stop putting you over ratio or fire you.

Take this as a learning moment.
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  #11  
Old 01-25-2018, 11:20 AM
jenny135
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Unhappy Thank you for the advice!

Thank you to everyone to posted a reply from advice. In the context, this post probably made me sound like a horrible daycare provider. I should have provided a little more background. First thing, it is not my choice to be out of ratio. It happens every single day. We are currently very understaffed. We even have to have temp people come in and help out just to have us make it through the day. So it is not my choice to be out of ratio. I hate it. Because yes it can be crazy downstairs, and Iím by myself trying to manage all of it. Second, I do do active head counts, and check our children in and out regularly on the sheets we have.
With all this being said, I love my job! I love those kids more than anything in the world. Iíve been loyal to them for 2 years, and I am hoping that things will straighten up around there. But I will take your recommendations to heart. Thank you to everyone who posted.
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Old 01-25-2018, 11:40 AM
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Assuming that everything you said is accurate...you are just being taken advantage of. These are not your own children--get out. You are unwillingly helping this horrible center violate.

And as hard as it is, I agree with reporting. But go find a new job too--maybe first, idk.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:03 PM
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If you really want to stay, I would immediately inform the director what happened and why and voice your concern of the ratio numbers, I don't know why you are short staffed by I would let him/her know it needs to be addressed immediately before something happens. As others have mentioned make it mandatory for parents to come downstairs and sign child out. Also, you need to calm the craziness. I would make areas for a set number of kids to be at, you decide how many at each area. Maybe set up table games, and then 5 other areas, make a max of 4 at each area and assign everyone a place. No one is allowed to move to another area until it is group time to switch. Anyone that cannot follow rules can go to a quiet area until they are ready to listen.

I would start immediately at arrival today,and that is the new normal, everyone stays seated at their area until told to get up and move. Have them switch areas as a group how ever often it needs to be done. Tell them ok time to clean up and stay seated on your area until I tell you where to move to, and after every area is cleaned up tell each group individually where they are going and have them move before the next group so only one group up and walking at a time.
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Old 01-25-2018, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny135 View Post
it is not my choice to be out of ratio. It happens every single day. We are currently very understaffed.
It is your choice to play a part in a dangerous and illegal operation. Nobody is pulling you out of bed, tying your arms behind your back, dragging you into an unmarked van, and dumping you at this care center every day.

It "happens" every day--it doesn't just "happen." That sounds like an act of God, like rain between 9 and 10am or a persistent sneeze. This is something that's being willfully done, by people. Your director chose to enroll more kids than there's staff for. Why?

$$$$$

Who's making that money? The person at the top, who decided it was acceptable to violate state law.

This facility isn't understaffed. It is over-child-ed. It's a DAILY issue, and the director should have made the decision to un-enroll the latest comers when staff numbers dropped.

Or to close down.

Or to hit the streets and find enough warm (and qualified) bodies to meet the minimum ratio of care providers.

But your director didn't.

It's not YOU who's understaffed. This ship has already sunk. You need to be swimming for the surface.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:45 PM
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You are risking A LOT by letting them leave you in this situation. THEY need to make changes, or YOU need to get out before your future is ruined. One bad incident and you're done for.
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Old 01-25-2018, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny135 View Post
Thank you to everyone to posted a reply from advice. In the context, this post probably made me sound like a horrible daycare provider. I should have provided a little more background. First thing, it is not my choice to be out of ratio. It happens every single day. We are currently very understaffed. We even have to have temp people come in and help out just to have us make it through the day. So it is not my choice to be out of ratio. I hate it. Because yes it can be crazy downstairs, and Iím by myself trying to manage all of it. Second, I do do active head counts, and check our children in and out regularly on the sheets we have.
With all this being said, I love my job! I love those kids more than anything in the world. Iíve been loyal to them for 2 years, and I am hoping that things will straighten up around there. But I will take your recommendations to heart. Thank you to everyone who posted.
I have to agree with pestle. You are setting yourself up for failure. You do have a choice. You do not have to work there and you do not have to work there under those conditions. Unfortunately, you are the one responsible for the children and being out of ratio is not a good thing. If something happens on your watch, you will be held liable. You seem like a very nice person who just wants to help. So help yourself, and get out of that job now. I say this with love not to be mean I hope you can understand.
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Old 01-25-2018, 03:59 PM
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You get a lot of advise. All of them are right.
I think you can not afford to stop working there.So you must organize all around you as much and as fast as possible.
1. get some tambourine and use it when you want to get attention of all the kids.
2.describe to the kids that all of them must look at you if they hear the tambourine sound and then do what you ask them to do.
3.you can ask them whatever you want: jump 2 times or say woof or clap or ....
4. when kids just BEGIN getting loud get all their attention by the tambourine and say "low (indoor) voice". In your situation it is most important thing you must get under your control.
5. stop trying to get them sitting on a rug and entertain them by some activities. It doesn't work in your situation and with your age group of kids.
6. organize a few activity centers and keep kids in group of 3-4 kids in each of them. (coloring/lego/bloks/fine motor skills/cars/dolls/reading.... ) You rotate kids from center to center. Do not allow them to leave a center without cleaning after themselves.
7. set your own place by the entrance and keep 2-3 kids near you with some activities. You can read to them, or let them to play with some puzzle ... it can be anything that does not take too much of your attention.
8.make two box "school" and "home" and cards with kids names. When kid leave (s)he must find own name and move the card from the "school" box to the "home box". You can start your shift by little art activity: they can decorate own name card by using stickers or color them or ... (just be creative)
9.choose some of kids as your helper. S(he) should remind to kids to move a name card from one box to the other. It will slow them down and help you to see who is leaving.
10 count kids!
11 Use low voice.

In Russia I used to work as an elementary school teacher. 25-30 6yo kids and one teacher. No problem.
In public daycare centers are 25-30 kids for one teacher and one teacher assistance.
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Old 01-26-2018, 02:08 AM
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ColorfulSunburst, you have some wonderful ideas!! Some days I don't know even what to do with my small group because they get so crazy without focus. I'm stealing some of your ideas.
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
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I'm stealing some of your ideas.
sure
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Old 01-28-2018, 04:26 PM
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I would demand the parent pick up in the classroom and if thats a problem the director can come get the child. Ive had grandparents who couldnt do stairs who would pick up. I would get someone to go down and retrieve the child. NEVER ever ever let a child leave the room without a adult. Make a stand womaN!
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:54 AM
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Inquiring minds want to know....what happened? Did you report to licensing?
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