Day Care-destroyer of worlds?

23 Mar

To those of you using Day Care, I feel for you. I’m sure some of you have great caregivers. 

Sadly, I don’t think I witnessed that this morning. 

A group boards the bus with about 15-20 preschoolers. The 4 caregivers barely look out of highschool. The kids are being pretty good, aside from the usual few clingy whiners. 

The “beauty queen” in front of me snaps at the whiner in the other seat when he begins to whine about not wanting to sit there “Next time we go on a field trip, we’re leaving YOU behind.” 

Way. TO. Go. 

She then returned to talking about her drunken weekend, and texting someone on her phone. The kids sat around with that slack jawed look I’ve come to expect from day care kids, that look that says “no one engages me all day long. 

I felt sorry for them. I looked around at children who were blank and uninterested in the things around them. I thought about my children, who are endlessly curious in life, and never stop asking me about the world. I tried to imagine them in this day care. 

I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine them looking so dead. 

Tell me, is all day care like this? Because if it is, I want to try and fix it.

10 Responses to “Day Care-destroyer of worlds?”

  1. karriew March 23, 2007 at 11:28 am #

    I don’t think our nursery school is–it is far too $$$ and the parents who can afford it would freak out if anyone ever yelled at their kid like that. I mean seriously freak out and plaster it on the evening news, and so on.

    But yeah, there is a lot of substandard care out there. For one, caregivers are human, and for another, they’re not generally paid very well.

  2. venessa March 23, 2007 at 11:36 am #

    Who can you find who will work for $5 an hour with no benefits? People just out of high school who would rather talk about their drunken weekends. It sucks.

  3. Alicia March 23, 2007 at 12:28 pm #

    I am very thankful that the day cares Ash has gone to are not like that. She’d be the first to tell me if someone yelled like that, lol. But she comes home excited, having enjoyed day care/preschool.

  4. Estella March 23, 2007 at 1:22 pm #

    I worked at a VERY well known, accredited, national franchised child care center for 2 years. Although the program was set up well, with opportunities for training and education for the teachers, and daily lesson plans and activities for the kids, they were hardly ever followed out. The problems:

    1. Teachers don’t get paid enough. It takes a LOT of money to keep a center running, which means that parents pay up the ass and teachers get paid barely above minimum wage.

    2. There are TOO MANY KIDS. We could have 14 kids in the one-year-old room with 2 teachers. I’m sorry but a ration of 1:7 when it comes to one and two years olds is NOT okay. We spent all of our time changing diapers (once an hour which was mandated by state law), feeding them, and cleaning. No individual one-on-one attention whatsoever.

  5. Heather March 23, 2007 at 1:47 pm #

    I worked at one like that 😦 I tried my damnedest to engage my room of 20 preschoolers, but the director hated everything I did.

    Freyja attends “family” day care in a private home. Sometimes even those suck, our first one was atrocious. Her provider is licensed to have six children in the home per provider at a time. On school breaks she has an assistant and can have 12 kids. Right now she has 4 2.5 yr olds, a 2 year old, a 15 mo old, and a 3 mo old baby. The 2 year old and 3 mo old are part timers, and she has 2 school aged kids that come after school hours. I think she only has 8 or 9 kids enrolled.

    You’d think that’d be too many little bitties, but those 2.5 year olds do a really good job of engaging each other, Freyja being the ringleader. They don’t do a lot of art projects and she may not know her letters by sight yet, but her social, verbal, memory, and congnitive skills are amazing.

    She loves going and asks to go on weekends, and she acts up for our provider just like she does at home, which is a major sign of trust. Her rates are so incredibly reasonable ($95/week) because she knows what it’s like to be young and poor with kids. Her entire family is involved with the kids – they are treated like family and that exactly the atmosphere we wanted. She isn’t in childcare to make money, she’s in childcare to take care of the kids. We love her 😀

  6. dee March 23, 2007 at 5:19 pm #

    I certainly hope they aren’t all like that because I have no choice but to put my son in day care. He goes to a home day care for now with a very loving caretaker (who also happens to be a good friend of mine). I fear ever having to make a change though.

  7. Caitlin March 23, 2007 at 9:14 pm #

    Most of the daycare that I could afford seemed to involve lots of TV time. As much as being a stay at home mom aggravates my depression and loneliness, I can’t leave Paul in one of those places.

    (Given that I usually spend 72 hours a week alone with a 2 year old and rarely have free time before 11pm, that ought to tell you just how creeped out I was by the rooms of 2 year tv zombies when I was looking at places. If they couldn’t even be bothered to look like they were engaging the kids when they had a scheduled visit…)

    The places that offer mother’s day out either seem to have too few caregivers to engage the kid or it’s religion based or you have to do coop work when your child is not in class and you provide your own babysitter. I guess it’s not surprising those places stay in business with all the families that need both salaries and I feel really bad for the parents who had no other options.

    If you can afford Montessori or the Nysmith school (for parents willing to pay ~$15k a year for their toddler geniuses to get the best start), there are quite a few places with a good toddler:teacher ratio. But that only runs through the school year, so you’re stuck finding summer daycare.

    The county actually runs a pretty good preschool program that we -might- be able to get Paul into this year and it is affordable ($160ish a month for 6 hours a week for the 3 year old class and $500ish for the 5 days a week 4-5 year old classes.) The three year old class we went to seemed to be having a lot of fun and it’s capped at 8 kids, with a teacher and a TA.

  8. Nat March 23, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

    That’s why I chose to work nights, giving up all social life and romantic life, in order to avoid childcare. That and the cost. But mostly the level of care would always make me paranoid.

    If I’m gonna fuck up my kid, I’m gonna do it myself, not through some teenaged daycare worker.

  9. bromac March 26, 2007 at 2:01 pm #


  10. Mrs. Amy January 15, 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    I work in child care. I love my kids and take care of their every need. Learning, loving, teaching. I have done this for 18 years and I get paid very little. When you love your kids that doesn’t matter so much. PLEASE know that not all places are like that one. Nothing is more important to me than my childern and my child care childern. If we don’t take care of them who will. Some of my kids are at the center for 11 hrs a day. I am raising some of these kids and my attention is all they get. So I do everything to make them good people.

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