While choosing the right child care provider is among the most important decisions parents will make in their children’s lives, sometimes that choice doesn’t work out as planned. Here are some warning signs that should alert you that a change needs to occur in your child care provider. These signs don’t always indicate that you should abandon your daycare, but sometimes tell you that you need to ask questions and voice your concerns in order for them to meet your expectations.
The top five warning signs are:
5. You over hear the teacher or childcare provider speaking negatively to or about your child. If the teacher or provider is actually communicating her negative feelings about your child, you can’t be sure how well your child is getting treated when you’re not there. Alternate or vary your pick up times so that you can look and listen in on the class environment. If things don’t seem right–move your child to a new sight.
4. Your child is often heavily soiled at pickup times. It is not uncommon for your baby or toddler to have a wet or soiled diaper at pickup time. This is no cause for alarm since children this age are not in control of their bladder. However, if your child is heavily soiled, meaning, they have a completely soaked, heavy diaper at pickup time on a regular basis, this could mean that your child isn’t getting adequate care during the day. At this point you should question your daycare provider and voice your concern. If things don’t improve then it may be time for a move.
3. Your child cries everyday. Normal adjustment periods can be expected when your child is getting used to being in daycare or adjusting to a new environment. However, judging from your child’s own temperament, you should be able to determine a reasonable amount of time for this adjustment. Many children adjust to the routine within a week. Some take longer. If you continue the same drop off routine for more than about four weeks and still notice the same pattern, it may indicate that your child is uncomfortable with her surroundings. Trusting your child’s judgment is not a bad idea. Ask questions about her routine. Visit during the day to look in on the class (preferably without her knowledge). If your baby makes a fuss, listening with your eyes and ears is a must.
2. Your child is often injured. Minor injuries can be expected for young children hard at play. However, if you experience that your child has bites, scratches, bruises or knots on the head on a regular basis, this can indicate a lack of proper supervision. Most injuries should be reported to your as soon as possible. Some childcare providers have written procedures for providing and reporting this information. When you notice that not only your child has injuries but there are injuries occurring in the classroom regularly, it is a bad sign. A lack of proper supervision can mean that there are too many students for the teacher to give adequate attention and care to each student. It can also mean that children are left to care for themselves with little structure to their day or few resources such as toys and play equipment. They will result to fighting and biting to protect themselves or to get their way. If your child is often hit, it may be time to split.
1. Your child’s teacher is M.I.A. (missing in action). Believe it or not, this has happened in a licensed center. The teacher of a two-year old class left the twos and threes to play while she ran off to make breakfast in the kitchen. This doesn’t have to happen more than once. It is a serious violation of licensing standards and leaves your child at risk for injury. If the teacher is nowhere in sight, get your child out now and do what’s right.
Finding the right childcare provider is very important to the development of your child. Should you experience these warning signs you should go to your teacher or director of the program to ask questions and voice your concerns. If you feel your child is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to move them to a safer environment.