24 January 2017

Things parents do to the displeasure of day care workers


The bond between a working parent and their child’s caregiver is a unique one – it’s love, embarrassment, trust, and joy, all with a healthy dose of memmy guilt. Finding a day care provider who is a good match for your family makes your whole life infinitely easier.

He or she becomes a partner, a trusted confidant and another person who loves your child fiercely. But mess that relationship up and suddenly everything gets harder, which is why it’s so important to treat them as the smart, valuable, amazing people they are.

To make sure you don’t mess up a good thing, avoid any of these things.

A day care attendant once said, ‘I can go to work without a place to live, food to eat and a car to drive. But if I don’t have someone to watch my children, I can’t go to work and my whole life will fall apart.’ She said that as if it excused her for being more than a month behind on her bill. If the company she worked for said, ‘Hey, I can’t pay you this month, I’ll get you next month’, would they go for it? Of course not. “But I’m supposed to because they assume I do it out of love for their children (which I do).

“Parents don’t appreciate that as much as day care attendants love their children, this is a job. They had parents think it’s OK to be late – not a few minutes, every day, they find themselves some hours late.

One Valentine’s Day, a father who worked over an hour away informed an attendant that he would be leaving work late – by at least two hours, meaning he would not get to the attendant until 9 p.m.

The day care centre doesn’t have extended hours so what was the attendant supposed to do? According to their official policy, if a parent is more than half an hour late, the attendant is supposed to call the police, so they did.

If a nursing mother leaves her nursing baby with an attendant for more than three hours, she needs to also leave them with a way to feed the screaming child. First, infants need more frequent meals than adults. Second, it made attendants  miserable to watch the child suffer.”

Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but attendants prefer parents dropping their children off awake as it allows them to say goodbye and enhances transition into the day-care setting. It is not the best for parents to ‘sneak’ their children in while they are asleep hoping to escape the tearful goodbye. They always say that their children should sleep for several more hours but they never do, and waking up somewhere other than where they fell asleep is upsetting for them.

Attendants like to hear what is going on in the lives of their children’s parents – to a point. Basically, they are only interested in what is affecting the child so they can help him or her during the day. Things they do not care to hear about (but have been told anyhow) from parents are secret bank accounts, fights with the in-laws, politics and  tax evasion schemes.Parents often forget to tell attendants about a new medication their child is taking. They’ll put it in the child’s bag or try to hand it to them at drop-off, but they have really strict rules about how they handle medications and other medical needs, so they can’t just go off without telling anything to the attendant.

Also, attendants are not trained to diagnose rashes, change bandages, or do anything beyond take a simple forehead temperature.”

Some parents spend weeks researching the best caregiver for their children, but once they are there, it is like they forget about the attendants. A simple ‘thank you’ at pick up and drop -off is always appreciated but it’s also nice when they are remembered in other ways.


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