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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Application for daycare spot

    Hey folks, long time since I've been here.

    I've had low enrollment for the past 8 months with only 2 children over 2yrs old.

    I've since started two 1 year olds and both parents have left out/withheld significant information about food and sleeping which is a massive problem for their child transitioning into care and for me trying to deal with it with missing info.

    1 family is seriously bad. Kid is on demand drinking bottles...14mths old. Won't sit to drink or lie down or be held....not that being held is even appropriate at 14 ms but anyway....they didn't tell me this until day 1 drop off.

    Also told me at his interview he was fully weaned. 10 months at the interview. Turns out from age 6-7.5mths he only ate the powdered baby cereal and drank milk. Now he will only eat fruit, crackers and cheese. They feed him pureed fruit and vegetables and pureed meat and beans for protein.

    He has a massive attachment issue with the bottle which is an added obstacle for settling into group care since I won't allow a child to carry a bottle.of.milk around with them in the playroom. Also he has zero ability to self sooth. He shouts for the bottle and won't sleep without a bottle.

    I've spoken to Mum and Dad who are on board with removing a day bottles, morning and bedtime only. No purees and he sits at the dinner table with them and eats what they eat and if he doesn't want it, then he gets nothing else.

    Second child's mother has been really upfront with me about so much stuff, but never told me that this child has never been put down to sleep awake and is rocked to sleep for naps and at bedtime. So sleep training is in order as a result. This child also has never had a routine period. Doesn't even have naptimes or meal times at home...just whenever!

    I am frustrated and I've been somewhat spoiled the last few months with easy going preschoolers. I have a plan for both children so we will work through things, but the parent who withheld such a lot of info about the food and milk has really knarked me off. I'm just focusing on rectifying it at daycare, but I don't have a whole lot of faith in fixing the eating at this point. From conversations with his mother, it seems like they give him whatever he wants at any given moment in response to whining and if that is milk and bananas at every meal to keep him happy, then that's what they've done. Mum has told me as much.

    Does anybody have any kind of parent questionnaire prior to accepting a child? I have a 3 page children's info form which asks about foods they love and dislike but does anyone ask far more specific info like weaning questions, any issues, ability to self sooth, routine for sleeping etc

    I am just annoyed and wonder how more thorough initial investigation might have flagged these parents for what they are.....I know that sounds awful, but really I wouldn't have taken a child on who's parents did absolutely nothing to prepare him for group care and who parent in this way which conflicts with my caregiving style.

    Any suggests how to avoid this in the future, or any more thorough screening methods.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Even more things coming out of the wordwork today about the second child.

    Cosleeper....doesn't have a cot, doesn't have a bedroom and shared care between mum, dad and grandma where they are all doing this to get her to sleep.

    Mum and Dad are not on the same page at all and don't even share in the child rearing to be honest, so I've really got my work cut out for me. Hard to sleep train a child and be consistent when it's not happening at home and almost can't happen at home when there are significant barriers like no bedroom and no cot. Dad forces mum to co sleep so she doesn't wake up the older kids.

    I feel so bad for this family, but unless they get on board with what I'm saying 100% then I have to accept that it isn't going to happen and I'm far to experienced to fall into the trap of thinking I can fix this on my own

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
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    I have a guide "Preparing your child for day care". Things like putting them down in their bed, awake to nap, letting them eat finger food, using a sippy cup. It does help to focus invested parents and open up communications if their child doesn't have some of the core skill set.

    Not every child is going to come with the skill set we would love them to have. That's part of our job.

    I explain that co-sleeping can't happen here because I can't leave non-nappers unattended.
    I explain that I can't rock 6 children to sleep so even if theirs is the youngest, the day is coming he/she won't be. Since I have to break them of the habit sooner or later because I don't have 6 hands to rock 6 kids, it's going to happen immediately. They can either start the process at home to make the transition easier or their child is going to have to go cold turkey here. That's a hard and fast "no" for me.

  4. #4
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    Hi, I'm sorry you're going through such struggle. It has to be hard to go back to babies when you've worked for a while with preschoolers.

    Anyway, I have set a questionnaire "help me know your child better"

    This usually is sent two months before the child starts in my care. Or as soon as they sign up.

    I have written questions that are important to my work. Ex. Sleep and eating patterns, favorite foods, language spoken, attachment to objects or persons, etc. It is two pages bUT very plain and simple.

    I honestly do not think families hold information (specially new parents), it is just that they do not know, they're in the learning process. Obviously, many of them benefit most from our experience and knowledge.

    Children are very resilient, and quick learners they know how to behave at their home and how to behave at daycare. As far as you continue with your routine they will feel that security and attach to it. They will learn the expectations at daycare.

    So far, I have not restricted bottles or pureed food or processing it.

    The first days I usually make feel the child very secure, I develop a trusting relationship (we're knowing each other), so I kind of focus mostly on the needs of the baby and my group of kids know that. we all stay focused on the needs of the baby and we all are focused on protecting the baby (ies).

    Also, during those days I do observations and recoRd ex. Use of bottles, eats finger foods, unable to ....etc.

    After that I set goals and strategies to achieve those goals. I continuously tell parents of every achievement ex. Now he's able to drink from a cup uses spoon, sleeps on his own etc.

    In regards of sleep, I read many issues with that. I use a simple strategy as I focus on them I get them basically tired (fresh air, exercise etc) oncE they're tired they will sleep either on the stroller (while walking with my group) or in the play pan.

    The first days are very flexible (it is just about making them feel welcomed, loved etc). Slowly after they develop trust then they're happy to join and follow the group. And this is because you developed a strong bonding. I have never had issues even with co-sleepers, they get too exhausted. Eventually they realize that they're secure and loved at daycare and that everything is fine, you've created a pleasant and good experience for them. Also I do not expect those days for them to right away sleep with the group. As far as they have at least one nap during my care is fine. In a matter of few days they are ready to join the group nap time.

    In regards of bottles, I think it is just for comfort maybe you can switch to Sutters (attached to the baby), that will allow you to schedule the bottle ex. 1 at snack time and 1 after lunch etc.

    Food, I have a very small food processor its easy. ThE group finds it interesting watching me process the food for the baby.

    Milk and banana eaters (I currently have one), I mix some steamed veggies in it and he gobbles it up. Currently he eats all the foods but he still waits for his milk and banana at the end I still serve it (its his treat;0)

    For breast feeders, I ask.moms not to stop but to feed them using breast milk in bottles that way I can also feed them here (they send usually ready to marm and serve). It honestly doesn't take too long before they're ready to drink cow milk.

    This message might seem too long. I hope it helps. You have all the knowledge in you, I'm sure you'll also remember your own strategies, good luck.

  5. #5
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Thanks for your responses ladies. Lots of helpful notes and reassuring to me, and all things I already do.

    This family interviewed on a Friday, signed on a Sunday and started Monday. I too have a preparing your child for daycare pamphlet but obviously in this situation being so very last minute, it wasn't applicable.

    These parents are not new parents. They are a blended family, each with 2 children from a previous relationship and the little girl together. It's also a very complicated and volatile environment. I feel very much for mum and little one, but I am also realistic in understanding that I can't fix everything.

    My issues aren't that this child has issues to work on or isn't transitioning smoothly. Of course I know this is part of my job, I've been doing it for 13 years. My issue is with parents who do not disclose info to me so then I find out dealbreaker things like cosleeping....which in this case is extreme, I've missed a big piece of the picture and the opportunity to discuss with the parents and/or decide whether this child is a good fit.

    So I'm going to put together a questionnaire....of course it isn't a fail safe, but offers a more specific opportunity to give me information.

    I am not pureeing food for a 14 month old. It reinforces the issue and makes it worse. I'll help problem solve weaning and get them in track, but certain things are not good to continue doing. In a new environment with a new person the child knows no different so setting those expectations from day one is.much better in my opinion than reinforcing a bad habit even more which I then have to undo later on.

    The kid with the bottles already has a soother and doesn't need bottles. We have removed them and he only has 1 bottle in the morning at home now. As a result his eating has improved....fortunat ely the 14 month olds parents have got on board quickly and 100%. He is settling in well....key thing is that his parents are on the same page.

    16 month old girl.....doesnt cry at naptime, she screams....not a tear in sight, screams from her belly in frustration because at home her parents go in to her and sooth her. She cannot self sooth and has never fallen asleep alone, not once. Dad argued with me yesterday that crying it out permanently damages the child....okay, think what you like...but it's not true. Issue here is she isn't crying it out, she is screaming, so it's different than crying it out. A child crying eventually gets exhausted and falls asleep, a child who screams is angry makes herself vomit and scratches her face up and has a full blown succession of temper tantrums...she is also a little older so way more stamina and just that little bit more along the way with her psycho social development so she has made those connections between actions and results in addition to now being in a position of power and control, always being able to dictate her parents actions based on her demanding screaming....see my predicament??

    I only need to see a little bit of an improvement to call it progress. Everyone moves at their own pace but the issue lies with the parents not being on the same page so I have to decide whether I continue to allow this child to disrupt my daycare all day every day if statistically it won't improve due to the parents not being on board with me to do what it takes to correct the behaviour.

    All I can do is acknowledge that I cannot make parents do anything, only suggest and ask. Beyond that I can only try my best and set some realistic boundaries for myself

  6. #6
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    I've had 2 kids in my past (same family) scream at nap time the entire time (parents were aware) to the point their voices were hoarse and husky when they spoke (it can actually damage vocal cords I recently googled, which i didn't know at the time). I don't know if it's fear of being alone, or strong-willness or both but it was a very tough many months. Its very unfortunate your parents aren't on board. The parents I had at the time were on board to let child cry/scream it out because no one was getting any sleep at home either and they were becoming unravelled with fatigue in their day-to-day routine. So, with parent's consent, I put child in room farthest away from the others with a video monitor.... I left with a smile and said 'see you when quiet time is finished." It took months, and although I could hear them in the distance, the other kids slept through it all. I needed the money and spots were hard to fill, so I kept the child. They eventually became one of the best sleepers but it took a long time. Other than the voice thing which I still wouldn't know what to do about, if you can put in a farther room with video, then they will eventually learn to deal. Especially if you stay positive and almost non-chalant about it.

    Edit - I should mention that the child was taken to the family doctor to rule out any reason for these screaming nap times and doc said nothing physically or intellectually wrong with child. Up to parents what to do.
    Last edited by ebhappydc; 04-25-2019 at 06:49 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hi, it has been very informative on how many of us operate.

    Obviously we each have our very unique techniques and philosophies, all very well kept on our perks repertoire. And I keep learning "from each other", it calls my attention if there is a standard set of procedures or regulations to follow in childcare.

    Here Ontario and I do not know if many follow or not, a child can not be kept more than 20 minutes crying, yelling in a cot or a play pan, etc at nap time. Other ways it is considered child abuse or negligence. Obviously, very hard to see and control in homedaycares but the parents are the ones who decide (that's the reason they slso have an open door policy and I do not think that has been changed).

  8. #8
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    I did not know that Peaceful. Parents and I were at wits end and provided safe environment for child who did eventually learn to self-soothe and become a great napper. I thought if child went to another provider with a short fuse, I don't know what would happen. I monitered on video to make sure child not hurting self but parents and I could not do much more than that at the time. Doctor also aware of situation.... i'm lucky now with current kids...they all go to nap easily. They were awesome parents and this was really affecting their day-to-day even being able to work as the whole family so fatigued Made us very sad but it worked in the end and child is happy well adjusted now in school. If I knew was not allowed then I would have terminated for sure which I will do in any future similar cases.
    Last edited by ebhappydc; 04-26-2019 at 06:57 AM.

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    This is a bit of a side comment but I do also have some red flag situations which have been lessons from the past.

    A parent seeking immediate care is a big red flag for me. It always makes me question why. If it's a mat leave ending then we all know parents are seeking care before last minute. If it's because their prior day home/center closed then we know they typically get notice unless there was an issue and the family was released effective immediately.

    A young child who has had several carer's is another red flag for me.
    People who try to negotiate fees or hours.
    Those who don't return their signed contract within 48 hours of getting it.

    I know not all of my red flags would be red flags to others. Likewise I'm sure other people have their own which haven't occurred to me or been an issue to me. But in this situation, of interview FRiday and start Monday, I would have been really wary of that.

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