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  1. #1

    Terminating care

    Hi there,

    I'm a first time poster who's been on the daycare provider scene for a little over a year and have come across a new situation. I took on a 1 year old who's turned out to have some deep separation anxiety, crying when put down at all times... throwing mad tantrums when he can't see me like when I'm getting something from the fridge and he can't see me behind the door or when I m in the washroom. So let's say he is at the end of a high needs spectrum. I have other children in my care ,and we are generally a happy bunch, who have been taking one for the team while newbie gets settled. However it's been a month and nada... basically no give he rarely plays with anything, and still requires in my estimation 75% of the day that he be within reach of me or tantrums. Now Im a reasonable person but the older children have started asking questions along the lines of "does he need to be here" and a couple of parents have made comments in passing " he's quite the handful here eh?" Today I verbally let the father know that I am willing to give him one more month to adjust then if there hasn't been improvement I may not be the right fit for them. I was frazzled because he is slightly ill but with his temperament that means epic proportions of needy, of course when dad picked him up his demeanor did a 180 too pretty much solidifying my opinion that this isn't progressing well at all. I'm really looking for advice on how to proceed because I really do like to keep a pleasant atmosphere and hate feeling like I'm constantly weighing one childs needs over the groups... Any insights are welcome. On a side note both my hubs and MIL have been here during newbies hours here and they have encouraged me to term. Also Newbie is a cool baby if I was his personal nanny alas I'm a multi child caregiver.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    153 Times in 132 Posts
    It could take a few months depending on each child’s temperament. Most adjust after a month when they begin to understand the routine and what comes next in the day.
    Does this child come full time or part time? Generally part time infants will take much longer to adjust than full timers.
    I used to have a child like that. I had to put him down and carry on with the other needs of the other 4 kids. We basically had to carry on with the routine and tune him out. Give him some toys on the floor or in a cozy sitting area, and keep on with your normal routine
    Praise him when he stops screaming.
    That being said, some kids may not be suited for group care. Some need one on one like a nanny/grandma etc. Are there any developmental delays? That could complicate the transition process as well.
    Give it another month, and then terminate. If he’s not already full time, suggest that, and see if it improves the behaviour. I only take infants/toddlers full time for exactly this reason. I don’t need a child screaming for 4 months because they can’t adjust to the variation in part time routine.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    487 Times in 369 Posts
    None of this is particularly uncommon. While some children skip in from the get go at 12 months, others react in just the way you have outlined. Remember, they are in a strange environment, with a strange carer and also dealing with having peers thrown into the mix. For most infants, that's a whole lot of new to contend with.

    It all sounds perfectly within the realms of normal to me, that when you are out of sight, the child becomes less secure in the environment and it will settle in time.

    I agree with above - part time children find this transitional stage much harder than full time children although it's happened to me with full timers too.

    All that said - only you can determine what is manageable for yourself. With regards to the other children passing comment, it's simple enough to remind children to have a little compassion. Reminding them that the baby is new and getting used to being away from his/her Momma and getting used to their new friends, is usually all it takes. They too will hit milestones and struggle as time progresses so it's a great opportunity to remind the established children to be kind, to involve their new peer, to be empathetic.

    While I do understand that these children are a little harder to transition, I wouldn't terminate yet because this is so common, you might well end up in the same situation with their replacement vs holding on for a few more weeks and getting through this stage.

    And one other comment - although your MIL and partner mean well, their comments are likely based on lack of experience and your own well being. With just a year under your belt, there's a lot of situations you have yet to experience and some are going to be harder than others.

    Whenever I find myself considering terminating someone, I try and take a step back and consider the whole situation.

    1. Generally, what are the parents like to work with? If they are open to information, willing to worth with you vs against you, pay on time, arrive to drop off and pick up at the contracted time, respectful etc, then that goes a long way with me.
    2. Is the real issue my inexperience with whatever the situation is or is this something I've encountered before, learned strategies that normally work, have tried everything I can and it's ME failing the child. Remember, it's our role to bring the child into our group. It's not a 12 month old's role to understand that they are making it a little harder than usual.
    3. Can I identify what triggers the behaviour? You have done that. The issue is when the child cannot see you. While that's a little inconvenient, you wouldn't be disappearing from sight more than 3 times a day to do the things you mention and it would barely be for a few seconds. This isn't a child who is screaming blue murder from arrival to departure.
    4. If I terminate, then is it 100% going to improve the situation or is it possible that anyone replacing this child will come with the exact same issue.
    5. Risk assessment - While your other client's might be commenting that he's having a rough go, it's YOUR job to reassure those family's that you have this under control and you are actively working with the child. While you might think they won't like this situation on going, they have to understand that they have no input into your client base and will not get a say. They also have to trust that you are not letting this minor issue, affect the whole client base. The flip side of you terminating too quickly, is that will result in insecurity with other clients who worry that as their child struggles later (think toilet training) that you will just terminate them when a slightly tricky situation arises. Communicate with clients who pass comment, reassure them that this isn't unusual and that his being part-time, or so young means that transition can take a little longer but he's making progress but they too have to understand that in a group care environment, there's going to be a mix of children and personalities, and some take a little longer to adjust.

    I would determine what it is you think he's struggling with, consider having a chat to Mom and Dad about how you can make it easier for him during this time. It can be casual and just an observation that he's taking a little longer to adjust than normal and what can ALL of you do to help him. Do you need parents to drop off quicker? Do you think coming more often would help and do you have capacity for that? Is there a sleep buddy that he takes comfort from which maybe you want to allow him to have for a few initial mins of each day? Is there an activity he loves which you can use to distract him when he's beginning to escalate? Can you reduce the number of times you leave his site until he's adjusted?

    Finally - since your post is headed "Termination". Make sure that your contracts tell client's that there is a Notice of Termination period for either party (the parent or you), what that is etc. That way, if ever you really do need to terminate a client, there's a clear policy to do so.

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  5. #4
    Euphoric !
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    677 Times in 507 Posts
    I would find out what happens at home ... is the child being carried at all times .... do they pick him up at first peep (no delayed gratification) does mom baby wear? Do they co sleep? Does the child play independently on the floor at home ? By the answers you will know if this is just an adjustment or are you banging your head up against the wall ... if the parents are scooping him up the minute he cries or makes any sound then you will get no where ... you have to work together or forget it ... is the child full time or part time ? If part time the parent may have to bring him full time till he transitions in and then remove a day for a few weeks and then another day for a few weeks till your at the desired days and if he reverts back they will have to bring him more days

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    1 Time in 1 Post
    Hi Suzie_Homemaker, I just registered in this website to say thank you to you for this message. My home daycare provider just informed us that she will be terminating us (my 20 mo daughter) as taking care of my daughter is affecting the provider's ability to provide the adequate level of care to other little ones. My daughter does suffer from separation anxiety and it is indeed taking longer time than expected for her to get used to the place. But it is not all that bad. I am not sure. We are supposed to find a new place within the 1-month-notice period and honestly, I am kinda devastated and depressed. It is my first time that as a mother, I had to listen someone say that my daughter is somewhat difficult to manage. I am struggling my level best to take that as a constructive criticism. I am in the midst of a lot of thoughts. But, right now, I just want to say thank you to you. This post somehow comforts me.

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  8. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    78 Times in 74 Posts
    Hi. I do agree with Suzie_Homemaker 100%, but also let's donot forget that children at that age are more sensorial, look in you environment is it overwelming? (Too many colours, high noise ( even music can be disturbing for that age) or too busy) you can try creating a quiet clear spot for the baby.

    Children at that age are mostly guided by their senses (reasoning skills still developing) and due to my experience in this field I always recommend first time parents to socialize their babies, sharing them with family members or friends or visiting playgroups and parks (supporting a trust relationship between babies and adults). Also, if the child has stuffed animals or a preferred blanket it definitely helps (tactIle input) and as they are also guided by smells ask mom to leave a scarf or sweater that she wears, it is amazing to see them come down once they get moms smell. Another think is the mom still breast feeding? (Then you need her milk handy to come her down).

    Psichological aspects tell us that, it is really important to bond the very first days. Although you are ready to terminate I would personally recommend to try to cover all the basics first and then decide. Get your stuff ready to go, earlier. Hold her as much as she needs too. (To be honest I haven't heard if a child that needed to be held for many years).

    Once that baby has developed that bonding and trust then she will be ready to explore on her own, knowing that she is secure.

    So far what I determine through reading your post is that the baby has developed already trust on you (that's why she cries when you disappear behind a door), there is a term in child development called "object permanent" babies and toddlers
    Brains still developing the skill to figure it out that people or objects are behind a door. (They get scared they trusted and suddenly it is gonne). I hope you give a try. Once that baby bonds to you that baby will grow and trust on you completely you won't even remember this episode.

    If you have playgroups visit those so your group have a break and you can focus on the baby. Or just simply take them for a walk.

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