Advice needed on home daycare issues

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Hi all, I am hoping to hear your thoughts on a problem I am having with our home daycare.  I know you can't solve the issue but it would be really good for me to collect some opinions of what others would do in our situation.

    DD1 is almost 3 years old (her birthday is in early February).  She has been going to the same home daycare since she was 6 months old, and DD2 (5 months) now goes there too.  It's a small daycare and licensed for up to 6 children.  Both kids go two days a week, and the other three days they are home with me.  Until November, there were either 5 or 6 kids every day at the home daycare.  Three of the kids were "big kids" - my DD1 and a boy a few months younger than her, and a girl who was a few months older than her.  (The other two or three kids are babies/toddlers including my DD2). We have a good relationship with the daycare provider and are very happy with the care she provides. Until recently, DD1 has been very happy there and even had requested to go additional days.

    The problem is that one of the other big kids (the girl) left in November and now there is only one other kid (the boy, a few months younger).  For the past few months, my DD1 has been having crying outbursts in the mornings before we drop her off saying she doesn't want to go to daycare. She has also been outwardly expressing that she doesn't want to go to daycare randomly hroughout the week, even on days she doesn't go, so it's obviously on her mind.  When we ask her, she says it is "not fun", that she doesn't like the toys and it feels like a long day.  I honestly think that she's bored and no longer stimulated there, both because the other older girl left and because she's been there for 2.5 years and it's just time for a new, more challenging environment.  On one of the days I am home with her she attends a two hour drop off class that is run like a preschool and geared towards kids who aren't old enough to attend preschool in the fall, and she absolutely loves that, and is not nervous at all about the drop off aspect of it, so I don't think her anxiety about daycare is separation related.

    We have signed her up for a preschool beginning in the fall, and I could possibly start her at the preschool in June at their "summer camp".  But what to do from now until June?  Should I just continue to send her to the home daycare, knowing she's safe, well cared for, with her sister but bored, and make a real effort to stimulate her the other three days by signing up for age appropriate classes etc. and doing art projects etc. at home (with obvious financial limitations and the fact that I am also caring for DD2)?  Or do I pull her from the home daycare now and send her to a (more expensive but doable) daycare center in town that has availability in the 2-3 year old room where she would be certainly more stimulated? The daycare center would basically be a bridge/transition place for her to go until we can send her to preschool in June/September.  Would that be too much change for her? Or is stimulation more important a t this age that it's worth sending her to the center from now until June/September and then switching her to preschool at that point?

    Thoughts?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from luvRIboy. Show luvRIboy's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    I wish I could offer you advice! 

    I have your problem in reverse:  DD (26 mos) and DS (4 mos) go to a center-based daycare, but we're moving in about 6 weeks, and the center will be a significant commute.  The neighborhood we're moving to has far fewer center-based options, but many home daycares, and I've been trying to decide if that would work for us.  Based on your post, I think I'm going to keep the kids where they are (and love it) while we wait to hear from the wait-lists at the two more local places.  What you wrote about outgrowing the home daycare was exactly what I was nervous about! 

    All I can tell you is that DD has a great time at her daycare, and is exposed to a curriculum, themes and great crafts/activities.  For example, this week's theme is sports, and they're working on their names, the numbers 1-6 (they've been adding a new number each week), and the concept of small, medium and large.  We get a weekly curriculum sheet, a daily update, a monthly "newsletter" and quarterly progress reports. 

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Given she's a flexible sort of person, I think I'd move her to the childcare center program now for those 2 days/week, and leave the baby at the family childcare. If she's bored now, in January, it's going to be a very LONG time until June for her (as it would be for all of us).  So I'd move her now, then I'd see in May whether you leave her at this center for the summer, then move her to preschool in Sept or whether you move her to the preschool camp in June.  By then you'll have a better sense of how well her transition went from family childcare to childcare center, and whether you want to have yet another transition so soon (June) or whether you just want to wait until Sept to do it. 

    I love family childcare, but when there aren't enough older kids there, the preschoolers can get bored, and it's hard to offer preschool-type activities when you are caring for 3 infants and toddlers.

    I don't think having super stimulating days with you and then being bored at family childcare will be enough of a balance, because for a 3 yr old, being bored is being bored.  AND you can't zoom all over the place running to gymnastics, ballet, playground, music class and swimming class with a 5 month old (or at least, I wouldn't wanna do it!)

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Rama, reading your post reminded me of some of my earliest memories from when I was about 3 years old. We lived in NH (moved just before I turned 4) and I attended a home daycare that was perfectly safe and fine, but I hated it. They are some of my strongest, most vivid memories, and some of my only memories from living in NH.

     

    Anecdotal advice might not have been what you were looking for, but because I remember this so strongly, if my daughter even at 2-3 years old disliked something so much she cried about it over a period of time, I would definitely make a change. However, as you said, it's only a short time until she switches to the preschool, so it's not as if you intend to keep her there forever. Good luck!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Thanks for the advice, all.  Today's drop off at the home daycare was even worse than Monday and we are actively pursuing other arrangements.  I have a tour at one center tomorrow and another on Friday.

    I think we are going to pull her out. My stomach hurts even thinking about having that conversation wtih the daycare provider, but hopefully she'll understand.  I know it's a business arrangement but my DD has been with the provider at the home daycare since she was 6 months old and we have a nice relationship with her.  We are planning to leave our other daughter (5 months) at the home daycare for now so hopefully she will understand.  This is definitely a conversation I will be nervous going into...

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Micromom. Show Micromom's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    I think you're right to pull her, it sounds like it's time for a change and you don't want the stress and anxiety to escalate any more.

    I understand that you're feeling stressed, about the conversation, but remember, it's a natural transition that's a standard part of the process as kids outgrow the program.  I was in a similar situation and I chose to reduce my LO's  hours at preschool and find some fun things to do together instead.  

    Your child's best interest is always the most important thing, the day care provider will understand that.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Yes, it's NOT a question of "this isn't a good fit for DD" or "your program isn't any good" it's a case of "at this age, DD needs more children her age to play with throughout the day"  Frankly, I'm sure this isn't the first preschooler to leave her family childcare - the older girl just left, after all!  This is a very typical thing that happens with family childcare providers as the kids grow up and need to interact with more than a few children their age, if they are lucky enough to have kids their age at the family childcare.  And given your baby will be staying there, I know your family childcare provider will understand! 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from rama8677. Show rama8677's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    Update from OP: We told our daycare provider last week that we decided to move DD out of her care and into a preschool setting.  We gave her 2 weeks notice per the contract (slightly more, actually). We said that we were happy with the care she provided for our children but we felt that it was best for our older DD to move to a preschool setting earlier than planned and we reassured her that we were planning to keep our younger DD with her for the foreseeable future. The next day she offered us a "counter proposal" and basically asked us to keep our older DD with her until May because a) the other older boy was there until May and he would have nobody to play with, and b) she would have a hard time finding an older toddler who needed daycare and she wasn't able to fill the empty spot with another baby/infant due to capacity limits until June  She also said that if she can't fill the spot she may need to work full time at her other job (she works nights at a retail store), and not do family daycare anymore.

    We feel very badly but we think we have to do what's best for our DD, and I think she needs to go to preschool setting now and not wait for May.  I will feel horrible if our taking DD out will cause our provider to to give up her daycare business but I also feel like it's unfair of her to pin this on us.  We had no written contract about the length of time we expected to keep DD there. (I did have an informal conversation about the fact that we anticipated keeping DD there until next September but no committments were made on either end, and that statement was made based on my impression that there would be other older kids for DD to play with the whole time she was going there). It's tough because if I got laid off from my job and we no longer needed childcare I don't think she would give us a tough time about pulling her out but she is definitely making us feel guilty about it. 

    Anyway, just wanted to provide an update.  I feel terrible about the whole thing as we have had a nice relationship thus far with the provider, and I feel guilty about pulling out my DD.  But, it's definitely in the best interest of DD. I just keep having to remind myself of this...

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from cwagner13. Show cwagner13's posts

    Re: Advice needed on home daycare issues

    I am sorry to hear that, Rama. That is difficult - but ultimately, you have to think of your daughter. Your contract said 2 weeks notice, and that is what you are giving. For her to blame you for possibly having to give up the business is not right nor professional.

    This type of daycare business would be to me like rental business - you have to anticipate some vacancies periodically and plan for that, and it sounds like she is trying to guilt trip you to keep your daughter there longer just for her financial reasons, not for the best interest of your daughter (and honestly, if I felt that my provider were not thinking of my children's interests, I would be pulling out of there - which we did with our first daycare when the new director made it clear it was all about meeting minimum standards, which in my state is pretty low, and making as much money as possible instead of what each individual child would need).

     

     
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