Jocelyn - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )
I am unhappy with the care and attention my son (Nate) is getting at daycare. He is a really good boy and although his height is average his weight in the bottom 25th percentile for 2 year old boys. I have the rare opportunity to see him at school throughout the day without him knowing it and all the teachers agree he is the best behaved in his age group. He doesn't hit other kids, he doesn't push, he doesn't take toys away and when a child does one of these things to him he doesn't retaliate. He uses his words then goes to the teacher and communicates what happened to the best of his ability. This is really rare in a 2 year old. Because he is so good the teachers don't watch him as carefully as they do the trouble-makers (and there are many) so when something happens to him the teachers rarely see it and never reprimand the wrongdoer. This frustrates me.
My poor baby is getting picked on by bigger and worse children, he goes to the teacher as he should and nothing is done. He is ignored. This is inadvertently teaching him that hitting, pushing and taking toys is okay.
This incline in violence started a few weeks ago when I was watching Nate in his classroom. First he got a toy hammer from the cabinet and was playing with it very cutely then another boy took it from him; he looked at it longingly for a few minutes then moved on. He walked over to a standing toy mailbox which Alex (5 months older & stronger), the other boy with Nate's hammer and Nate were looking at. Nate leaned over to look at it and put his hand on the side as he leaned down. It was not aggressive or grabby, just set his hand on top for support and Alex slapped his hand. Nate started crying, and holding his hand walked up to his teacher, who was busy changing diapers and didn't see what happened.
The next week his usual teacher went on maternity leave and Nate started spending everyday with his class joined with the older 2 year olds and I saw a dramatic increase in the number of bruises he came home with. He also started crying in the mornings when getting ready for school.
Two weeks ago he was in his class with another teacher. There's a cloth calendar hanging on the wall in his classroom and when he's at home he loves playing with and hiding behind the curtains. Alex was hiding behind the cloth calendar and Nate would want to play too and follow him behind the curtain then emerge a few seconds later crying and holding his head. He would run to the teacher, but she didn't do anything to punish or stop Alex. Nate continued going behind the calendar trying to have fun and play, and each time emerging crying and holding his head. The teacher did take the cloth calendar down but never reprimanded Alex for hitting and not sharing.
Last Friday I watched Nate play on the playground. He was being really cute running around the plastic tree, then came to a stop right next to it. He stood there for about a minute then all of a sudden he goes flying backwards, in midair, and lands on his back. I open the door intending to get him and the teacher looks at me and tells me that Nate is fine and "just playing" and I realize she didn't even see Nate get shoved.
Yesterday I hadn't gotten to see Nate all day then I hear the teachers saying "Nate.." repeatedly so I look for him and finally see him sitting in the hallway with the other kids but he's crying. They keep saying his name in a flat tone as if to say "Stop fussing. You're fine." Later that day I ask both teachers why he was upset. One has no idea why he was fussing, the other says it's because he didn't want to come inside from the playground. After an hour outside he has never wanted to stay outside. He is the reddest hottest child out there and always follows everyone inside without a fuss. They didn't ask him what was wrong. They didn't look him over. They just assumed there was no reason for him to fuss even though it's very uncharacteristic. Once at home I saw he had a diaper rash all over his privates, he had another rash (new, not eczema) on his left leg probably from his teachers using latex gloves while changing his diaper, he had a large bruise on the back of his right leg, and he had a slight sunburn that spanned the area under his eyes and across his nose. My boy was in physical pain and was trying to tell his teachers this by crying and all they did was say "Naaate..." repeatedly in an exasperated tone.
I don't know why I posted all that needless information. Those are the only instances I know of, and just gives an idea of what I'm seeing/feeling. In all these instances Nate didn't to anything to instigate or provoke the other children and I only see Nate about 10 minutes a day here and there (I still have to work). If I've witnessed three violent occurances in the last three weeks I can't imagine what else is going on.
Also, just in the last week Nate has started fighting every second in the morning. He screams when I try to put him in his car seat. Once last week he cried the entire way to school (all 15 minutes) and kept saying "home.. home.. home.." It broke my heart. His teachers don't protect him or console him when he is hurt. He hates it. I just want to keep him safe at home but every morning we go to school then the director takes him from me and he screams and cries and looks at me like "Why are you letting them take me away!? Why are you letting them hurt me!?" Also in the last week Nate doesn't want anything to do with me when we're at home. He pushes me away. He doesn't want me to help him. He doesn't want me to touch him. He is betrayed by me every morning when I give him up and it breaks my heart. I can't sleep. I don't know what to do. I've talked to his teachers telling them about these instances and asking them to please look after Nate for me. I like his teachers a lot, they're all very friendly compassionate women but have their hands so full that I don't feel like he's getting adequate care. Financially, we are not in a position for me to quit and stay home. Any other daycare could be worse. I don't want to change jobs or daycares because it is a very nice facility (the best I've ever seen) with a nice staff, but I need his situation to improve. I think about this everyday and night now and it twists my stomach into knots.
Are there any women who work at a daycare where their children attend and have been unhappy with the care? What did you do?