Daycare Secluding Toddler...at what point is it illegal?

Tiffanie - posted on 08/24/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

118

16

25

I'm curious if anyone knows if it is illegal for a caretaker to seclude a child in a playpen in a room alone every time they have a tantrum. Is this considered neglect or something? I live in Florida if anyone is curious. My son just started daycare for the first time at 16 months old and he had never been away from us. He was having a hard enough time adjusting and then I found the caretaker was secluding him, even if he had a tantrum at lunch and didn't want to eat she would put him the other room. The door was left open but there wasn't a direct line of site for my son to see that he wasn't alone. It was a bedroom, not an open room like a living room. I have no idea how long she would leave him in there at a time. She said she put im in there and said that if he behaved he could come out and that he listens after a minute or so and then she lets him out but I don't believe that. My son freaks out when he's alone even in our own house, I can only imagine at a strangers house, when he's already upset, and then being secluded from the other kids on top of it. I do know that she let him cry twice for over 2 hours at naptime (he's secluded then also so he doesn't bother anyone else). I told her this was unacceptable the first time and to call me if he refused to nap and I could pick him up since I was off work a bit after nap time. SHe did it a second time so now I pick him up asap after work, don't even try to let him nap (although an hour passes from when nap time starts so he's still screaming for an hour). My son was already terrified because he had never been away form us and then he was also in a strange place. Now he's afraid to go to bed at night because he doesn't want to be alone and he used to go to bed just fine (drowsy but awake and fall asleep alone). He's also waking up more now and he's started having a cow when I try to change his diaper (I know that could be age but it sure it a coincidence). He starts crying as soon as mu husband turns down her street in the morning. I know he needs to adjust but I'm sure he's affected by all of this.We are obviously switching his daycare, I'm just curious if anyone knows if this could be reported or not. Feel free to share any other thoughts, opinions, or your own daycare experiences.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Tara - posted on 09/07/2011

21

22

0

Seclusion is another way of saying "time out." for a toddler, I wouldn't want to see a time out used for more than a minute or two. At that age, redirecting works well. I am glad you found a better match for your child. Even if the seclusion is not illegal, if it doesn't feel right to you and your child is not responding well and is crying and fearful just turning down the street towards the home, you know you made the right decision for your child. Seclusion may work well for other kids but not for yours and that's what matters. I couldn't bear to hear my child "cry it out" for two hours either. It seems unnatural to me as a mom to leave a child to cry like that and do nothing to comfort him.

Carol - posted on 09/07/2011

371

6

80

I used to have a home day care. States are all different, Do you know if your state has a license for their daycares? If so, she should have one. You can report her to the licensing board if you feel its warranted. She should have given you her license number and the board's phone number or e-mail with the contract you should have signed. I was always amazed at the people who wouldn't check me out first - just show up and dump their kids after seeing me for 3 minutes. I'm not at all accusing you of that, just letting you know that there are lots of ways to check a person out. Check the license number, check references, sit in for an hour or so. Ask the people that are in daycare what their kids' reactions are when they leave and pick up. Your son should not look terrified of the sitter. Crying when getting dropped off at 16 months is normal, especially if this a new thing. Hide from his view and see how long it lasts. A good sitter will try to redirect him to something fun. Being left to cry for 2 hours is ridiculous. Glad you found another situation so quickly.

Constance - posted on 08/24/2011

2,651

24

146

I have 8 and if someone did this to one of mine we would have serious problems. It isn't jst about legalities it is about his welfare. Which she obviously does not care about. If you do not alow him to just cry then I ould ot allow her either. She will not change the way she does things so you need to find a new sitter. He will be so happy to go and you will feel more at ease leaving him. I know when a chid that is left in a loving enviroment will adjust quickly to being left without you. But when there is such a dramatic chnge in how they are cared for they ill be tramatized.

10 Comments

View replies by

Tiffanie - posted on 09/07/2011

118

16

25

Thanks for all of the responses! The woman was licensed and I checked her out by visiting twice and letting my son play a little bit, reading her inspection reports on the DCF website to see if she was in compliance, and reading the few reviews that were online. My son is really doing soooo great at his new daycare. He naps alone on the blanket on the floor (won't sleep on the mat I got him but I'll take it!!). He doesn't even do that at home! When I talk about his day he smiles instead of crying and he wants to go in there in the morning, at least at first. But when I pick him up he doesn't cry, he's having fun, and looks well rested. Once they even sent me a pic message on my cell :) It's really a world of difference! Just goes to show us that even before our children can talk they can find ways to tell us what we need to know!

Sherri - posted on 09/01/2011

9,593

15

391

No in no way is it reportable to place a child safely in another room. However, it certainly is NOT a good match and your son should be not going back there. It is just not a good environment for him at all.

Bobbie - posted on 08/31/2011

12

9

1

I am sorry that your son is enduring that crap, that is awful. I had some similar problems with day care people and I had to work nights and my husband worked days, so we did not have to have a babysitter or day care around my kids. I live in Illinois and I believe that is against the law. Even if it is not I as a mom would take my child somewhere else that way I know he is safe. Who knows if secluding him is the only thing they are doing to him ya know? I hope you get things resolved.

Jennifer - posted on 08/24/2011

714

1

28

I'm glad you got him in a different program. Yeah, working and checking up on your daycare is not easy! I've found that the mid-sized daycares tend to be the best. At home care centers, there is usually only one adult, and that means no one to tattle if she gets out of control. Big centers just seem too impersonal, and I almost wonder if the babies are just numbers! Mid-sized one seem better, enough people who would report stuff, and you still can have a family feel, mho anyway. Hope the new center works out for you.......

Tiffanie - posted on 08/24/2011

118

16

25

Since I was picking him right after I got out of work it was hard to do a surprise visit. Yes, it's a home daycare and she is licensed through the state. He's starting a local church daycare on Monday and they seem really nice. They also know what we all just went through so they're going to hopefully be extra loving.....

Jennifer - posted on 08/24/2011

714

1

28

This sounds like more than a few minutes. I know that school age children can not be secluded unless they are a danger to themselves or others. And I mean serious harm, we were told biting(not even breaking the skin) was not bad enough to use seclusion. I'd get him oughta there ASAP! My kids LOVED daycare. One daughter had severe problems with separation, but still wanted to go! A kid who doesn't like it is a pretty good sign something is not right. Is this a home daycare? I'd be checking things very closely, and try "dropping by" unannouced a few times. You might call the BBB, and see if they had any complaints, and your state agency that is in charge of overseeing daycares!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms