Times have changed. Gone are the days where one parent or grandparents would be with their child all day. Of course, it this still happens. But, more often than not, both parents are working full-time jobs and grandma or grandpa aren’t in the picture. You know what that means… paying for expensive daycare programs.
When it comes to daycare, there are professionals who are over-the-moon amazing and others who have without a doubt landed in the wrong industry. So, what do you do when you’re stuck with the latter? Jessica Hayes, a single mom in Elkin, North Carolina, was faced with that exact question.
In May of 2018, Hayes went to pick her daughter up from Pleasant Hill daycare. What she saw next was infuriating – some staff members had taped her daughter’s shoes to her feet with masking tape.
It may not seem so terrible compared to duct tape or packing tape. But, as you’ll see in the images below, the masking tape was wrapped in such a way that it cut off the poor girl’s blood circulation.
Naturally, after peeling the masking tape off of her daughter’s shoes and ankles, Hayes took to Facebook to vent her concerns.
“I am upset that this happened to my child as someone was clearly upset that she was learning to take her shoes off and [did] it out of being aggravated,” wrote Hayes. (1) “This was also not just her shoes being taped up, it was around her ankle. To the sports players who tape their shoes, they are older [and] have the say… in doing so and are able to say it is too right and bothering them. My 17-month-old child was unable to say anything.”
What’s worse, the tape “was left on long enough and tight enough to leave marks, cause swelling, and bruise.”
When They Break Your Trust, But You Need Their Care
When Hayes confronted the Pleasant Hill daycare director, she “was just as speechless as I was.” Together, they reviewed the security footage and when it came down to it, the two staff members responsible for their careless abuse were fired.
But Hayes felt like she had her back up against a wall. In one sense, she wanted to pull her kid out of Pleasant Hill daycare; in another, as a single working mom, she relied heavily on the care they provide.
“It does hurt and break trust when you put that trust into two individuals who have been with my daughter since she was 6-weeks-old, and come in to her shoes being taped on her as well as her ankles.” (1)
That said, Hayes dropped her daughter back off at Pleasant Hill the very next day. Although she may never feel the same level of comfort as she had before, Hayes believes that issues like this one won’t happen again because of the awareness she has raised.
6 Tips for Choosing Child Care
Find a babysitter, daycare, or other child care center comes with a host of challenges! But here are a few tips that will help equip you to make a decision more confidently. (2)
1) Check Their Policies
Doing this will help you see whether or not your parenting or child-rearing philosophies are similar. In addition, make sure you’re okay with whatever safety policy procedures they have set in place.
2) Ask About Commitment
How is their staff turnover? How many caregivers will your child be introduced to? The reason why questions like these ones are important is because babies need consistent, predictable care. The kind of care also gives children a sense of security and the ability to form strong and healthy new relationships.
3) Look Down and Around
Pay attention to whether caregivers are standing and chatting or on the ground playing with and engaging with the children. Not only does the latter help kids learn more effectively, but it ensures that your kids always have an eye or two on them.
4) Drop by and Spy
This might seem a bit creepy. But during your search, take word-of-mouth referrals with a grain of salt. Go on a stroll or drive (with or without your child) and see how the structure looks, how caregivers are interacting with children, and if the appropriate childproofing is in place. (If you don’t want to “spy,” simply book an appointment with the child care facility and they’ll likely be happy to give you a tour.)
5) Talk Away
Until your child is old enough to speak for themselves, you’re their number one advocate. You may feel like a pest, but don’t be afraid to ask questions. Nine times out of ten, organizations are more than happy to answer them for you. Plus, doing this will also help strengthen your relationship with the person spending over half the day with your child. (They’re a good person to know!)
6) Trust Your Gut
There’s something about parental (especially maternal) instinct. If you don’t feel great about a place, it’s okay to walk away – you’ll find something that suits you and your child. If a place makes you feel excited, lean in and ask more questions about it. Babies and toddlers thrive when they have access to good, safe, nurturing care.
Remember, the more questions you ask ahead of time, the less surprises or headaches you’ll have to deal with later! We hope these tips help give you or a friend some level of comfort moving forward with your child care search.
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