As I mentioned in my last post, we were planning on pulling Jamie out of daycare late next month to begin with but I had to do it much earlier than I’d anticipated and I’m not happy about it. Jamie has been at this center since he was 15 months old and they’ve consistently taken good care of him. I liked the teachers and he liked going there.
Until he moved into the preschool room.
It’s been a festival of problems since he made the transition to the older room. It seems like every time I pick him up from school there’s SOMETHING that’s gone wrong. Over the last 10 weeks we’ve had all of the following happen:
- They forgot to feed him. Yes, forgot. From 8 am to 4 pm he had nothing but water and they didn’t even know until I called to ream them out.
- He’s turned up with multiple scrapes and bruises. I expect a scraped knee here and there but one day he came home with a scraped knee, forehead, and hand while the inside of his mouth was torn to shreds. There’s never an explanation. “We don’t know how he got hurt. We were outside and he started crying and was all scraped up.”
- He came home sunburnt. Jamie is as fair as they come and I’m very careful about the sunblock situation. I put it on him before we leave for school (as daycare requests) and they are supposed to reapply before they go outside in the afternoon. He came home one day with his face flaming red. They don’t know how it happened.
- They then claimed they did not have sunblock for him. I gave them a whole tube when he started back to school in May. That whole tube usually lasts the summer. Where is that tube?
- As a result of this, it’s clear they used some other kid’s sunblock on him. How do I know? He popped with a rash. Jamie seems to have an issue with the spray sunblock and can’t use them. I give daycare what he CAN use. Instead they used the spray on him because Jamie popped with the reaction rash.
UPDATE: When I went to pick up Jamie’s things this morning, the director told me that Jamie’s string of issues stemmed from a lack of “independence skills” and that should I put him in another daycare I should really look for a smaller environment for him. Meaning, they expect a three year old to be able to completely undress himself, put on his own swim suit, and change his shoes to get ready for water play. They expect a child who still has not completely mastered potty training to be fully independent in the bathroom. They expect a three year old to be independent in regards to getting his lunch out. I suspect they also think a 3 year old should be able to spread out their nap mat and put themselves to sleep at the appointed hour and to be able to tell time, too.
Are the teachers there merely to direct traffic?
I have so many issues with this I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, that this same age, Liam did not have any of those skills. I remember my mother teaching him how to dress himself when she was here helping after Jamie was born – when Liam was FOUR YEARS OLD. Secondly, I was never told that these skills were necessary in their pre-school environment. Not knowing that this is what was expected, I hadn’t made an effort to teach these things to Jamie ahead of time. In fact, when they neglected to feed Jamie, I specifically said “if I need to be teaching him how to do this lunch stuff on his own, you need to tell me that now” and no one said “yes, he must know this.” Third, as far as the water play goes, it was only his second time having water play in pre-school. I could have told him 100 times before school that day that he needed to change his shoes and the teachers STILL would have needed to remind him. He didn’t know the routine and HE’S. THREE. His attention span resembles that of gnat. Fourth, and finally, if you are going to put 3 to 5 year olds into the same pre-school room (which is fine, Liam was in that sort of environment, too) you must acknowledge that the respective skill levels of 3 year olds and 5 year old are VASTLY different. If you are expecting a 3 year old to do all the things a 5 year old can just to survive your daycare, you are doing something very, very wrong. Not to mention that you are tossing kids who had help with all of these things in the older toddler room over to preschool with no preparation whatsoever.
I feel badly for Jamie that it took me this long to figure it out. It seems I am ever behind-the-eight-ball when it comes to figuring out what’s best for these guys. Perhaps that’s just parenthood.