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Family day care ... problem? not sure
10 replies to this topic
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:18 PM
I'd like some advice. My son has been going to family day care for the last 4.5 months, since he was 2y5m old. He hadn't been in care before then.
He really enjoyed it from the start. He was happy to go and never cried. At first we had him going 8:30-2 one day a week, but because he seemed so happy with it and to give my husband a break we added a second day (8:30-5) after about 1.5 months.
There was a short break (one week) over Christmas, and he was still happy going. Then the carer took the week off before Australia Day and since then (the last 3 weeks) my son has been saying he doesn't wany to go anymore. He says 'I don't want to go to <carer's'> house' and 'I don't like <carer's> house'. I've asked him why he doesn't want to go and he just says 'because I don't like it'. I can't work out why he doesn't want to go anymore. I thought maybe it was a passing thing, but since it's been going for three weeks now I'm getting a bit concerned about it.
So this morning I mentioned to the carer and asked her if anything had happened that might be why he didn't want to go anymore? She got quite defensive and said that nothing had happened. Then when I picked my son up this afternoon she said since I obviously wasn't happy that she had spoken to the FDC coordinator about finding somewhere else for my son. I was quite taken aback and she said that when I asked about if anything happened and that she was a professional and running her business. I explained that I was just trying to work out why my son doesn't want to go anymore and wasn't meaning anything by it or anything. She then said that he doesn't socialise very well and doesn't play with the other kids but wants to hang around with the adults more. Which he is an only child so that makes sense but when we take him to playgroup and other kid's houses he usually plays well (from our persepctive), so I'm not sure. It's also not been mentioned to me before.
I was quite disappointed with her reaction and not sure what to do now. My son does still seem happy when he's there and has fun. He has cried on waking up at the carer's house a couple of times in the last three weeks, which is unusual. He has also told me that when he has woken up crying that the carer says 'shhh stop crying and got to sleep' and that he had to sit in the crying corner, but I'm not sure if that is true, (about the crying corner). He also mentioned that the carer's son (who is a couple of months younger than him) has hit him, but when we discuss it he says that the carer's son gets in trouble and has to go to his room when that happens and that my son gets a hug if he's sad from it.
So I'm not sure what to do. Whether I should leave him there, especially as the carer seems cranky at me now for questioning her. Whether I should try to find another FDC place or try to find a long day care place. I feel quite stressed and little teary from it so any advice or suggestions would be welcomed!
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:30 PM
Personally, she doesn't sound that professional if she can't have a discussion about your son's potential issues without getting defensive.
This is actually one of the reasons I preferred a long day care environment, DS had several carers at any one time. Also, there's a bigger range of kids to play with there, in an FDC environment there's generally only 2-3 other kids so if he doesn't really get on with them, that's going to be more noticeable.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:31 PM
Family day care is so hands on that I would just take the advice and look at another carer.
Eg, I have had my first DD with one carer. She was wonderful, we loved her and she was handy for my work, but I could not get back in when I had DD2. We were, thankfully, able to find another family day carer, who could look after my two. But she went away for xmas for 7 weeks. We were transferred to another carer in the area (only 2 streets away) for those weeks. The gils were ok with her, and in the end were comfortable, but within 2 day my DD was ignoring me for the FDC lady when I dropped her off. I feel really comfortable with my FDC lady as I know my DD2 loves her. FTR my DD2 also attacks me of an afternoon as she loves me so much
I think you need to find where you will 'click' with a carer, and you will feel the difference. I love that I can ask, how much did they, eat, sleep, have fun today, and get an answer from 1 person, as opposed to 6 different carers
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:32 PM
Thanks Angela. I'm just finding it hard to cope with the reaction with other things going on at the moment! I've been looking into the local preschool for him for next year and they also do occasional care on a Friday so might look into that for him.
I didn't think it would hurt to ask, I wasn't trying to say she was doing anything wrong although I was a little nervous about it as I hate confrontations!
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:40 PM
Yes, I thought the FDC environment would be good to ease him into out of home care and have that bond with a single person rather than having to deal with lots and lots of new people. But then as CSM said there's less chance to escape if you don't get on with a particular kid.
I guess I'm also worried that I'll move him and he won't like it there either - so the issue wasn't with where he was but that he doesn't like being cared for my anyone other than mum and dad! But the fact that I don't feel like I can discuss it with the carer now probably does mean we have to change regardless I guess. She did seem nice and friendly and professional when we first met with her. I guess it's hard to know what will work.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:42 PM
My DS is a bit younger (sept 2010) and he goes to FDC. His carer is wonderful and he lives it there.
The last few weeks he's been crying when I leave him but I think this is just because he spent so much time with me over Xmas as she was away for 5 weeks.
Saying that, I find it super weird she couldn't discuss your concerns and then called the FDC coordinator about a new position!
I totally think if my I'd didn't 'jell' with her I'd have to find someone else but you said he's been fine for months so I find that weird.
Maybe you could have another chat with her. Be super nice and sensitive and maybe you can resolve the issue. Change is good but so is continuity.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:43 PM
I would be looking for a new family day carer if it were me. I use family day care and that is a really inappropriate, over-the-top response to a harmless question!
Posted 14 February 2013 - 06:46 PM
I use family day care and havent had a problem at all in saying that i would easily be able to discuss anything with my sons carer and she would try her best to find out whats going on etc goodluck op and maybe finding another FDC isnt such a bad idea
Posted 14 February 2013 - 07:57 PM
Hi, I would be looking for a new carer definitely. My youngest (15 months) is in FDC with a wonderful carer who is more than willing to discuss and listen to my concerns. In fact one day I picked up DS and she was very apologetic telling me her 2 yo had scratched my son and I was more than welcome to report it to the central office. There is certainly no 'crying corner' at her FDC and I'd be concerned that she is so defensive. If you are in NSW you could just wait 6 months until your DS is 3 then enrol him at pre-school. I did that with DD and DS#1 and they made the transition from FDC to preschool quite easily.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:05 PM
I would be looking for another carer as well. We have been using FDC for my DD for over 2 years now with the same wonderful lady. She started at 15 months and generally loves it but there were periods, especially when she was younger that she would be not too keen on going. Our Carer was always totally happy to discuss such things and what could potentially be causing the behaviour. The reaction you described is worrying.
I also think the whole crying corner story very strange. I cant imagine a child that young making up such a thing, or if he made it up, he obviously really doesnt like the carer, or the atmosphere there and perhaps with good reason.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 08:34 PM
TBH, her refusal to discuss your concerns, would have me worried that she's trying to hide something. I would definitely consider changing. Kids can be quite resilient.
I had a FDC for my son and she decided to ignore my parenting authority and start to introduce all sorts of changes to my son's routine without telling me about it.
At the time DS was only 18 months old and still having daynaps every day. I would pick him up at 4pm and he would be happy and energetic as he just had woken from his nap.
So when he fell asleep the instant I put him in the car, 3 days in a row, I just casually asked her if he was having troubles sleeping.
She sounded very cranky when she started to explain that he kept getting up and walking away from his mat and she was tired of having to pick him up and put him on his mat every 5 seconds.
I asked her why she had decided to no longer put him in a cot (he was still in a cot at home). She then said he would climb out of the cot......
I asked her how that is possible when he's wearing a Grobag sleeping bag.......
This is when she became loud and angry.
She told me in a squealing voice that he was too old for sleeping bags and she had decided to stop using them because they are for babies only.
Errrrrrrr.... no wonder he didn't sleep! He still slept in a sleeping bag at home in a cot! Take both of those away and yes, he will want to get up and walk off. DOH! He's not used to it!
I asked her if she didn't think that it was upto me, as the parent, to decide whether or not he is too old. She said that she was the professional and I was obviously not doing the right thing by my child, so someone had to do the dirty work.
I don't think I have ever been that upset before with a carer. I drew a line right there and then. I rang the office and asked for a new carer. The placement officer said she couldn't help me because she believed the current carer had done nothing wrong and that DS was indeed too big for sleeping bags. Never mind the fact that you can buy sleeping bags for kids upto 7yo!
I then switched to a big center a few weeks later and was very anxious about it as he's special needs. But it was the best decision I've ever made. Yes he doesn't get along with every single child, but he does have a lot of friends there. Us adults don't get along with everyone either, so why should kids?
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