Friday, August 31, 2012

The Time I Got My Son Kicked Out Of Daycare

Yes, you read that title correctly. As of yesterday, August 30, 2012, Jackson is "suspended" from daycare. Well, not really suspended, more like expelled since we've been asked to never come back.


For you lovely loyals who've been around since I sent Jackson off for his first day of daycare, you know we've had some serious issues with this daycare. I've come here to vent many times, we've considered leaving many times...But when it came down to it, every time I couldn't bear to take him away from his friends all because I couldn't stand the administration at the daycare.

So, instead of tucking my tail and leaving I put up a fight to correct the multiple issues occurring daily within the daycare. Read: rooms not meeting ratio, sanitation requirements not being met, MILK not being stocked (which they are to provide). And the teachers? They started dropping like flies due to disrespect from the new director.

This battle of mine has been waging since Spring.
Now, here we are wrapping up Summer and my battle hit its high point.

Jackson has had a biting issue the past month or so, which we (his teacher's and I) have been trying to get a handle on. Either way, his biting streak seemed to chill out for a quick minute. That is, until Tuesday when he bit a child and it broke the skin.

Of course, daycare called me all in a tizzy because Jackson's shot records weren't up-to-date. Don't worry y'all, Jackson has in fact had his shots. Our pediatrician had just not been able to get them the updated record yet. They insisted that all would be fine if I just brought in the updated record by that afternoon when I picked him up. So, I did.

Welp, apparently that didn't matter because when I arrived to pick Jack up from daycare yesterday there was an envelope stapled to his daily sheet. I opened the envelope and read the most infuriating letter I've ever read.

At one point this letter said "due to Jackson's aggressive behavior combined with your lack of bringing us a current shot record we are suspending him effective immediately."

I went into that Director's office saying, "Uh, I brought you that shot record, where is our issue?"

Only to have in response, "We just don't think this center is for you. So we're going to ask you don't come back."

That's it. Nothing about these alleged aggressive ways (which don't exist). Nothing about not having an up-to-date shot record. Oh wait, because they do! Nope. Just that "the center is not for you." AKA me. AKA this director is tired of this parent calling her out on the many discrepancies in their standards and the fact that she's driven HALF of the staff out of the center in the five months she's been there.

So I left. And I cried. And I'm still crying. Because I feel as though I've failed Jackson. I fought so hard to ensure his daycare was caring for him properly that he was kicked out. Expelled before he even really has words. I didn't know it was possible. Despite that I most surely have a law suit (yes, I think about these things, it comes with working in a law firm), I know this battle is over.

And while I cry in the corner feeling defeated and deflated, Brandon stands proud. What I see as a failure, he sees as a win. He's told me repeatedly that I stood firm for my beliefs, that I spoke for Jackson and that as his mom I did him good.

Brandon would say that we've lost this battle with the daycare, but we've won the war. We stood united in how we feel a daycare should treat its children and parents, as well as the ultimate standards a facility should have for itself (which this one clearly doesn't).

Now? Well, now, we move on.

Over the last week, Brandon and I had already been discussing pulling Jackson from this daycare after today. I'd already conceded that we'd need to leave this center before being able to get into a different church-based daycare. There's a daycare literally two minutes from our house that I'd ignored because it's a "chain" daycare. But I've read reviews, I've called and spoken with the director, asked some of the initial this-isn't-my-first-go-round with a daycare questions and feel pretty good about it.

Our new potential daycare has the same eating and nap schedule, the teachers have been there over 10 years and well they have an immediate opening. With the routine being the same, really the shake-up will be the people.

And this is where my heart weeps. For the first time since being 10 weeks old Jackson won't go to school with his best friend (his girlfriend). They're always together at school, everyone knows they're best friends and they are kind of the cutest thing ever. For this I am sad. Stepping out of my zone and scheduling play dates will be in my near future.

Final decisions on the daycare will be made today when Brandon and I have a chance to visit and sit it for a bit with the new daycare.

It seems my prediction this would be a big week full of big decisions was quite right. And now, I'll leave you to tell me whether I'm crazy or if maybe perhaps you'll be infuriated and cry with me.
Oh.And.Also. We haven't even talked about the ENT appointment! Looks like a post for the weekend, considering we're scheduled for surgery Tuesday morning.

*sharing my story with Cassie for this week's Mommy-Brain Mixer


  1. I don't think you're crazy at all. You're paying for a certain amount of care that they were not providing and you were being Mama Bear and taking care of your little one. He'll adjust in a new setting and make some new friends and hopefully you won't have to fight to get what is supposed to be provided for you munchkin. Good luck with everything!

  2. I think there is something to this being a victory of standing up for what you believe in. It sucks, and it's sad, and finding a new daycare can be exhausting - but he (and you!) will bounce back and hopefully be in a better place in the end. When my oldest was just barely 2, our daycare closed, and the kids scattered to the wind. It was rough splitting him from his best friends who he had been growing up together, but he made new ones - and 4 years later, he and his very best friend from that daycare ended up on the same soccer team, immediately becoming as close as ever! Good luck!

  3. I think you have a right to feel sad. I was sad pulling my daughter from daycare and her teacher when we moved. I think Jackson may do better at this new daycare and you'll have less stress. I know it's hard to see, but your husbands right you fought for your child and should be proud! I'd think lawsuit too because it's how I've had to think with some apartment complexes we've lived in.

  4. You have every right to be sad, and to feel deflated! But remember that EVERYTHING happens for a reasons. And you and your family will be better off in the long run :) I'm sorry that had to happen!

  5. Your husband is so right! Unfortunately, in my experience, if you are an involved parent who wants the best for your kid, this is a battle you will fight many times in many different situations. YOU did NOT fail your son - the daycare failed your son. Listen to your instincts! If your son doesn't bite at home (or do other undesirable behaviors) then it might be a problem he's having at daycare. My daycare is combined with the public school and I was weary and preferred a "home" daycare until I visited and got to know everyone - they are like good friends. I make it a point to get chatty with his teachers and they are just as loving with my kids and understanding when I have issues as any in-home daycare. I've had to push for the dismissal of teachers who were basically bullying my daughter. I've pushed for other changes here and there - I was treated respectfully each time and asked to be a member of the parent advisory committee. Granted, I make sure I praise often and am involved as much as I can be in positive experiences like field trips & center-wide parties so they don't just associate me with negative feedback. I also make sure when I have a problem that if its beyond the first-mention stage that I put the issue in writing and use all the formal language I can with reference to those farther up the chain so they know I'm not messing around. I hope you find a new daycare that works soon and your little guy will adjust quickly. Kids don't hold on to that stuff like we do so they bounce back a lot faster. Hugs!!

  6. You DID NOT fail him. As a mom, we are the voice our children don't have. You absolutely did the right thing, and I have done the right thing. I've also stuck out a daycare despite not liking the admin... and let me tell you now, in hindsight, it's my biggest regret. I didn't want to take my DD from her friends and from the teachers who doted on her, but when she hit Kindergarten we had a heck of a year because she learned at daycare that if she was cute, the rules didn't apply to her. All she had to do was bat her eyelashes and all would be well. I wish I'd been firmer about them and their discipline of her. Oh well. I'm making sure not to repeat the same mistakes with my little guy. He's at a smaller daycare but they're doing the same thing--not being as strict with discipline when he smiles and snuggles to get away with things. So we're checking out other options.

  7. I applaud you mama! You stood up for your son and you wanted what was best for him. It is the day area loss for kicking you guys out. I know Jackson won't be with his BFF, but I think in the long run he'll be happier at a daycare who actually wants him there! So way to go! I know you may be sad but keep your head up! You did what was right and the daycare didn't like being called out on things!

  8. I applaud you for confronting the director. You did not fail him, you strive for him to get what he needs. The daycare failed him. And you. And your family. I would be fully behind you giving them a lawsuit. It is ridiculous that you pointed out errors that were not addressed and fixed. You should call the state board.

    I hope the new daycare works out! He will make new friends. HUGS

  9. I agree with your husband. You did everything right by your son. You stood up for him and tried to make sure he had the best. Unfortunately the daycare center just doesn't seem to really care. You have every right to be sad, because this has been a big part of his life, but in the end, he'll adjust and be somewhere where they care about their standards and not throw them out the window.

  10. Awww girl I know this must be hard on you and Jackson! But it's for the best...that daycare was not up to par for what you expected for him. I'm sorry it ended this way, but I think it will end up being a good thing for him. Here's to hoping he loves his new daycare!

  11. I'm with Brandon - this is a WIN. Honestly, if the director is that incompetent, I'd be worried about the kind of care my child is receiving there. If you are going to pay someone to care for your child, then you DO get a say in how they do it! THEY WORK FOR YOU.

    Honestly, you may look back at this in 6 months and say, "Boy am I glad that happened! We never would have (X, Y, Z) if it wasn't for God closing that door for us." Hang in there, friend. You are an amazing mama. Jackson and I think so and that's all that matters ;)

  12. Wow. How is that daycare even allowed to operate? You are completely 100% founded in your concerns, and good for you for standing up for your child. Having come from an independent daycare that we left for concerns regarding the management and now being in a "chain" daycare, I couldn't be happier that we made that transition.
    Strength is in numbers, and there is obviously something successful about the way chain daycares run for them to continue to flourish. They are more regulated, up-to-date on state guidelines and in my experience the teachers all have college degrees in early childhood ed (i.e. they went to school for this shit and they WANT to be there teaching your child, its not just a paycheck to them).
    I'm sorry that you are having to deal with all this, and I'm sorry that they went about it in a passive-aggressive and rude way. Everyone who comes into contact with children knows that they ALL go through a biting phase. And that's just it, its a phase. It is by no means a reason to terminate an innocent child from a program. It is an opportunity to teach them, to help them learn, and clearly any educated professional would see that, it's too bad that director didn't feel the same.

  13. holy shit. i'm sorry. but then again, those people are absolutely unfit to care for children, so to me, it sounds like a blessing. he's young, and i'm sure he will adjust and make new friends easily. best of luck to you!!

  14. You totally did the right thing Momma! This place sounds legitimately crazy, and yes, you could file a lawsuit. Heck, you could call the local news. THEY are in the wrong, not you!

    If it makes you a "crazy parent" for calling them out on safety issues, then be crazy!
    I am so mad for you!

    You can keep his friendships too. Yes, schedule playdates. And he'll make new friends too which will be comforting. It really sounds like you are making the right decision for J. Praying for y'all (and the coming appt)

  15. Oh my gosh, that's so upsetting. I'm sorry you've had to go through this this week, and I laugh at their accusation of aggressive behavior as I lay eyes on, right under the "Topics" heading, the cutest little wide-eyed guy I've ever seen.

    THAT'S Jackson? The culprit in this story? I don't think so. I think a blessing in disguise just happened and after the shock subsides, you should embrace the fact that you're both now done with that crazy place.

    Thank you for linking up with the Blog Hop at Cassie's which I co-hosted. New follower here!

  16. OMG- that shit is crazy!!! I think the daycare {even though they were in the wrong} did you guys a favor. J will still be able to have play dates with old friends and make so many new friends to grow with. Having teachers stay at a center for 10+ years really speaks volumes in itself.

    I wish you guys the best of luck! You did everything in your power mama- no need to feel bad.

  17. SO upsetting!! What a place! What a good mommy you are! Just remember that it's not YOU who got him kicked out. The only actions you are responsible for are your own, and the daycare chose to handle the situation VERY poorly. You've done such a great job sticking up for your son (and the other kids!) when other moms might not have! Ugh... so sorry this happened to you, though! :( Chin up! At least you'll find him a better place and he'll make new friends!

  18. It seems your jaw is not the only one that dropped.

    Oh lady,I'm even at a loss right now. How unprofessional and unethical - I can't wrap my head around it.

    As others have said here - don't let the tears be because you think YOU have failed - you did what I wish many of my students' parents would do and that is advocate on behalf of your child. You should be proud, as Brandon says.

    I'm sending hugs and love to you, doll. This too shall pass and you'll all be better because of it.

  19. I think this is a blessing in disguise for you girl. With that kind of turnover, something isn't working. And if they can't keep MILK stocked? what else are those poor kids lacking in?? I think this is going to be a good thing for all of y'all.

    As for this little buddy? that breaks my heart too. But schedule some playdates lady. That can be arranged.

    I would be mad as a hornet. You're a better person than me. I would have lost it.

  20. I completely agree with Brandon. You did the right thing, and it sounds like a blessing in disguise that you were to asked back because it forced your hand. My daughter is in a chain daycare and WE ARE THRILLED. Everyone has been amazing, she is happy, and it's convinent for us. Thanks for hosting the mommy mixer, I will be following Jackson (and your :)) progress!

  21. Wow, what an awful experience! You were 100% in the right for speaking up about what minimum standard of care you expect for your son. Which I'm sure is required by the state, much less common sense! I know it will be horrible moving Jackson to a new place but I'm sure you will look back on this as a bump in the road that you're so glad you are past!

    New to your blog - love everything I've seen so far! :)

  22. I feel your pain. I just got my 3 yr old daughter kicked out of her daycare and I didn't even speak up to the owner but instead a thread of emails between concerned parents was leaked out to her. She verbally attacked me in front of my 3 yr old and 6 yr old and said she couldn't have me there since I threatened her wonderful reputation. Actually I have always held the school in very high regard. Both of my kids had gone there since they were 3 mo. I am very friendly with most of my kids old teachers there (in fact I really love and admire a few of them) and when people have had negative things to say about the school I have been the first to jump up and defend them. My 3 yr old daughter was in a classroom for several months with no head teacher. Not only was there no head teacher but constant "stand in staff" for an hour here or two there - you get the drift. She was talking about people that I had never heard of. Other parents sent out emails to the class parent list. The owner's son was included on one of those email threads. It gets better - so the owner had her granddaughter in my daughters class until they got to the three year old class when she decided to take her granddaughter out and send her to her other school with some lame transportation excuse all the while stating that her granddaughter would be back the next year when the kids moved into a long time very well liked and very effective teachers room. The owner changed the holiday party for our school from Saturday (when it had been for at least the past 5 years) which was preferred by most parents to Friday and gave the other school the Saturday party (the school where her granddaughter was). Just before I was attacked in front of my kids and we were expelled from the daycare I had called the director of the school (who works just under the owner but she's actually the one who is in the school as the owner is rarely there). I had what I thought was a very good conversation where I voiced all of my concerns - the same ones voiced in the emails and all of my questions were answered. I felt good about it and I could tell the director did too. I was feeling hopeful and happy walking in that evening. little did I know that I was walking unarmed into a massive firing squad. As I was being attacked it occurred to me that these were my kid's last moments at that school that they had so loved and trusted. I broke down right in front of that evil heartless you know what. My kids were terrified and still asking questions and very confused a week later. It has been horribly traumatic for all of us but now that I know the true motivations behind the school and their tactics of divide and conquer I'm glad my kids are out of there. What still brakes my apart is that damage that was done for me to realize that.

    1. I almost forgot the best part . . . while I was being attacked and effectively expelled with my kids bawling my eyes out I somehow thought to ask the owner if she would ever put her granddaughter in that class and not only did she say "NO" she'd never put her in that class but she went on to say how horrible the teacher was. Scary that some one like this could run 2 daycares which up until recently had been pretty well respected daycares in the community. Really scary.


I love and appreciate every comment! Thanks for stopping by our blog today :)