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Am I being overprotective?


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  #1  
May 18th, 2011, 09:32 AM
BelloFiglioLA's Avatar LAH * CLH
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Location: Pennsylvania
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Levi has been at his current daycare since he was 7 weeks old. He is in a room w/2 other babies and one adult. Each baby has their own crib to nap in and he loves it there. I also know that his teacher loves him. When he turns a year old, they will start the transition into the toddler room w/one and two year olds.

The problem with this is, there is not enough staff for the amount of kids. The director of the daycare happens to work part time (weekend mornings) at my job and I knew her from here before she even got the job at daycare. She is new there, and the last director was fired because of the staffing mess, among other things. She has been honest with me in telling me that currently the files are a mess, and they are understaffed.

When Levi is moved up, he will no longer have personal attention and he will have to nap on a mat on the ground w/20 other kids. (which I can't see happening at all. How is a 1 year old supposed to lay down and nap with noise and distractions)

How does your LO's daycare work? Should I be looking at different options and other daycares, or suck it up because eventually he will be down to one nap and it wont be such a big deal.

I just feel like if I am having second thoughts about him moving rooms there is something wrong. Right?
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  #2  
May 18th, 2011, 09:38 AM
kimmiejo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Sam is in daycare, he is currently in the infant room and there are a max of 5 kids, if all 5 are there (some are only part time so not always there) there are 2 teachers. I believe it is 3 infant to 1 caregiver per the law? don't quote me on that though. In a month or so he will move to the Toddler class where they do go down to one nap a day and sleep on cots, my dd started in that room when she was 13months old and I was scared but she did absolutely fine with the whole cot thing, that being said there weren't 20 kids either, that class had a max of 8 with 2 teachers. I would say if they are falling short on staffing they should be reported to someone, there are state laws indicating the ratio for daycare centers and they should absolutely be following it! that would be my concern. I wouldn't worry about the cot thing though because my dd was the worlds worst sleeper at home, never put herself to sleep and still did fine with that transition, kids are pretty adaptable that way. They also eat at a regular little table with itty bitty chairs in the toddler room at our daycare center, I thought my dd would never go for that since she was in a highchair at home but again she did fine with the transition. At the end of the day you have to do what you are comfortable with, the lack of staff would be my main concern!
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  #3  
May 18th, 2011, 09:44 AM
who_it_is's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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If it's a licensed center, then they have state ratio and class size requirements that they must follow. I googled your state and came up with this Pennsylvania Licensing Standards for Day Care Centers - Daycare.com

Looks like he can't move to a larger class size until 18 months at which point the ratio changes from 4 babies and 1 adult (with 8 babies/2 adults max) to 5 toddlers and 1 adult (with 10 toddlers/2 adults max class size). So if the center isn't following these ratios, they could have a large problem on their hands if state licensing found out.

That said, I know that often times centers will combine classrooms at naptime (at least here in Oregon and in California) and that is generally considered accepable for licensing. Most "toddler" classrooms nap either on floor mats or on low to the ground cots (preschoolers as well) so that is the norm. At least in all of the centers I have ever known. Kids adapt and it just works.
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  #4  
May 18th, 2011, 09:50 AM
kimmiejo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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that site makes sense Lisa, I am also in PA....when Sam moves to the next room which is actually labeled at our center as "Baby B" I think he will only be there until 18ish months at that point he moves into Toddler A (18-24months) then Toddler B (2 to 2 1/2) and then to Pre-preschool from 2 1/2 to 3......basically all the classes at our center are 6month age range except for the infants 0-12months are all in the same class.
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  #5  
May 18th, 2011, 09:56 AM
BelloFiglioLA's Avatar LAH * CLH
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I'm not exactly sure what the ratios are, and how old all of the kids are but I do know that when I look into the room it looks like chaos. For some reason I just can't imagine him napping in there.

I'm pretty sure that the center is scrambling to get everything sorted and organized and staffed as fast as they can.

Kim, I really like the thought of 8 kids much, much better. That sounds so much calmer. ( I am a big fan of calm lol)

It is nice to hear that kids adjust though. That was one of my main worries. I guess I will see how the transition goes and go from there.

He can't move up until 18 months?
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  #6  
May 18th, 2011, 10:03 AM
who_it_is's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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According to the chart, it looks like he can't move to a larger ratio size until he is 18 months. It's pretty common like Kim said for centers to move babies to a "wobbler" type classroom around 12 months until about 18-ish months. Doesn't mean the ratio can change, though. Just means he would be in a room with more children his age and skill level, rather than a room of non-mobile babies. So he could move up to a different room, but they have to follow what the law says for the age group in that room.

And at least in situations I am familiar with (Oregon and Cali) it's the youngest children in the group that determine ratio and maximum group size.

Have you talked to the director about it? A lot of times, drop off and pick up times are the most chaotic times of the day. People coming and going, kids upset because mommy or daddy is leaving. And it's the time of the day, especially in a short staffed center, that if classrooms are going to combine ages it will happen most. But again, maximun ratio's and group sizes still rule.
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  #7  
May 18th, 2011, 10:46 AM
BelloFiglioLA's Avatar LAH * CLH
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I haven't talked to her yet. I think I'm going to email her now w/my concerns and see what she says. I'm not even totally positive what the procedures are for transitioning and I'd like to know all about that as well.
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  #8  
May 18th, 2011, 11:28 AM
Effervescence's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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In Ohio, the ratios are that if there are any kids under 12 months then there HAS to be one teacher to every four kids. For one year olds, it is one teacher for six, at least a few years ago that is how it was.

HOWEVER the daycare center I worked at, which was rated as the best in the area, and the regional director (he was in charge of all the daycares of that big-name company throughout Ohio, Michigan, PA, and I think Indiana) said that ours was the best center of that brand name in the region. We were accredited, licensed, in excellent standing with the state, and four star award winners when step up to quality rolled around (that is kind of tough, most others in our area are one or two star)

I am not bragging, my point is, we got all of that and STILL DID NOT MAINTAIN STATE RATIOS. I was left alone in my one year old class with twelve one year olds. By myself. 12 of them, one of me... one year old. I quit when one of my kids had a seizure and I was told not to write up a report or contact the mother because then I'd have to admit that I was out of ratio. So if a daycare is being very open about not having the staff to maintain ratios, I would be very hesitant to put my child in that class. I was a very loving and caring teacher to the best of my ability, I knew every single child inside and out, they were my babies. But chaos does not even describe what it was like.

I am not saying all daycares are like this or that all daycares are bad, I am just saying that if they are openly admitting to not having the staff, I would question the integrity of the care my child would be getting when he moved up to that room, knowing what it is like to be a worker trying as best as possible to care for all of those kids. Even when we could maintain the state ratios, six kids to one adult was chaos. When I started working, the ratio in that room was still one teacher to four kids, but as times got tougher and tougher, they kept bumping it up. When I left, after I had called an anon report to state licensing, they offered me the position of assistant director. I pretty much told them to shove it, I wouldn't be part of that. It was just how the company was running things, because I know it was the same way in all the centers with that name around us.
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  #9  
May 18th, 2011, 12:18 PM
hannia2's Avatar Veteran
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I was a director of a childcare center in PA. The chart shows the ratios if the group is homogeneous for age group. The age groups can be mixed, but then you need more teachers in the older groups. So a 12 month old can be in a room with older kids. But then the ratio rules change.

You can ask to see the PA blue book. It has ALL the rules that the daycare need to follow.
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