Many working moms will put their kids in daycare, and there is definitely no reason to feel bad about that. It’s a practical thing: If we have a full-time job or need to put our child in part-time daycare because we work from home, daycare seems like the smartest solution.
Moms know that finding a daycare where their child is comfortable is a priority here. But there are several things to take into consideration, and there are a lot of ways to tell that the daycare isn’t working out at all.
Moms will know when it’s time to switch daycares, that’s for sure, but it’s also a good idea to be aware of the most common issues with daycares.
Here are 20 reasons to ditch the daycare and find a new one fast.
20. THE DAYCARE IS MESSY (AND EVEN DIRTY)
According to Care.com, a daycare shouldn’t be messy or dirty. Moms will want to ditch the daycare when they realize that it’s not a neat and tidy place.
This includes the area where kids play, eat snacks and/or lunch, take naps, and use the bathroom. Many experts want moms to see the bathrooms before they make the choice to enroll their kid somewhere because that can tell the tale of how dirty the daycare is. No mom wants their kid to be in this type of atmosphere, that’s for sure, so this would be a huge no-no. It’s definitely important for little ones to be in a clean place, and to also learn how to clean up.
19. THERE ARE TEARS WHEN YOU LEAVE YOUR KID THERE AND TAKE THEM HOME AFTER
As a mom discussed on Quora, if your kid is in tears both before and after they’re at daycare for the day, that’s not the best sign. This shows that your kid really doesn’t like it there and isn’t feeling comfortable.
This is another strong reason for moms to ditch the daycare and find a new one fast. It could mean a whole bunch of things: maybe other kids aren’t willing to share toys or be nice to your child, or maybe they just don’t feel completely at home and comfortable there. We don’t always like the vibe of a place, so we can understand this for sure.
18. YOUR KID IS BORED AND NOT LEARNING ANYTHING
Moms want to make sure that their child is learning a lot at daycare, and if they’re bored and there isn’t a whole lot of learning going on, that’s a reason to switch.
Care.com explains, “Without enough interesting interaction, your child could be stunted in development, both emotionally and mentally.”
This is especially important since you won’t be with your child and able to control what they’re learning. At home, it’s a perfect situation and you can teach them to your heart’s content. Just like you would be careful about choosing a school, you have to do the same with daycare.
17. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR CHILD IS LEARNING
Parent Map says that there should be a “clear curriculum” at the daycare which definitely makes sense. If you notice that this isn’t happening at the daycare that you have chosen for your child, it’s time to look for a new one.
You want to know what your child is learning, and many people have mentioned that it’s good to be able to see a bulletin board (or some kind of board) in the daycare with some information about what the children will be learning. You should also be able to ask the staff about this at any time. It’s definitely your right as a mother.
16. THERE ARE TOO MANY CHILDREN
Care.com says that 14 kiddos is “the maximum amount for a large daycare facility.” If there are too many children, that’s another good reason to ditch the daycare and find a new one fast.
Moms might not discover this right away because maybe there aren’t that many kids there during the tour or the early days of their child attending the daycare. But with a bit of time, moms will definitely notice if there are too many kids there.
While of course it’s good for kids to play with others and learn social skills, it’s crucial that the daycare doesn’t have too many kids there. This makes it tough for caregivers to notice everything that’s going on.
15. THE DAYCARE STAFF IS ALWAYS QUITTING
Moms should also find a new daycare if the staff is always quitting.
According to Parent Map, “Daycares that do not value employees or treat them well won’t keep staff around for long, and children need consistency with caregivers. They often get attached and look forward to seeing the same friendly faces each day.”
That last point is important since kids will absolutely want to see the same staff member every time that they go into the daycare. It helps them a lot, especially since they’re going to be away from their mom for a little bit. Moms can do some research or ask other moms about daycares where the staff has been there for years.
14. THE STAFF ISN’T SUPER SWEET, CARING, AND WARM
Mommy Enlightened notes that the staff of a daycare should be wonderful. You want to make sure that the staff is sweet, caring, and warm.
If you wouldn’t describe the staff that way, then it’s not the greatest daycare, and it’s time to ditch it and find a new one fast.
This is very similar to meeting new teachers at your child’s school or hiring a babysitter. Moms want to ensure that their children are around warm people who they will feel comfortable leaving them with. Moms have to be as comfortable with the staff as their kids are, that’s for sure.
13. YOU DON’T LIKE THE ENVIRONMENT AND WANT A HOME DAYCARE INSTEAD
A mom wrote on forum Mothering.com, “For me, I prefer home care for my children (even before I did it myself) because I wanted the one-on-one care, the security and warmth of a home-like environment and a family type setting.”
It’s possible that you feel the same way and you want to send your kid to a home daycare instead. You might not like the environment and it feels like your child would be really comfortable and happy being in someone’s house. Sure, it might take some searching before you find the perfect home daycare but it will be worth it.
12. THE STAFF ALWAYS SEEMS ANNOYED
You should definitely look for a new daycare for your little one if the staff always seems annoyed.
As Jr Law Firm explains, “While everyone can have an occasional bad day, daycare staff must be able to control their temperament at ALL times.”
The way that the staff behaves is so important since they should greet you and your child with a big smile and seem really happy to have you there. If they’re annoyed all the time, then they’re not going to create a nice and pleasant environment, and it’s not going to be a good fit for you and your child.
11. THE DAYCARE DOESN’T LET MOMS AND DADS KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON
Parent Map says that the daycare should always let moms and dads know what’s going on. This is a big deal and when this isn’t happening, it’s time to ditch the daycare and find a new one fast. This can be one of your top questions when visiting new daycares.
It’s not only unfair if a daycare won’t talk to parents about what happens each day, it’s very strange. This isn’t the type of place where you want to send your child and everyone would agree with you on that. For example, Parent Map says that daycares should definitely email parents or phone them.
10. IT’S NOT SAFE
Family Education notes that daycares should be incredibly safe. For example, if there isn’t a fence around where the kiddos play, that means that it’s not safe.
Of all the reasons to ditch a daycare, this one is really crucial. Would you leave your kids at a friend or neighbor’s house when it doesn’t feel safe? Of course not. Would you enroll your child at a school where there isn’t a fence around the playground or it seems too close to a busy road? Maybe not (and at the very least, you would inquire about the school’s commitment to safety).
9. THE DAYCARE WORKERS DON’T LISTEN WHEN YOU’RE WORRIED
Are you worried about something that’s going on at your kid’s daycare? Every mom has most likely experienced having a problem and wanting to chat with the daycare staff about it. The only legitimate outcome is for the staff to listen to you and help out with the problem. When that’s not happening and the staff doesn’t listen when you’re worried, it’s time to ditch this particular daycare.
Family Education has this to say: “If your concerns are dismissed or ignored, or if the staff becomes defensive or rude, it is a red flag that your child’s care may be compromised while you are not there.”
8. THE DAYCARE DOESN’T HAVE A LICENSE
Daycares absolutely should be licensed, and it’s possible that moms might sign their kid up for daycare and have them attend for a little while before realizing that they aren’t actually.
As Jr Law Firm says, “Choosing a licensed provider means the facility is insured, regulated, and inspected on a regular basis. Each state sets minimum requirements for day care providers, and they must post their license where people can easily see.”
If you find out that the daycare doesn’t have a license, that’s an important reason to find a new one, even if it seems like a nice enough place.
7. THERE ARE NO RULES AND IT’S PRETTY FREEFORM
Is the daycare really freedom and there don’t seem to be any rules? While there’s nothing wrong with a more informal environment where children feel at ease and like they can play and be themselves (that would be ideal, of course), there should be some rules at the daycare. This would be another reason to take your child out of this particular place and search for a new daycare.
As Baby Center says, “Rules and regulations are important. Centers without clearly established guidelines for everything from operating hours to handling emergencies are likely to have other organizational problems as well.”
6. THE DAYCARE SHOULDN’T ALLOW SICK KIDS TO COME IN
When your little one gets sick, it’s really crucial that you let them stay home and get better. If you send them to daycare (or to school when they’re old enough), they could get the other kids sick, and no one wants that.
According to Baby Center, a daycare isn’t the right one when they allow sick kids to come in. As the website explains, “Similarly, centers with a lax sick-child policy should be crossed off your list. If children and staff who come down with a fever or the flu don’t have to stay home for at least 24 hours, your child is more likely to catch every little thing that comes along.”
5. MOMS CAN’T JUST CHECK IN WITHOUT CALLING FIRST
Her Baby Stuff says, “A place that discourages parents dropping by unannounced probably has something to hide.” That makes a lot of sense, and that’s why if your daycare won’t be cool with you checking in without calling first, it’s time to ditch it.
What if you finish work earlier than you thought and want to pick your child up half an hour prior to when you said you would? Or what if a friend or relative comes by and they want to go out to eat with you and your sweet kiddo? You want the freedom of being able to check in at the daycare, and you should be able to do that.
4. OTHER MOMS GIVE IT BAD REVIEWS
Babylist says that other moms shouldn’t give a daycare bad reviews. This is another reason to ditch the daycare because it can’t be a good place if other mamas (and their kids) aren’t happy with it.
Whether you’re reading online reviews or talking to moms that you know in person, it’s important to know that fellow mothers are pleased with a particular daycare. You can always learn from other mom’s advice and experiences, and in this case, they’re letting you know that something isn’t going well at this place. This is why it’s also smart to hear from a lot of moms before picking a daycare.
3. THERE IS ONLY ONE STAFF MEMBER FOR A LARGE GROUP OF KIDS
Is there only one staff member at the daycare for a large group of kids? When moms notice that this is happening, it’s not only nerve-racking since it doesn’t seem like they can see everything that every kid is doing, but it’s also against the law.
Today’s Parent says that Ontario law says there should be one staff member “for every five toddlers 18 to 30 months” and one “for every eight children aged 30 months to five years.” The publication continues, “However, some experts estimate that breaches of the staff-to-child ratio represent up to one-fifth of all licensing violations.” There are similar laws in other places: in California, for example, there is a 12:1 ratio for kids who are three and four years old, according to Daycare.com.
2. THEY DON’T GIVE THE KIDS HEALTHY FOOD (AND THEY EVEN HAVE NUTS)
Today’s Parent also notes that a daycare that doesn’t give kids healthy food and also has nuts around isn’t the best one. This is definitely something that moms should be super aware of.
It’s time to ditch the daycare when you notice that this is going on. For one thing, you want your kid to eat a good lunch, and for another, they might be allergic to nuts. Even if your own kiddo isn’t allergic to nuts, it’s important for a daycare to be totally free of nuts for the other children. That’s the norm at any daycare or school (or it should be, at least).
1. YOU JUST KNOW IT’S NOT WORKING OUT
A mom writing for Kidspot.com.au said, “Mums and dads, always trust your gut.” The mom continues that “if something doesn’t feel right” you should “act on your thoughts.”
It’s possible that you just don’t feel that your kid’s daycare is working out. Maybe there is nothing that you can quite put your finger on, but you know that you’re not happy and your little one isn’t, either.
This is absolutely a reason to ditch the daycare and find a new one fast. You and your kid should be very pleased with the daycare so you’re both comfortable. And until that happens, feel free to keep shopping around.