My Daycare Rant

My kids are daycare kids. I would love to stay home with them (on some days) but it’s not feasible for us. I have thought about getting a nanny (it’s actually cheaper when you have two or more kids here in Toronto), but I’ll tell you about that another time. This post is a rant about the daycare that my two year old is in. It shall remain nameless and I still think it’s a fabulous facility. I’m just a little peeved at them right now.

My daughter has eczema. She has had it since she was born. Her skin is very sensitive and her pediatrician does not seem too concerned, but she’s recommended I do a few things:

1) Frequent baths – without soap
2) Slathering moisturizer or oil on her skin while it is still damp after a bath

AND this is my favourite one (so much fun):

3) Keeping her nails short

The third was the doc’s most recent suggestion, just two weeks ago, because lately she’s been scratching more than usual. I’m guessing it’s the change in season. Alexandra has been waking up at night (shocker!) and she comes to sleep with me, (yet another shocker!) and all night – on most nights – she scratches, her dry and patchy skin.

(Holy Epiphany: Maybe the eczema is why she’s waking up?!!! Honestly, just thought of this now!)

Her skin is not really that bad, but it’s bad enough that she scratches like a maniac with lice. (Have you seen one of those? No? Me neither.) What I’m trying to tell you is that she scratches a lot…her scalp, her neck, her chest, her arms, her legs and since potty training – her bum. (This last one is because she can get to her bum much easier wearing Hello Kitty underwear instead of diapers.)

I took her into daycare as usual Tuesday morning. As usual she was happy to be there. Come 3 pm: I’m really busy. Nick went to Montreal and I’m super busy with our latest issue. The phone rings, I notice that it’s the daycare and I hold my breath while I answer the phone. (I hate getting calls from daycare – if your kids are in daycare you know why.) The daycare lady – who shall remain unnamed. Actually, we’ll call her Sally…tells me to come in to pick up Alexandra because she has a rash. A rash! Phew. I laugh.

Me: “No, it’s not a rash, it’s her eczema. She’s been scratching a lot lately to the point where she even breaks her skin”
Sally: “Uh-huh, well you need to come and pick her up”
Me: “Really? Because I’m sure it’s her eczema”

No go. So I went to pick her up. I have to be honest, I didn’t rush to get there. I knew it was the bloody eczema.

And so it begins.

Sally is now gone for the day, so her fellow worker…we’ll call her Beth, she greets me with “Alexandra has a rash”… and as I suspected she doesn’t have a ‘rash’. She has a patch of red, dry bumpy skin on her chest that she can’t stop scratching. She has eczema. I thought I mentioned that.

I’m annoyed. My kid is super happy and she most definitely does not have a rash – not the kind of rash they are talking about. I’m also annoyed because Beth was cleaning up the cupboard and Alexandra has a soaking wet bum.

Me: “Her bum is wet”
Beth: “Oh are you sure? We were just playing with water”
Me: “No. Her bum is WET. She has peed right through her underwear and pants”

(Can I just point out that Alexandra is now being potty trained at the suggestion of my beloved daycare. They refuse to use training diapers. That too is another post.)

At this point I’m seething just a little bit. I had to leave a busy office because of a rash, which is actually not a rash and I get here and my kid is wearing pee filled underwear and pants. She’s very happy. I’m not happy. So imagine how ecstatic I become when Beth tells me that I can’t bring her in the next day unless I have a doctor’s note.

Last time I checked eczema does not pose a danger to any of the other kids. I’m really annoyed. So I start to explain, that we just visited the doctor two weeks ago and I addressed the scratching and really it is just eczema. Beth doesn’t budge. This is really ridiculous. She has had these patches of red, dry, bumpy skin on and off for months.

Wait a second…why haven’t they noticed this before? This question, and I ask it to anybody who will listen, including the Director, doesn’t get me an answer, just some babble about procedure when it comes to rashes. I love procedure, and really I’m all about rules. But this is not a rash. She has ECZEMA. (I thought I mentioned that.)

What has really pissed me off about this whole little scenario is that I am made to feel like the bad parent who is ignoring her sick kid. I was looked down on by them and made to feel like I was making excuses for my daughter’s so called ‘rash’. I felt like as I was explaining the state of Alexandra’s skin, these ladies were looking at me and thinking, “Uh-huh, I get it. You don’t want to take care of your sick kid. Bad parent. Work is more important.”

Come on daycare – this is MY kid. I know when she’s sick. I have seen RASHES, and fevers, and vomit and diarrhea. In my five years and two kids I have taken care of my kids when they are sick. I’m the parent who keeps her kids home if they vomited the day before – because I follow the rules. I have had friends say, “How will they know that your kid vomited last night?” Doesn’t matter. The rule is that you don’t bring your child in if they’ve vomited in the last 24 hours. Rules are there for a reason. I get that.

When my kids have fevers they stay home. This past winter, when my kids had a cough they stayed home (thanks to the media for all the H1N1 crap). When they are not feeling well they stay home. When the daycare calls, I always go in a timely manner (except with this ‘rash’. Have I mentioned that she doesn’t really have one?) They do not want me to bring her back without a doctor’s note? Ridiculous. Do they think I’m lying? Where’s the trust?

Wednesday morning. Alexandra wakes up in her usual happy mood. She doesn’t have a rash. Surprise!!! It’s only eczema (I’m really getting sick of saying this) and it has actually cleared up in that spot. I could go on for pages about the discussions I’m having with these ladies. I have a few heated discussions with Sally and it’s well past 10:30 am by the time I actually speak with the director.

Guess what? Even though Sally still doesn’t think that Alexandra can come in without a note, the Director says that it’s ok. I offered to bring Alexandra into her office so she can see that she’s healthy, but she kind of laughs. So I’m thinking that she thinks this is ridiculous too…I was ready for a fight, but really, she was on my side! Imagine that!

I get it. I’m sure there are parents out there who bring their kids to daycare when they are sick. I’m sure desperate times call for people to do desperate things…but I’m not one of those parents. Honestly. Fortunately between Nick, my mom, and myself we’ve always been able to look after our kids when they are sick. The problem here is that this was a misdiagnosis by them.

So what do we do when the daycare worker insists that your child is sick and you are telling them, and it’s obvious to you that she’s not? Because of this overreaction my little girl missed swimming with her little friends, and because of their irreverence towards me, my perception of them is a little less than what it used to be. So maybe a nanny does sound better now. Maybe not. I still love daycare.

When did parents and daycare workers start to be on opposite ends? Since when am I ‘the enemy’? I only want what’s best for my babies, and I’m assuming that this is what they want too, or why would they chose to be in an industry that charges parents through the nose but pays them so poorly?

So I put up with wanting to potty train too early. I put up with no training diapers and having to purchase and wash a ton of underwear. I put up with a bag full of wet clothes and underwear with a lump of poo in it. I do. Because I know that they are great with my daughter and she loves them.

I understand that rules are rules, but DO NOT treat me like I’m a bad parent, DO NOT misdiagnose my daughter and disregard what I know to be true about her. This Mommy won’t stand for it. And just in case you didn’t know it before…you do now.



  • daycaremomma

    As a daycare provider, I can tell you that it is common policy for a daycare to require a doctor’s note when a child appears to have a rash. You are not a doctor. You have no idea how often parents will self diagnose their children with mild illnesses, when in reality they are seriously ill and/or contagious to the other children and daycare workers. You also have no idea how often parents lie to cover up serious/contagious illness. MOST parents will knowingly drop a sick child off at daycare.

    Maybe you should look at this situation with another perspective… how would you like it if your child was getting contagious illnesses or diseases because she was in a daycare where parents were allowed to decide if a child’s symptoms were “nothing”? You wouldn’t.
    Your daycare’s job is to look out for the best interest of all the children, not just yours. Part of that is requiring doctor’s notes if they notice a symptom in a child that could be the result of a potentially contagious illness.
    I

  • Frustrated Mom

    I too have had a similar situation. My child had a rash reaction to the mmr, which he received a week earlier. The daycare made me take him to the doc to confirm the rash was nothing more than a slight reaction. I understand that there are policies that must be followed; however, I would hope a daycare worker and especially the director would know basic skin rashes when they see them. Unfortunate that our daycare workers aren’t better educated to care for our children. :(




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