Addressing Problems at Preschool or Daycare

When your child has problems at preschool or daycare, it's normal to be concerned. Dealing with these problems in an objective and compassionate way not only helps develop a positive solution to the problem at hand but also can help your child avoid problems in the future. Here are five proven steps you can follow to document, report and follow-up on problems involving your child.

First, gather all the information you can about the problem. Let your child explain to you in his or her own words what the problem is. Then get information from teachers, classmates and even other parents. Typically You’ll discover several versions of the story. The more information you have about the problem, the more prepared you'll be when the time comes to approach the teacher or caretaker and voice your concerns.

The caregiver or teacher will be much more receptive to criticism if you demonstrate that you are friendly and simply want their help in finding a solution. To warm them up to you and put them in a receptive mindset, try to find something worth praising or noting in the school or person who is working with your child. Starting the conversation out on a positive note shows not only that are you concerned about your child’s well being, but also that you notice and appreciate the dedication and enthusiasm of the caregivers and teachers involved. For example, you could lead into the discussion of the problem with "I've been so pleased with the care and attention my child has received, which is why I was surprised to hear that [describe the problem]."

When sharing your complaint, focus on the actual incident rather than of the people involved. This helps avoid subsequent confrontations (between your child and another child, for example), and also helps the teacher focus on the problem rather than whoever may have started it. Also, consider your child’s possible role in the problem. As the saying goes, "it takes two to tango."

Avoid pointing fingers and casting blame, no matter how tempting it may be. Work with your child’s teacher or caregiver to come up with several solutions to the problem and reaffirm your desire to play an active role in your child’s education. By being a problem-solver, you’re not only showing that you’re active and involved in your child’s life, but also that you’re a responsible parent who seeks to help the school as much you desire that the school help you.

After you explain your concerns to the teacher or caregiver, follow up with both them and your child to see how things have improved. If the situation hasn’t changed, take your complaint to the next person up and repeat the steps above until the issue is resolved. Being informed and involved with your child’s school shows the teachers or caregivers that you believe in working together with them as a team.

Above all, show empathy and understanding. Receiving complaints can leave the receiver feeling threatened and uncomfortable, so try to finish up the conversation on a positive or compassionate note. Express your confidence in the school or daycare center and show that you’re looking forward to a working with them to provide whatever assistance you can to help the school achieve it's goals of quality care and education.

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2 Responses to “Addressing Problems at Preschool or Daycare”

  1. I work at a daycare, where the Lead teacher in the Infants room allows the babies (3) to cry for hours. When I am in there, they are fine-I am NOT bragging either. There are only to be 3 infants in this room. The director has a 4th one who is in this room, or at her home across the street. We were warned-"If the state knows I have a 4th baby, I could be shut down, so no one say anything!" I informed a mother of one of the infants that her child was screaming for hours. She asked the Director, who then pretty much begged me at first not to ever call a parent! Now the Lead teacher is aware of this & is picking on me. If the state lady shows up, the Director, gets the 4th infant out if she's there, and tells everyone to be quiet. This hidden crap is driving me nuts. I have too big of heart to sit for 7-8 hrs & listen to infants cry, or scream & the director not putting an end to it w/this so called Lead teacher. The Director talked bad about this teacher & another one, but is now sucking up to the infants teacher. I am trying to get out, but can't until I find another job. I'd love to be an undercover Investigator for daycares & set in on something like this before filing a report. The parents are paying good money for their children to be taken better care of. I pity the infants!!!

  2. Always Be the advocate for the child. Allowing babies to cry for hours is not ok. You should be bragging, you have a genuine "gift" with children. God bless you.
    If you confront the director & she fires you at least you get unemployment. Tell her how you feel, if she dissent change her ways then you need to speak fir the babies who cannot speak for themselves.

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