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How can I find a good daycare provider that I can trust?! Kind of long back story.

Posted by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM
  • 10 Replies

Ok, so I am a full time student and work a little on the side to help with expenses. During the spring semester, my aunt watched my son. I only had to pay her $400 a month which was nice since daycares are much more expensive. I always felt a little uncomfortable with leaving him there because she has a little apartment and 2 older sons and a dog. The place is always cluttered, and I noticed my son often had scratches and bruises presumably from the dog. It didn't seem like he was mistreated, and he always loved going over there.

A few days before the fall semester started, I asked my aunt to watch my son for a couple hours while I went to my school to buy books. During this time my aunt took my son to my grandmother's house to visit since she lives close by. When I came to pick him up, he was lying on the floor "sleeping". I thought maybe he was just tired, but when I took him to the car, he really wouldn't fully wake up. I took him to a restaurant where I was meeting my other grandparents for lunch, and he wasn't even alert in the restaurant! I had him on my lap and he couldn't even hold his head up. At this point I know something is really wrong with him, so I call my aunt to ask if he got into anything or ate anything unusual. She says, "Well he ate a banana, but he's always been fine with that...Oh, and he got into grandma's pills, but I counted them and they were all there." At this point I'm freaking out. How could she not tell me about this and not think it's strange that he was passed out on the floor?!

I immediately drove to the hospital and on the way there, my son started breathing really strangely and wouldn't wake up even though I was practically screaming at him. Obviously I was hysterical. I thought my baby was dying! I run into the hospital with him and the doctor asks what he took. My aunt couldn't tell me what he took, so they had to run blood tests to find out. Poor baby was pricked for about half an hour because they couldn't find a vein. They also had to cath him to test his urine. We also had to force the charcoal mixture down his throat, which  he later vomited up. He would be out of it and wake up every so often screaming his head off. I felt so bad for my baby. His blood pressure kept dropping, so the doctors thought he must've gotten into blood pressure medication. They said they couldn't really do anything about heart medications, but if it got too low they could try to give him something to bring it back up some. I'm freaking out by now. I was so worried I was going to lose my son. I was furious my aunt could be so negligent. A couple hours later, they transfer him via ambulance to another hospital that has a pediatric ICU. We stayed the night there, and by the next day, he was feeling much better. The doctor said he most likely ingested a single pill, because he would have had much more severe effects if it were anymore. He could have had brain damage or died. For the next month, my son's behavior was drastically different. His pediatrician said that the tramatic experience could cause this. He was very irritable and was terrified of going to doctor's appointments. It took me about as long to get over it as well. I was very emotional and depressed and resentful towards my aunt. I wish I had been a member on Cafemom during that time because I could have used the support. I felt very alone during that time.

As would be expected, I no longer felt comfortable with my aunt watching my son, so I spent the next two weeks trying to find a good daycare provider within my price range while other family members took off work to watch him. I couldn't find anyone who had openings for a child under 2 that I felt comfortable with, and I can't afford a daycare center. I ended up missing too much school and no one in my family could watch him anymore. I had to drop the semester and I've been home with him and working for ChaCha and cleaning houses for family members to make some money. I plan to go back to school for the spring semester, but I really don't know how to go about finding a good daycare provider. Are there certain questions I should be asking? I need to feel comfortable leaving my son with them and be assured that they are responsible caregivers. Any advice as far as how I should go about this?

Here is my son the morning after his ordeal. His arm is in a makeshift cast to keep him from pulling out his iv.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 3:44 PM
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by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:30 PM


by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:32 PM

 I'm also trying to get child care assistance, so I'd also like to know how much that would help with daycare costs.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:36 PM

No advice here-I just wanted to say how sorry I am this happened to you.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:40 PM

First of all I want to say that I am so sorry that happened to you. Your aunt definitely should have been paying closer attention to him. 

As far as your question, "How do I find childcare I can trust?" that my dear is the million dollar question. I am basically having the same issue as you are. I have 2 children and go to school full time. I can definitely not afford child care for both of them nor would I want to. I don't feel comfortable leaving my kids with strangers, even in a day care center, maybe even especially in a day care center. My husband works constantly and can rarely watch them while I go to class so I have to rely on my friends for childcare. They all do it for free which is amazing. I only take one class on campus, the rest is done online. I really don't know the answer but I'm right there with you! Good luck mama!

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 4:48 PM

wow, it is amazing at how some people handle children. I watch children while staying home with my son and first of all everything like that is way out of reach, and second of all, if anything happens that is significant, the parent is contacted and notified, that way if they want to take them to the dr or come get them they have that option. Needless to say nothing has happened to that extent so far but what you need to look for is just things that concern you. Ask them how their home/daycare is childproofed, let them know about your concerns, ask them about their daily routines, see where your child will nap, ask to see where the food will be prepared, ask to see where they will be playing, if they will be traveling with them (as i do) ask to see the vehicle and the carseat that will be used. I would even ask them to install it in front of me and correctly adjust the straps in front of me. Anyone who is legitimate and willing to care for your child correctly, will have nothing to hide and no problems with you asking these questions. If there is any hesitation or you just don't feel right about it then I wouldn't do it. It may seem dumb to make such a big thing out of small things, but when that one small thing could be the difference between your child being held in the carseat correctly during a wreck because the chest clamps were placed correctly or if their head was thrown forward because they buckled them but didn't adjust them to the correct level, then you sit there and say if only I had questioned it. Like I said, I would have no problem at all with any question that would be asked, and neither should any childcare provider unless they are scared or hiding something. You can also ask your dr about signs to watch out for for neglect/abuse and they might even have suggestions as to what to ask. Good luck and I hope nothing like that ever happens again!!!!!!

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Oh my godness! how scary was that! I'd have been freaking out as much as you were.  You might try seeing if your state has a central registry of day cares, both in home and center.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 5:56 PM

 What state and city are you in? I can find you a link with the ratings of your local daycares. If you'd rather PM it to me that's fine.  Look for a center that has video monitoring for sure, and you'll probably have to go to each and every center and see where you feel the most comfortable at.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Thanks ladies for the info. I really appreciate it. WhiskeyRiver, I sent you a PM.

by Silver Member on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:21 PM

i get state aided childcare and right now- since i'm just in school- not working- its free. when i was making $8.50/hr- at fulltime, it cost $50/month. it'll be different in each state though.

as for how to find a safe/good daycare... some questions are to ask what happens when your son gets into something bad- be it pills, cleaning supplies, etc... what measurements are they using to protect the kids? for me- i actually have a lockbox in my room that holds my pills. simple ones- sleeping pills, birth control, prozac, and a few more.. my dad also has a lock box that holds HIS medicine-- he has to use needles for it. but he also has his bedroom door locked and DS isnt allowed up in the top floor without grandpa... same at my son's sitter-- the kids are not allowed on the top floor, or the basement.

also- get someone who has been approved by the state. my son's babysitter is checked every 6 months. her caseworker goes through EVERYTHING with her; making sure outlets are plugged up, where the medicine is, gates, padding out in the outside playground, etc.

by on Dec. 9, 2010 at 8:21 PM
Well, been there and done that. When my son was under 1 I had this problem too. Either the sitter just sucked or they would fine a full time job. The joke was if you needed a job, just start watching my son.

What I found out was, ask lots of questions, do a home visit, ask for references and ask around for recommendations. I finally found a great sitter. And always trust your instincts.
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