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Ask An Expert / Children / fatherhood / Mama Drama / Motherhood

Help! I have a difficult daycare dilemma!

I need some Mama Drama help!

We’ve recently moved and our 18-month old son just started a new daycare and we HATE it. Our son cries every morning at drop off and the drop off teacher (who’s in charge for the first hour after he arrives) is rude and abrupt with the kiddos. We watched today through one-way glass as our poor baby cried for over 5 minutes without being consoled. We are on waiting lists for other day cares but don’t know what we can do in the meantime. Any advice is appreciated!

~Mama in Need

 (photo credit ~click & read the sweet story behind this pic!)

Dear Mama in Need:

It is natural for children (and parents) to struggle with separation anxiety when starting a new childcare setting. However, it is also important for staff to support children and their families in adjusting to their new situation.

I suggest speaking with the director of the day care regarding your concerns about both the inappropriate behavior of the teacher towards the children and the lack of emotional support your son is receiving. No child will feel comfortable and safe when the adults caring for them are rude, abrupt, and do not provide the care they need and deserve. If the teacher is behaving this way in front of parents, I am concerned about how he/she acts when other adults are not present.

If things do not change after speaking with the director or if you do not feel the response is appropriate, the problem would appear bigger than just this staff member. I would report your concerns to social services.

In the meantime, it is always important as a parent to trust your instincts in regards to the care of your child. If you feel he is not emotionally, and possibly physically, safe in this environment, you need to get him out of it immediately. In the meantime enlist friends and family to find temporary options until you can arrange something more permanent. Perhaps you know a retired neighbor, friend’s or coworker’s parent, or college student who could fill in while you search. With your move, you may have fewer supports at hand, but reach out and you might be surprised at what opportunities arise.

Finding a different provider can be a challenge, so you may want to broaden your options from day care centers to licensed home day cares and in-home providers. One place to look is the Qualistar website ( – then click on “Find Child Day Care”) which provides a list of licensed childcare providers near your zip code along with their contact information. You can choose the area near home, work, or somewhere in between as well as specifying age of children, type of care, etc. Qualistar also rates providers and those results will be shown as well. This is a free service to use.

Other options for finding providers are,, and These resources generally allow you to browse for free, but require a fee to be able to contact providers. They usually offer background checks on caregivers also. There are often child care opportunities in the Mile High Mama forums, too.

Best of luck in your search!

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  1. Hello Mama in Need:

    I experienced something similar lately and was luckily in the position to be able to leave work to stay at home with our LO. I’m going on vacation at the end of April, but could help for a couple of weeks in the meantime if you’re in our area…

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