Author Topic: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43  (Read 12108 times)

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bah12

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What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions) Update #43
« on: June 10, 2013, 12:43:10 PM »
I love our daycare provider, Bonnie.  She's a wonderful person and a good friend.  DD loves her.  All the kids do.  They are happy and well cared for in her home. 
I wrote a few weeks ago about an issue where she told me that she wanted some time off, which coincided with another parents' family vacation, but was not the agreed upon notice in her contact for closing her facility.  That was the first ever issue I had with her and after I spoke to her about it, she offered a solution that worked for all of us.  So, overall she is a reasonable person.

Now, my second issue has come up:

On Friday, DD was the only child in her care.  Normally, there would be more, but for whatever reason, everyone was off work or had other appointments (one child was sick), so DD was alone.  DH and I both had busy days.  I was more concerned about getting off work in time to pick up DD (there's an earlier pick-up on Fridays) than anything else.

About an hour after I had arrived to work, DH and I both got a text from Bonnie that DD was sick and one of us needed to come pick her up.  I called her immediately and asked what had happened.  She told me that DD had asked to pull the matt out and take a nap in the morning (nap time is in the afternoon).  I asked her if there were any other symptoms, such as a fever, or loss of appetite.  Bonnie told me that she "felt warm", but when I asked her to take her temperature and tell me (so I could call the doctor and tell her if needed), she read back a normal 98.8 degrees.  DD had eaten a full breakfast at our house that morning and had taken a morning snack to daycare with her.  Bonnie told me that she ate that just fine. 

I then told Bonnie that chances were that DD was just tired.  Our dog had gotten spooked around 4am that morning and woke us all up. DD never really went back to sleep.  Add that it was hot, none of her friends were there, etc, and she probably just wanted to take a nap.  I asked Bonnie if it would be ok if she just let DD sleep and then see how she was when she woke up.  I also asked her to keep me informed and if I had to leave work early to get her, I would.

About 20 minutes later, Bonnie texts me back that DD was awake and "seemed ok for the moment."  I wrote back "great!" and went on with my day.

Then, just after lunch, and coincidentally when nap time would normally be, I get another text "DD is not well.  She didn't eat much for lunch and is wanting to nap again. You need to come get her."  I had to leave an important meeting to call Bonnie back. I asked her if she could tell me her exact symptoms, because I would call the doctor on the way home.  Bonnie said that going to a doctor wasn't necessary...she was just sick and needed to go to our home. 

I leave work and pick DD up.  When I arrive at Bonnie's, DD is sitting on the couch watching TV.  She's eating saltines (which Bonnie said was the only snack she would accept).  She had no fever, no vomitting.  She was talkative when I asked her how she was feeling.  In other words, not sick at all.

I admit I was angry and didn't want to speak to Bonnie.  Bonnie told me that the inspector told her that she couldn't have sick kids at the daycare because they make the other kids sick.  That if he had shown up that day, she would have gotten written up because DH and I didn't come get DD the first time she asked us to.

I feel very strongly that Bonnie just wanted the day off.  DD was not sick.  She came home and ran around and ate normally.  She had no symptoms other than requesting to take two naps when normally she takes one (and that was explainable given the circumstances earlier that morning).  I also feel horrible, because Bonnie made me feel like I didn't want to take care of my sick child.  That my work and my meetings trumped my child.

I have no problem leaving work if I have to take care of DD if she is sick.  I have called in sick in the past when she's had fevers or was vomitting.  I always ask the doctor if she is contagious to other children (most of the time the answer I get is that the kids are contagious before they show symptoms, not once they've shown up).  I'm cognizant that Bonnie did not sign up to take care of sick kids.  One time when DD had a rash and the doctor told me that DD was not a danger to other children, I still asked Bonnie if she and the other parents would be comfortable if DD was in care (there was no ointment or any additional care for Bonnie). 

But, what I do have a problem with is dropping everything at work and rushing to pick up DD because she did one thing out of the ordinary and might be sick.  I don't have that kind of time in my schedule.

I feel that Bonnie lied.  To add to my suspicians, she texted me a couple of pictures over the weekend of DD running around in a bathing suit and playing in a kiddie pool.  I replied and thanked her for the pictures and asked "this was yesterday?"  Bonnie, I think, realized her mistake and texted back "are you just now getting these?"  I know the pictures were taken on Friday.  It's too coincidental...the same outfit she wore that morning draped over a chair, the same scuffed up left knee, the barrettes in her hair.   

I need to speak to Bonnie (DH may have done so this morning, but I don't know).  I am very angry though and while I don't want to jump the gun and start looking for alternate care, I need to let her know that what she did on Friday is not ok.  Yet, this is a difficult situation to navigate, because I will have to come out and accuse of her lying.  I also need to somehow get us past this (where she doesn't do it again and we don't dwell on this incident), or I will probably be forced to find alternate care.  This would not be easy for DD.  She loves it there and she loves Bonnie.

So, first, am I being unreasonable?  Did Bonnie do the right thing by assuming that DD was sick simply because she asked to take a nap early?  And is there some sort of standard for determining when DD is too sick to be at daycare?  Is it even reasonable to try to define that?  And then, finally, how does one go about confronting the lie when I'm not ready to give up on her services?  I'm highly doubtful that Bonnie will come out and say "Oh you got me.  I just wanted the day off.  Won't happen again."
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 12:47:51 PM by bah12 »

NyaChan

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2013, 12:47:46 PM »
No you are not overreacting.  I would sit down and chat with Bonnie about this and maybe start looking at other childcare options.  Sounds to me like Bonnie has gotten to that comfortable stage where she tries to figure out how far she can slack and still get away with it.

Eden

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2013, 12:55:17 PM »
I wouldn't even bother chatting with Bonnie. I'd start looking at other options.

ncgal

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2013, 12:55:58 PM »
I dont think you are over reacting.  For me and my daughter, the day care/track out program will call me when she has been actually physically sick or running a temp of around 100.1 or something.  Normal temp and just wanting to lay around, would not rate a phone call. 

LeveeWoman

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2013, 12:59:00 PM »
I'd start looking for a new provider. If she'd lie about this, what else would she lie about?

bah12

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2013, 01:04:57 PM »
I dont think you are over reacting.  For me and my daughter, the day care/track out program will call me when she has been actually physically sick or running a temp of around 100.1 or something.  Normal temp and just wanting to lay around, would not rate a phone call.

The phone call wouldn't even bother me all that much.  If she had said something like "FYI, DD asked to take a nap early.  She doesn't have a fever so I'm just going to let her sleep and see how she does.  I just want you to know now in case it's the beginnings of her getting sick,"  I would have been fine.  It was the, "she asked to take a nap.  Come get her now," that bothered me.  If I had to leave work and pick her up every time she so much as coughs, I might as well not work.  Also, kids (including DD) have been there with runny noses and colds.  I get that daycares and schools are germy places.  We have never been told that she can't come to daycare if she has a cold, yet as far as potential to make other kids sick, I think that would be more the case than just a "less active and hungry than normal."

This hasn't come up in the three years that we've been going to Bonnie, so I'm just at a loss and wondering if something is going on with her.  I'd hate to fire her over one incident...

Bexx27

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2013, 01:11:04 PM »
You're not being unreasonable at all. I would be angry, too. I would let her know that DD was not sick and having to leave work for no good reason was seriously inconvenient. Rather than accuse her of lying, maybe say it seems that she was overreacting to DD's behavior because all the other kids were sick and she was expecting DD to get sick, too.

It's surprising to me that she doesn't already have guidelines for when kids are too sick to stay there. For example, the parent handbook for my DD's daycare center says:

Your child should not come to [daycare], or will be sent home, if s/he has:
• A temperature of 100 or more as determined by an underarm or oral thermometer or temporal scan thermometer. Your child should not return until 24 hours after temperature returns to normal without the aid of a fever reducing medication.
• Severe cold: runny nose, cough, sore throat, sneezing and/or fever.
• Vomiting (more than infant "spitting up").
• Diarrhea (watery or greenish bowel movement that is more frequent than usual). Your child should not return until 24 hours after last diarrhea-like bowel movement. If diarrhea is a side-effect of medication taken by the child, your child may return to [daycare] with a doctor’s note indicating they are well enough to participate in group care.
• Rashes you cannot identify or that have not been diagnosed by a doctor.
• Severe headache, earache, or upset stomach.
• Signs of extreme fatigue or general ill feeling.
• Red and/or runny eyes

I would propose coming up with a similar list to guide future decisions.
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TootsNYC

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2013, 01:14:46 PM »
Quote
Bonnie told me that the inspector told her that she couldn't have sick kids at the daycare because they make the other kids sick.  That if he had shown up that day, she would have gotten written up because DH and I didn't come get DD the first time she asked us to.

I would suggest you contact this public agency and ask them to provide you with the criteria THEY use to determine whether a child is sick.

I would imagine that it would have to be a fever. Or extreme listlessness.

This wording:
Quote
• Signs of extreme fatigue or general ill feeling.

is probably what Brenda will point to--that wanting a nap at an unusual time is "extreme fatigue." So you might probe about whether the inspector has any further guidance on what constitutes "extreme fatigue."

But no, wanting to take a nap at an unusual time, when all other behavior is pretty normal is not what *my* doctor would have called "extreme fatigue."

Penguin_ar

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2013, 01:21:53 PM »
You are right to be annoyed.  The play school my kids go to have similar rules to Bexx, those seem standard. There is a  difference between a child being sleepy (esp. with reason such as yours), and being lethargic (potential sign of illness).  A good carer knows the difference. 

I think it is worth setting some perimeters for the future with the day care provider, but ultimately, this relationship may go south anyways.  :(

NyaChan

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2013, 01:23:36 PM »
bah12 - I know you said you don't want to end this arrangement based on one incident, but I see it as the second incident.  Plus, I think having a backup will help you feel more able to decide what you actually want from Bonnie and able to walk away if she can't provide it.

kherbert05

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2013, 01:24:38 PM »
Sick is
- Fever


- upset tummy


- a child who is not normally a whiny kid complaining about pain I had a student with no fever who had an ear infection that burst his ear drum. Because he normally doesn't complain nurse and I sent him to the free clinic and they immediately put him on medication.


- This one is hard but allergies so bad the child can't function. (I was generally sent to school because you have to live with allergies. But when I was coughing so hard I couldn't talk and  or stand, I stayed home.)


- Known exposure to contagious illness where you are contagious before symptoms show up. (A few years ago we had like 5 pregnant teachers a family found out their children had been exposed to a illness that is mild in children but dangerous to pregnant women and you are contagious before symptoms. Mom called the school ASAP told the office to isolate her children and that she was on the way to pick them up. Thankfully no one got sick and all the babies were fine. Principal had all the classrooms scrubbed down just to be safe.)




It doesn't sound like your daughter was sick. I agree your child care wanted the day off so she latched onto your daughter being sleepy because she woke up hours early.


At this point with the previous problems, I think you need to start looking for more professional child care. At least do some research so you know your options if things come to a head. It almost sounds like she is gearing up to fire you.


 Can you ask the policing/licencing agency for a copy of inspections/reports to see if Bonnie is telling the truth about inspectors comments and if there was a more serious problem.
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JenJay

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2013, 01:28:33 PM »
When I worked in an in-home daycare (and I believe it is the same for centers) the rule was a child needed to be kept home in they had a fever over 100, vomiting, or diarrhea. When I was a nanny I called in sick if my temp was over 99 (it never goes over 98.8 and will usually be a touch lower, anything over and I'm sick). You are not being unreasonable and she was unreasonable to jump to "sick" because your child was extra sleepy

I don't know that you can confront her for lying at this point, instead I'd say "I was speaking to some work friends the other day, they asked if DD was okay since I had to leave work early to get her on Friday. Apparently it's standard for most daycare contracts to cite the terms under which a child needs to be kept home due to illness. I understand that a fever over 100 and/or vomiting are the norm. That sounds reasonable to me and I've brought my copy of our contract so we can amend it to reflect that. Is there anything else you think we need to consider adding?"

citadelle

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2013, 01:29:06 PM »
I think you need to choose between keeping Bonnie as a provider and getting satisfaction on this issue. Like you said, she is not going to admit that your daughter was not "sick", so there is very little room to make a stand unless you are willing to leave.

About the only thing I can think of is to ask her to clarify her policy on illness and ask her to define parameters such as: fever, vomiting or visible stuffiness. Let her know that beyond those symptoms, you would like to be contacted but that you will make the final decision about whether she needs to go home.

This way, she knows you are "onto" her, but you don't have to make an accusation. I think if you want to directly call her out, you will also have to fire her.

Good luck.

B

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2013, 01:33:27 PM »
Personally I would not be so quick to sever a 3 year child care relationship that appears to have been positive until this event.  I would not assume the worst and instead assume she had an error in judgement that may have been influenced by the other children being ill.  However I would point out that my child was fine and play it as a so next time, if there is no vomiting or ferver, an extra nap is a symptom of fatigue and nothing more and you are sure she wouldn't have you leave work in that instance.

Being a working parent is tough but if you feel she genuinely cares for your child and has provided quality care for 3 years, I would give that serious consideration.

Roe

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Re: What constitutes 'sick'? (Childcare questions)
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2013, 01:34:19 PM »
This is not the first incident.  It's the second (rather serious) incident.  Would you rather wait for a third to occur before you starting looking elsewhere? 

If I were you, I'd start now that way when the third incident does happen, you already know how to handle it.  Honestly, I don't think I'd wait for the third incident.  (esp with the pictures she texted)