I’m a Fighter! (Or Am I?)

Why, Universe?! Why must you keep punching me in the face?!

So daycare is quickly imploding. That’s happening.

About a week ago, I got a text saying that daycare would no longer be allowing our Early Intervention coordinator to visit Chick on site. Less than 24 hours before her scheduled weekly visit.

The reasons given were weird– a combination for “too many kids in the classroom” and “another kid is having anxiety issues.” Regardless, the results were the same. No Early Intervention. No way, no how.

On short notice, Chick and I were able to meet with the EI coordinator at my home, but I ended up being two hours late for work. Daycare was all “This was a great solution, let’s just keep doing this!”  I was all “My being two hours late for work isn’t a solution at all. Let’s find a way for him to meet on site!”

Still no dice.

The emails back and forth have been so frustrating. With each and every one, my daycare seems to be showing that they don’t understand the regulations that are laid out by the state. It’s a little unnerving. Not only is it illegal (yes! ILLEGAL!) to deny services to children with developmental delays, it’s downright shitty that they are prioritizing the needs of other children to the detriment mine. This part is a little bit selfish, but as Chick’s parent it is my job to be selfish.

Through these emails, they have also divulged information about other children and families that I’m not supposed to know about. I’m not a childcare professional, but damn it, I even know this.

Last night I got an email which basically says it would be totally okay for us to find care elsewhere. A nice way of saying “Take you and your needs out of my classroom.”

Today I met with the EI coordinator and her office’s child care advocate (basically the liaison to daycares.) They were helpful and supportive, reiterating that I’m in the right here.

The trouble is… I don’t know if right really matters.

I’m caught between doing what’s right and doing what’s right for Chick.

What’s “right” might be educate them on how children with developmental needs should be cared for and what is covered under the law. Perhaps even point out that they are in violation of the licensing board and force them to see Chick on site.

What’s “right for Chick” might be to remove him from this place entirely. Start over somewhere else that understands the value of Early Intervention. (That also has availability, extended hours, and is in my price range. Ahem…)

There is a part of me that just wants to take my toys and go home. This is bullshit and I don’t want to deal with it anymore. Another part of me wants to stand on principle and fight. Because this can’t be the only EI kid they will ever care for. Maybe next time, they’ll understand the level of care and flexibility that they are required to provide. (BY LAW. Did I mention that?)

Not to mention I really don’t want to find another daycare. This one was working so well, until… well, it didn’t work out at all.


A little Early Intervention PSA: These are programs supported by states that help children who are identified as having developmental challenges. Since Chick was so early, he qualified for the program fairly quickly as is the case with a lot of premature babies. Fortunately, he is meeting all his developmental goals despite his premie-ness. For this I am grateful. Still, most programs don’t recommend ending services until the child is walking and talking.

If you suspect your kid may have developmental delays, I would totally encourage seeking an evaluation. It breaks my heart when people don’t want to get their children evaluated because they think this means that their child isn’t “normal” or that they are “stupid.” Yes, your child may need different kinds of support, but this makes them no less perfect.

 

 

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18 comments

  1. My Perfect Breakdown · January 28, 2016

    I think you make a good point about this being a fight possibly not worth having. My first thought was of they won’t follow these laws, what other laws are the breaking? Worst case scenario, is chick’s safety a concern?
    And yet, the struggle of finding a new daycare, I assume, is very daunting! It feels like a no win. I just hope you can get this resolved without too much anxiety and unhelpful stress.

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      His safety has never been a concern. In fact, I think he gets great care. (For what we can afford. Of course, he could go to Taj Mah-Daycare down the street and get baby massage, but alas I am not loaded.)

      It’s definitely a grey area– his day to day care is great, but I’m not sure I like their attitude toward Early Intervention. I’ve since had a good conversation with them that cleared things up a little (and which I have to write a post about when I get the time!) I’m optimistic that this was just a hiccup.

      • My Perfect Breakdown · February 3, 2016

        Oh, this is so good to hear! I’m so relieved you aren’t concerned about his safety (I assumed as much, because let’s be honest, if you were, you would have removed him). And I’m also really glad to hear that you had a good conversation with them and things look like the are getting back on track. 🙂

  2. thebarrenlibrarian · January 28, 2016

    I think I would do a bit of both. I would find new care but also report them. Luckily you have a shit ton of documentation via email. All that being said it sucks big time.

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      Yeah, it got weird really fast. To make a long story short, the EI office ended up reporting them (they have mandatory reporting rules) and things got awwwwwkwaaaard. But at least now they seem to understand that they need to accommodate this.

      I would really love just one week without drama. ONE WEEK.

      • thebarrenlibrarian · February 3, 2016

        OH man. That does sound super awkward. I’m so sorry you have to deal with that! Some days I wish I could take Charlie to daycare just to have a day off (which sounds really selfish and dumb because I totally chose to stay home) but then there’s all the drama that can come with it.

  3. Molly · January 28, 2016

    I agree with librarian. Get him the heck away from these idiots, but make sure they can’t pull this move again in the future. This can’t possibly be THAT hard to accommodate. It’s pretty ridiculous. I’m sorry you’ve got this added stress right now. Daycare should be there to make your life easier, not the opposite.

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      Yeah… I sorta think so too. As I began scrambling around to find alternative daycares, I remembered why we ended up with this one. A lot of daycares won’t take infants, won’t take them “midyear,” close at 3 in the afternoon, or any host of other variables that don’t work for me.

      I owe an update on this, but I *think* things have settled down. I’m keeping an open mind… and my name on a few daycare waiting lists.

  4. g2the4thpower · January 28, 2016

    Yeah I’m with these ladies. You want your kids to be in hands that are second best to family. This one seems to hold its interests way ahead of the kids’. Switching at an early age will be far easier on Chickie too.

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      Daycare problems are the worst. THE WORST. You feel so exposed because this is your baby, you know? And while I try to be respectful of the daycare’s rules, I’ve been surprised at how inflexible they have been.

      Things seems to have sorted themselves, so hopefully this was just a colossal misunderstanding. Only time will tell.

  5. bionicbrooklynite · January 29, 2016

    One of the worst parts about having children is how vulnerable they make you in a fight. It fucking sucks for people like us, who haven’t previously done much backing down.

    If it’s possible to find other care (haha/sob, I know), a third option is doing so and then making darn sure the world knows why. This doesn’t have to take the form of ruining their business, but it could be very much a service to others in your position to post wherever parents read these things that parents should be extremely sure their EI arrangements will be upheld in the legal and appropriate manner before signing any contracts.

    But really, this is just asinine on their part. How can it be that they haven’t dealt with this already? And just what kind of anxiety are we talking about, that they can’t comfort Baby X adequately while the EI person visits Chick? Isn’t comforting freaked out babies more or less part of the deal when one runs a daycare?

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      So. True. I’m all “It’s the principle!” and then I remember that I’m tired. And coming down with a cold.

      I’ve definitely wondered about Baby X. (File under: stuff I shouldn’t know about.) When you have one kid that freaks out and needs all that attention every time their day gets disrupted, you look for every way to control the environment. I get it. What I resent is the idea that it should come at the cost of my own child’s development. That shit ain’t cool.

      The good news is that I think we have a plan to get EI back at daycare. It took EI reporting them to the licensing board… But we got there in the end.

      • bionicbrooklynite · February 17, 2016

        With a little distance on this post, I’m struck by how funny every sentence sounds if you read EI as the Spanish article el. Try it.

        (I am at the in-laws’ and a little punchy.)

  6. spiteorflight · January 30, 2016

    Oh man. The super combative part of me is like, FIGHT. THAT. SHIT. But the mom part is like, let’s settle down and talk about this rationally.

    I, personally, am the type to burn bridges and take my business elsewhere (like, I make scenes, and write angry letters). Why pay someone so much when they’re not providing for your child the way they’re legally supposed to?

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      YEAH. That’s totally my attitude. And then I spent the past week trying to find other daycare alternatives and remember that this is just so frigging hard. HARD. I got leads on a few places but either their times were bad, they cost too much, they were half way across the city… Flannery O’Connor should have written “A Good Daycare is Hard to Find.”

      Thankfully, things seem to have sorted themselves out. (Update is coming!) But it was a craptacular last few weeks.

  7. mom number 2 · February 1, 2016

    All of the above! I would find other care (lol) and then file a complaint with the relevant state agency. At the least, this will get someone poking around, asking questions, and educating them on what they SHOULD have done to give chick the care he needs.

    • thecommonostrich · February 3, 2016

      Oh, there was poking… Turns out the EI office has mandatory reporting rules, so they dropped the dime on the daycare. It made for a really awkward drop off last week. But it also seems to be the catalyst for sorting this out.

      I’m optimistic. Cautiously.

  8. Pingback: Update on Daycare-gate | the ostrich

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