Why I Worked In Childcare For Fourteen Years (But Would NEVER Send My Child to One!)
.Welcome to another post here at Createyou86. This is a post that I have wanted to put up for about three years. However, I was still employed by the industry, and wasn't willing to risk my job. I have since departed from the industry, but I feel that this is such an important post for so many reasons. I have to make a disclaimer, and say that my experience will certainly not be the exact same as any other childcare worker, but anything here is the absolute truth in what I experienced in my fourteen years in the industry.
In my fourteen years I worked for four major childcare companies, and let me be clear. Your child is merely a number to whichever childcare your child attends. The company will always fit you in weather immediately overflowing a teachers classroom that is already completely full causing strain on the teachers already in the room or by putting you on a waiting list. When enrollment is down the teacher's hours get cut. For some completely honest numbers. I was a head teacher in a toddler classroom for three years, and only saw a 10 cent raise in those three years. Many times employee reviews are overlooked or seriously delayed because that means giving employees raises, and you aren't even guaranteed to be given a raise no matter how good you did throughout the year. I also knew teacher's with Masters Degrees who were making less money than teacher's with no degree at all. In the state I worked in you did not have to have a degree to be a head teacher (unless you were teaching private kindergarten). I didn't have a degree, but I had the previous work experience which was the equivalent.
Some reasons I wanted to work in childcare were because I had previous babysitting experience, I could get decent insurance, I enjoyed watching children grow, and helping them learn with the intent to become an Early Childhood Educator (getting a degree in the field eventually). Through the companies there were options to go to school, and have a certain amount of money returned to you if you did well during the semester. You could also take classes such as the CDA (Child Development Associate) which the company paid for in full through a private college. I completed mine, and was about to get tested when I got injured three days before. This could have given me a fifty cent raise.
In regards to training there is no real training. You go to a group training once a year with all of your local childcare's, but other than that there is no other real "training" unless you are required to be retrained in certain information such as cleanliness as one of the centers I worked for was required to do upon a failed state inspection. You are basically thrown into the lion den upon on-boarding, and they leave you alone with children as soon as they can because it is an inconvenience to have to double up on employees in one room when someone is waiting for their clearances to come through. Because of the lack of employees you are asked to work overtime. There was never a week that I didn't get overtime, and while I didn't really mind it this caused massive turnover sometimes before the person was even fully clearanced leaving other teacher's stranded for long hours. an example being opening the building at 6:30 AM, and being asked to stay until 4:30 PM and sometimes even later than that depending on how short staffed we were. This was a regular thing regardless of starting time not only for myself, but for most of the staff.
Besides the treatment of works there is an even deeper reason that I will never bring my future child/children to daycare. The reason is rampant abuse of children. Several times during my career in childcare I had to report child abuse. I had to report teachers, directors, and parents of students. I witnessed a child with bruises all over their body. I witnessed a teacher take a child's paper lunch bag out of the trash can and put the food back in front of the child because the teacher was not satisfied with the amount of food that the child had eaten at lunch before throwing it out. In the same building I witnessed a teacher throw a large Lego at a two year old, and it left a bruise over the child's eye. In that same building yet again I witnessed a teacher put a child in a closet, and hold children down by putting her leg over their sleeping bags during nap-time because she couldn't get the child to sleep. I also saw a teacher walked out of the building in handcuffs because she had stolen someones credit card info, and had used to to charge her own energy bill as well as held a party for minors including her own children, and supplied alcohol. I also witnessed Director's who falsified a incident report of a child who had been bitten for the third time. (the parents has said they would unenroll their child if they were bitten again.)
What this says to me is that there needs to be more strict background checks before on-boarding at daycare's, and more strict policies regarding training's, and previous work experience. I miss working with the children some of whom I started working with when they were six weeks old, but I don't miss the long hours, little pay, and blatant disregard for staff.
Let me know in the comments if your children are enrolled in childcare centers, or if by reading this it might change your mind about doing so.
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