Cuz it’s One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out…

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three strikes As I’ve mentioned, the daycare we have our kids in was recently purchased by a major chain (sounds like, “Bids R Bids”). Turns out, the new owner also owns a facility just up the road; one which, I might add, we had previously looked at and turned down summarily! Since the hostile takeover, the following things have happened:

– They didn’t tell anyone about the purchase until it was a done deal. Even people who had put deposits for Fall enrollment were not told. I know of one lady who dislikes the other facility these owners have so much, that she walked away from her $250 down payment.

– They removed all the woodchips in the playground, effectively shutting the playground down for a week. They have now put in different woodchips that are apparently easier on the lungs of those with breathing problems (so…let’s charge everyone more so that we can make it easier on one or two. Sounds similar to our government)

– They have now instituted a “3 strikes and you’re (at least) suspended” biting policy

It’s this last biting policy that most concerns us and many of the teachers. If you have ever had kids, or had kids around other kids, then you know that biting is common among toddlers. It’s not nice, it’s not fun, but it’s a fact of life. MLE is a bit of a biter and we’ve been working on him at home by not letting him and MLI wrestle (which sucks because, Come ON! they’re boys!), by reprimanding him when he does, and even by swatting his hiney when he does it.

But yesterday was his first offense under the new policy, so CareerMom is freaking out already about what we’ll do IF he gets suspended or kicked out. Neither of us have jobs that lend themselves well to keeping our kids at home and we’ve already scoped out all the daycare facilities around us and aren’t thrilled with our choices, not to mention the fact that with Pre-K registration having just finished, space is at a premium (if available at all).

The teachers of MLE’s class are trying to talk some sense into the owners, explaining to them that you can’t reason with a 15-month old like one of them tried explaining to us, “Well, have you tried sitting him down and explaining to him that biting is bad?”

*snort* I wish it had been me there when they said that rather than CareerMom because I would have retorted with, “I would hope that anyone who owns a daycare would be more aware of the developmental milestones of children.” You can’t reason with a 15-month old, when their attention span is no bigger than a GoldFish cracker. Sure, you can get their attention for the moment, but in an hour, in the heat of playing, their not going to stop what their doing and suddenly recall a lesson about biting! It’s madness I tell ya! Madness!

In his defense, he’s gotten better, but every now and then, usually when he gets excited and when he’s in close proximity to another person, he’ll just latch on, not hard though, but enough to hurt a bit.

But we do understand the concern that biting causes. MLI got bit a LOT when he was little and thankfully, he only bit a couple of times, and only in retaliation; but, as the mother of the child MLE bit yesterday said to CareerMom, “Oh, don’t worry about it! My son has certainly done his share of biting too!”

Anyway, my daily prayers now include, “Dear Lord, please don’t let MLE bite anyone today…oh and please let us have World Peace! Amen!”

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3 thoughts on “Cuz it’s One, Two, Three Strikes You’re Out…

    Allison said:
    July 8, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I have never heard of a policy like that.

    My daughter has been bitten twice in 3 years. Around the time of the 1st bite, the daycare distributed a flyer to her whole class explaining that it’s very common at a certain developmental point because they’re frustrated and don’t yet have the language skills to properly explain their frustration. My dad told me that I should find out who bit her and punish the perp accordingly (I think he was joking). I told my dad that I would never do that because you never know when my kid might be the biter.

    My daughter has yet to bite a kid at daycare, but she did get written up once for throwing a block at a kid’s head. They don’t have a 3 strikes-and-you’re-out policy…so I was annoyed about the situation (at her and at the daycare for having a fire drill during naptime that day), but not nervous about expulsion.

    I would be very stressed/annoyed by that policy too!

    RE: It’s vexing. Normally, we’d have leverage since if they suspend MLE, then we’ll pull MLI and that will cost them bucku $$, but there’s a pretty good sized waiting list, so if we go, they’ll have someone else in ASAP. But honestly, if they enforce this policy, they’re going to have a hard time keeping a class full of toddlers. Course, they may only realize this after kicking out a handful, and by then, it’ll be too late for us. We’ll see.

    UTP said:
    July 9, 2008 at 10:24 am

    I guess that is a difficult one…my grandpa did that one of his sons….he bit him back….I mean…it sounds wacky and a case for child abuse….but that helped…the kid found out how it felt….and stopped…then he became my good uncle hehe…

    RE: Oh, he’s been bitten before. That’s how it starts. One kid bites another and soon, they all learn it and it spreads like wildfire. It also doesn’t help that the little ones are all teething at the same time. So, it’s really preposterous to say a child only gets three tries at this–not at this age anyway.

    Rose said:
    July 10, 2008 at 9:20 am

    My goodness. I cannot believe they did not inform you ahead of time. Especially in such a sale. I would be irrate. It is so unfortunate that they seem to think they have th upper hand in the relationship with parents because of the difficulties in finding opennings in quality childcare places.
    As a daycare provider AND a parent, I hope they are more understanding of child development than they appear to be. I would question them on training and education to make sure they do not try and expect more out of the kids on other issues to. It could be detrimental if they lose patience with a child for somehting he/she cannot developmentaly do yet.

    RE: I can only imagine they didn’t say anything so as not to lose those who had signed up already under the previous ownership. Word is, they have also “lost” their Georgia Pre-K certification, and are only now going to offer the “paid for” Pre-K. Many of us feel that they “lost” it on purpose so they could make this facility their “boutique” daycare, while their other facilily only enrolls the Georgia Pre-K students. Sort of a, “Well, you can enroll your child for free here, but if you would like a more advanced education, our other facility offers such and such.”

    Which is fine, if you didn’t already have a bunch of people lined up, and ALREADY REGISTERED for Fall Pre-K in the Georgia Pre-K program at this location. It’s all around, not a good scenario.

    Luckily, they have thus far kept all of the old teachers, and they are great, and patient, but they can’t hide bite marks and the like. So, when it happens, the front office gets alerted and that’s where the problems lie.

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