Daycare in Plymouth, MN

Received Sunday, November 15, 2009
I want to report a daycare that our 7 month old daughter lasted only a week in before we yanked her, and all the crap that followed.

Crying all day: Apparently, the 4 days our daughter was in her care, she was crying practically non-stop. I would expect this for maybe a day or two, but 4 days? Something had to be wrong and everyone I talked to thought the same.

No-Shows: The first day, the daycare provider had the stomach flu. Fine. The second day, we were to drop her off at 9am. Husband went over, tried to contact her, no answer. Repeatedly. Until finally at 10:30 when she called and apologized for having slept in. The third day: She forgets to bring her daughter to school and leaves my husband and daughter in the parking lot of her building for 45 minutes while she drops her off.

Pets: She has a very hyper dog that would jump around the baby and play aggressively with toys in around her. Last day, the Boppy pillow we sent there comes home smelling of cat urine.

Choking objects on floor: My daughter is 7 months...everything ends up in her mouth, which she should know having done daycare, her family does day care and she going to school to be a pediatric nurse (scary!). Throughout the week, I noticed lots of little choking hazards on the floor...toy parts, dried up play dough, etc.

So fine, we tell her nicely, not even mentioning these things that it just isnt working out, our child is not adapting obviously by all the crying and we will figure it out. She writes back and says because we didnt give a weeks notice, she gets to keep the deposit. Fine, but I paid her for 2 weeks of daycare on top of the deposit so I write and say I would like to find a time to pick up all her stuff (she wanted full sets of clothes, bibs, bottles, diapers, wipes, toys up front, which is fine) as well as the week of daycare we didnt use.

I never hear from her again!! After many calls, emails, and finally 2 nights ago saying if I dont hear from her, I plan on telling the world about what transpired. Still no call.

So here I am.

Her name is Amie (last name available) in Plymouth, MN. Her craigslist posting is

She is not licensed (all the licensed places were to expensive for us) and I dont now expect to get any of my stuff back nor my week of unused daycare reimbursed. This is the first time in my life I have felt screwed over by anyone in such a mean way. We did nothing to deserve this. Its just sad there are people like this in the world. Really sad. And I dont want it to happen to anyone else, hence why I'm putting this alert out.

Do you have a daycare, sitter or nanny warning to share? Email now.


MinuteMuggle said...

"All the licensed places were too expensive?"

Sorry. I don't have any sympathy for you. You get what you pay for. When you cut corners regarding your children, you really don't deserve any sympathy.

Reno Nanny said...

I'm sick of the "licensed is better" debate.

I'm not licensed, and while I don't run a daycare, I've been in situations where parents pulled their children from well known licensed daycares (and even preschools) because of horrible care, and needed someone to care for the kids while they figured something else out. Each time, the parents begged me to start a daycare so they could keep bringing their kids to me.

A license does not say your children will receive good care.

Jeez said...

No sympathy? None at all? So,you're saying that the non-stop crying was OK. That if the baby had choked on a piece of dried playdough or if the dog had mistaken the baby for a toy, it would have been OK. Because the caregiver wasn't licensed. That's pretty harsh. This mom is already beating herself up over this and is doing what she can to be sure that it doesn't happen to anybody else. She deserves credit for that. She learned a lesson through the suffering of the thing most precious to her. You could have been a bit more compassionate in your response, getting your message across just the same, without being so harsh and insulting.

I totally agree that you get what you pay for in life - not just childcare. However, I'd like to point out to you that zero nannies are licensed. So why in the world would I trust my child with one?

Jeez said...

Thanks Reno Nanny. You posted your response as I was typing mine. That was my point exactly.

MinuteMuggle said...

I agree that being licensed does not neccessarily make you a better caregiver.

That being said: no, I do not have any sympathy for this woman. Sorry to sound cold, but I don't. Firstly: children sometimes can cry up to a week or two in a new setting. That is just life: kids get sad when you leave them with strangers. They want their freaking mom, for Christ sake.
Secondly: I don't think it's a great idea to post stuff like this because it is hearsay: there are two sides to every story and there are better things a disgruntled parent can do than to ruin a person's career. It really sucks that this caregiver was late and unreliable, but as far as the rest of it? Just a bunch of ignorant gossip if you ask me. OP doesn't sound like she is beating herself up at all. Sounds like she's trying to defend her own negligence in employing a loser to care for her baby. The child was not being neglected or abused. Good for OP for pulling her out: fair is fair. But to post a link to her ad on the net and slander her? I just wouldn't do it, myself.

Village said...

If it's written it's libel; if it's spoken it's slander.

The sitter wasn't keeping her hours. That was a clue to stop right there. Once there is a breach so early in the contact, you can expect a lot more, and that's true not just in the sitting business.

MinuteMuggle said...

sorry my mistake oh vocab nazi. you're wicked awesome and stuff.

daletsg said...

Minute Muggle, i completely disagree that this poster is posting libelous things about this caregiver. Nothing she said was hearsay, at all. The caregiver was unreliable in her hours, and to do that so consistently early on is a major red flag.If you are taking that at face value, How do you figure that the other things were gossip? The poster saw the tiny things all over the floor, and the overactive dog. Cat pee has a strong and distinct smell-she definitely would know for sure if her child's items came home from the day care smelling of it.

I think it is great that the OP posted this. Even if the only thing she had to report was how unreliable this caregiver is with her schedule, that would be enough. You can't just sleep in when you have people counting on you, and this woman needs to lose some business so she gets it together.

Vocab Nazi said...

While we're on the topic of your poor vocabulary, this story isn't hearsay. It's first hand experience. If she were relating another person's experience, then it would be hearsay. And it would only be libel if it weren't true. If she's stating fact, then she's not breaking any sort of law. Talk about ignorance.

gimmeabreak said...

sounds like the OP should have checked out this unlicensed daycare before handing over her child.

MinuteMuggle said...

It is gossip because it cannot be proven. If you want to take OP's word for it, fine. If you ask me, it sounds like gossip. There was play-doh on the floor. Oh Jesus Christ no!!!! Call DCYF! And so what if she said it? If I said I was the freaking President of China it would not make it so.

If you don't want your child in a house with a dog, don't bring them to that daycare. I would never have my infant in a house with a strange dog, personally. OP made a mistake. She picked a crappy daycare that came cheap. Live and learn.

MinuteMuggle said...

Oh, and you're right about cat pee: it does have a strong smell. So why did OP not smell it right away and choose to bring her infant somewhere clean? I don't know. Ask her.

Village said...

I am under the impression that one can report true personal experiences and not be guilty of libel.

I had a store that did not want to let me return an item although their website said they guaranteed satisfaction.

I told them I would let it be known via the web that they did not honor their pledge. Then they told me I could return it, but they failed to credit my card. On the last day before my credit card dispute went to the lawyers, they credited my account. I didn't do anything wrong, I just let them know they would not be able to cheat me in private.

JacksMom said...

The OP does have my sympathy. I'm sure that all of us only want the very best for our children; the best home, the best food, and the best care when we are working. It's very hard balancing each of those things with the reality of our budgets. I'm sure it's safe to say that a lot of us are forced to cut corners, in order to make it all work. Sometimes that means buying generic instead of name brand. Sometimes it means bundling up and not turning the heat up as high.

Childcare is extremely expensive, regardless of your tax bracket. People whose own salaries are barely minimum wage have fewer options than most. That doesn't mean that they don't care and it doesn't mean that they (and their children) deserve to be punished for making a mistake. Yes, it would have been better if the caregiver had been licensed, but I'll admit that on the surface, the caregiver's ad sounds pretty good. In the end, having a license probably wouldn't have prevented this story from playing out any differently, because it comes down to individual character. Having a license isn't a magic guarantee that everything will be perfect. And, like someone above pointed out, nannies are't licensed either.

We have no idea whether the OP checked references. We do know that they had a contract, which was a good step. The OP tried to get what was hers, as put forth in the contract. When that didn't happen, she decided to let others know so they might avoid making the same mistake.

Live and learn. The OP did what she thought was best for her baby, given her limited resources. As soon as she realized she'd made a bad choice, she reversed course. It's really easy for people to sit in judgement. I just think it's wrong to put all the blame on the mom over the licensing issue. It was the caregiver who acted badly - that's where the real blame belongs.

MinuteMuggle said...

In my opinion, the mom needs to share some of the blame. Yes. Childcare is expensive. I'm working class myself. I know. Yes, the mom absolutely did the right thing in pulling the child from the daycare. But it does not cost anything to check a childcare provider out thoroughly. It just takes effort and time.

lurky lew said...

"JacksMom", bravo! You took every word, right out of my mouth.

Don't be a victim said...

Instead of complaining on a website, why not pursue this woman. Send a letter outlining why you deserve payment back and demand it. If she does not send the money file a small claims case.

If this story is true, you'd be able to win the case and get the money that's yours.

Manhattan nanny said...

Who sleeps in when they are supposed to be working, and FORGETS to take their child to school? Substance abusers. Of course I don't know the woman, but I'm just saying, that would be a big red flag for me.

The requirements for daycare licenses vary by state, but basically they concern the environment, not the qualifications of the care provider. Some of the requirements, involve egress in case of fire, gates at the top of stairs, general childproofing, sanitary practices in kitchen and diaper changing area, and the ratio of adults to children. Most states provide surprise inspections periodically.
A licence certainly doesn't guarantee quality care, but if someone running a daycare hasn't gotten one, I would wonder why.

As for nannies not being licensed: Nannies work in the employer's home, so the safety and cleanliness of the home is under the employer's control. They can ask for CPR certification and do a criminal check, or use an agency that does it for them.

Portlander said...

MinuteMuggle, this entire website is gossip. Every single post on here is gossip. Why is this one unbelievable relative to the rest? I have no opinion about the validity of this post, but I'm curious why you would call this "hearsay" and protest its posting here.

MinuteMuggle said...

i think it's just because i'm in a bad mood.

to be totally honest.


MinuteMuggle said...

p.s. Manhattan nanny:

I totally agree that a no-show is a huge red flag. I would have taken my child out by the second day at the latest.

Teacher in a Combat Zone said...

OP, I can understand your frustrations and anger over this experience. If you truly want your money and stuff back, send her a letter letting her know that you want it by a certain date or you will take her to court (send it certified mail with a signature confirmation so that you are sure that she gets it). Chances are, if she is an unlicensed daycare she will give you back what is yours. I know in our state once you are caught running an unlicensed home daycare you get charged a fine of something like $150 per day that you continue running that daycare without a license and I am sure that it is similar in many other states.

Just make sure that if you choose to go this route you must be prepare to go through with it should she ignore you. Best of Luck!

Orange Snakeskin said...

I somewhat understand where you are coming from when you mention a "breach so early in the contact" but I also know you can not control a virus. Last year I can not recall (does not mean it didn't happen, just can't think of any right now) getting sick enough to call off but within the first few weeks of my current position I did have to call off due to sickness. I don't believe that makes me a less reliable caregiver. But that really isn't the point of this post, just a thought.

While I am not in agreement with Minutemuggle I do have little sympathy for a mother leaving her child in this kind of environment for 4 days. Apparently she didn't do her homework and that is inexcusable, that by no means makes any of what went on okay. I don't believe a license and high fees equal better care, my mother ran an unlicensed daycare for years out of our home and was loved by many families, when you are choosing care for your child you must research references, facilities and the caregiver. Some other important resources in checking out your caregiver are websites like this one that let every persons voice be heard positive or negative.

Both parties are at fault but again none of what I have said was in any way meant to excuse poor care, over sleeping, choking hazards, excitable pets or the odor of cat urine.

Portlander said...

Haha, what a refreshingly honest answer!

HA! said...

And I suppose the house was perfect and the dog invisible when you thoroughly checked the place out before hand right? And of course, the extensive background check you did on the provider came back perfect right? The licensed places were all too expensive so I can only imagine how little you paid this person. I agree with those who said you get what you pay for.

And by the way crying for 4 days is not abnormal for little kids. My sister is a pre-school teacher and she has 2 kids in the class that are still crying for mommy two months after school has started.

I'm with Minute muggle no sympathy. You're lucky all you've lost is a few bucks.

belle said...

It's good that OP posted this warning, but unfortunately I don't think it will help anybody, because it all comes down to money. Like it or not, people will still send their children there because they, like the OP, can't afford better care.

MinuteMuggle said...

I am laughing out loud at this thread. :) lolol :) I love how Portlander says: "MinuteMuggle, this entire website is gossip. Every single post on here is gossip."

buuuwhahahahah!!!!!! :) :) :) It is so hilarious, because I was thinking the same thing when I was posting my grumpy drivel, and I knew someone was gonna say it! lololol :) hahah.

thanks guys. isyn made my day. :) heheheh. :)

mom said...

Blame goes both ways here.

There were many things mentioned here that would have prevented my leaving my child there for one more day, and yet OP continued to leave her child in the care of a woman who FORGOT TO TAKE HER OWN CHILD TO SCHOOL! Who does that? Nobody with a shred of competency does that. Not once. I agree with the person above that that alone suggests something very serious...perhaps substance abuse or mental the very best, she is an incompetent dingbat.
Choking hazards on the floor also suggest a high degree of incompetency, for whatever reason. (Does the reason really matter in the end? She is incapable of providing a safe environment for a toddler, and if the child ends up dead, who cares what the woman's problem was? The child is still just as dead.)
It's not all that earthshatteringly difficult to get a daycare license, so the lack of one would suggest to me that the woman doesn't want to bother to meet the state's minimum standards of care, or be held to a consistently MINIMAL standard. maybe that's just me, but I would never go to an unlicensed daycare. (For those about to protest that a license doesn't make it previous statement does not mean that I would blindly leave my child at any random center just because it is licensed either. I would check it out first, but a lack of license would be my first round eliminator. )

I am also astounded that the OP is willing to walk away silently if there are other children at risk, as her post clearly indicates. These are children at risk. Just because yours may be safe does not give you the moral right to walk away happy and leave other children in peril. Report her immediately!

If you want your money back, go to small claims court and bring evidence of her incompetency. Your immediate report to CPS, made BEFORE there was a monetary dispute, would have been a wonderful start. You missed out on that by waiting. Now it may just look like your call was made in retribution. But make the call anyway! Whether you benefit personally from it, you ow it to those other children.

PS Don't cheap out on daycare. Ever. Good care is in demand and you have to pay for it. Don't go out to dinner or buy clothes. Sell your car and take the bus. Get a cheaper house in a cheaper neighborhood. Get a daycare license and keep your child with you while you watch a few others in your home. DO whatever it takes, but the last resort EVER should be to leave your child in poor daycare.

oh well said...

Why is everyone so hard on OP? She has a seven-month-old, which means she is fairly new at parenting. More experienced parents make mistakes.
Live and learn, and thanks for sharing.

mom said...

Not intending to be hard on OP, but these are the kinds of mistakes that can have tragic consequence.
never look the other way on anything that seems to be a potential danger for your child. In fact, I'd go so far to say that, even absent concrete evidence of a problem, mothers need to start paying more attention to our gut instincts and not feel ashamed for taking measures based solely on those.

Mostly, I just want her to do whatever she needs to do to make sure there are not other kids endangered in the care of this unfit person. Who knows, maybe the woman is actually unable to get a license because of substance abuse/mental health issues and she is working anyway? It's a possibility.

Somebody needs to get i there ASAP and check this out before a tragedy occurs.

I'm really sick of turning on my television and hearing about child after child suffering or dying in pointless, avoidable ways.

MinuteMuggle said...

Yup. Any mom who says they "forgot" to take their kid to school? lol Come on! And oversleeping? It's just totally irresponsible. I am glad that OP took her child out before the lady god forbid fell asleep when the child was with her!

anonymouse said...

I don't know enough about daycares to have a strong opinion in the licensed/unlicensed debate.
However, if there were so many warning signs from the get-go (choking hazards on the floor, sleeping in that late on the 2nd day..but the daycare provider has a 6-year-old daughter???? did the kid go to school that day??), I think this parent should have pulled the baby out of the daycare by day 1 or 2, not day 4.

Anonymouse said...

Sorry, didn't mean to post something that had already been said by a bunch of people. For some reason I had just read up until MM's 2nd post and thought that that was it.

alianaca said...

you say she is not licensed because all the licensed places are too expensive? lol yeap i also have no sympathy for you, this is what you get for getting unqualified people to take care of your kids, dont complain now!! geez i dont get it some people would pay top money for a pair of shoes, but when it comes to take care of your kids, they are not willing to pay

MissMannah said...

I don't know how it works everywhere, but in Oklahoma it is illegal to care for other people's children in your home for profit. If you get caught, you can expect some hefty fines and you'll probably be denied a license if you try to get it later on.

OP, did you ever step foot in this woman's house before enrolling your baby in her care? If so, did you neglect to notice the animals running all over the place and the choking hazards? Did you request the woman give you a resume or a list of qualifications and references? Did you even google her name to see if she is reputable?

I'd have to agree with MinuteMuggle, you get what you pay for. Use your brain before letting complete strangers watch your baby.

Carolyn said...

The rest of it is bad but the crying all day is normal for some kids. Some kids take longer to adjust to time in care and some aren't used to to structure.

As far as the unlicensed thing. As someone new to the country the thing is completely foreign. But I cannot imagine sending your child to a stranger's house when you have no evidence about who they are. Anything could happen and you have no recourse! Its insane!

MinuteMuggle said...

miss mannah:

thanks for agreeing with me: you seem to be the only one who has in a very long time! :) as far as state licensing laws, I know in my own state you do not need a license if you are caring for less than four children. if you care for more than that you do need one. however, it is illegal to not claim what you make, license or not.

I personally, if the person were unlicensed, would at least want to know that she was claiming her earnings since if she was not it would show irresponsibility.

and yes, it sounds as if OP did not check the place out thoroughly. I don't mean to attack op and I'm sorry if I did. Again, I am glad her baby is safe.

mom said...

If you have a licensed daycare provider, you at least know they were able to meet some sort of minimum standard and have passed a background check. It prevents leaving your children with, say, a criminal who, after being released from a long stint in prison, is unable to find another job, so decides to pack her house full of kids as a way to make a buck. Or a child sex offender. Or a drug offender. Etc. Etc. Etc.

CuriousDad said...

No a childcare license for a daycare does not say your child will receive good care. What it does say is that the place is inspected and regulated, you have some legal protections and somewhere to COMPLAIN too if the business is not performing up to certain standards. Unlicensed places generally perform under the radar and avoid most of the “onerous” details in place: infant CPR and first aid responder on premises requirements, sexual predator background checks on all employees dealing with children, fire and safety inspections, all that is there to help protect the interests of the children. An unlicensed daycare does not have to follow those requirements and if they are, then they should be able to get their license no problem anyway.

MissMannah said...

Minute Muggle:

It is a rarity, don't let it go to your head. ^_^

I didn't realise regulations differed so much from state to state. Also, I understand that a license doesn't always equal good care-giving, but I still think it is a good start.

cali mom said...

Curious Dad, you said it just right, and let's not forget about TB testing requirements for anyone who works with kids. No such requirements of any kind required of course, for anyone who is operating 100% illegally to begin with.

I couldn't imagine leaving a 7 month old infant with anyone not legally accountable for them, especially without looking thoroughly into every aspect of the person and the environment that I could. If the child was injured or killed by the caregiver's negligence, they could simply deny ever having even met the child or the parent, and disappear somewhere to start up a new "business".

Sandie said...

I live in Plymouth MN and do home child care. My guess is that this mom found her provider off of Craigslist-- one of those ads that say "Cheap Daycare" Sadly, you gt what you pay for sometimes. There are so many great providers in this area. Quit buying lattes and going out to eat instead of scrimping on the most valuable thing you own!

Sandie said...

Also wanted to add to the OP that if Unlicensed Aimie was caring for more than one family, she can be held accountable. In Hennepin County, the law states that an unlicensed child care provider may care for up to one family. Any more than that, they will come and shut you down. This has happened twice that I have heard of in the area. Call the county and report her!

protecturchild said...

glad u learned. hopefully you will be more careful with who u leave ur child with....

trent said...

What a nightmare!! VERY sorry to hear of your troubles. Finding the best is often hard,