Gaining a Male Childcare Worker's Perspective...

Received Sunday, June 6, 2010
perspective and opinion
For the past three years I have worked at a church on Sundays as a childcare worker, working in either the 3-5 year old room, or the infant-toddler room. As a male in the infant-toddler room it seems as if I am held to a higher standard by the parents. Most of the parents are fine with me being in there, but there are some parents who are unsure about it. I remember this one time when this girl, who was potty training, needed to go to the bathroom. As I was taking her to the bathroom, which is in the same room as we were in, a parent volunteer started to offer to take her to the bathroom, however as she saw I was going to leave the door open, she stopped in her tracks. Chances are this wouldn’t have happened if I was female. This has also happened when a girl needed a diaper change, but I simply told the person I can do it. Another time a dad was dropping off his toddler daughter. Before he left, he checked her pull-up and decided to change her. None of the parents I have seen there have done that before. I might just be cynical, but it felt like to me he was thinking let me change her now, so he wouldn’t have to worry about a strange male changing his daughter later, which is fine. I have become use to parents thinking I am not capable of working with younger kids because I am male. With some parents, you can tell on their faces when they drop their kids off, they aren’t too sure if they should leave them or not, as there is a male worker in the room. What helps, is there are always two workers in the room.
As a male, I have to be extra careful in everything I do, as some parents think you are either inept when caring for younger kids, or a pervert because you are a male who is working with younger kids. Thankfully, most parents are fine with me being there, and know I do a good job. What I find interesting is parents think just because you have male parts you aren’t good with kids, while those with female parts are naturals with kids. There is one co-worker, who is female, who really isn’t that great with kids, and never bothers to change their diapers, even when they are full. Yet parents assume she is good with kids as they always hand off their crying kid to her, even when we are both standing right there. I guess I am saying all of this to say, you have to look at people as a whole, and not simply their gender. Just because a person has male parts doesn’t mean they are bad with kids, and just because a person has female parts doesn’t mean they are a natural with kids. As the old saying goes, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.


great post!!!! said...

This is a great post!!! Right on, tell it, my brother!!! :)

I am a Preschool teacher and the best teacher on my team, by far, is male. He is amazing and much more skilled than most of the females who work at our daycare.

I understand what you mean about judgmental people: it is so unfair and obnoxious. Parents need to trust the place that they bring their child to: that means trusting the administration to hire qualified teachers. Anything less, or any behavior that exhibits outward disdain or nervousness due to a teacher's gender is simply insulting.

Good for you: this is the best post I have read on here in a very long time.

VAnanny said...

While I COMPLETELY agree with your entire post, I have to tell you that I do not think the stigma against male child care workers will ever change. There are too many horror stories of pedophila committed by males (more so than females). I know it is unfair but I do get why parents would be guarded. I've known some awesome male caregivers and you seem great as well. Good luck to you.

ORnanny said...

VAnanny, that is in large part because female abusers are underreported or downplayed. Take for example a 40-year-old male teacher and 13-year-old female student, the guy is a monster, right? I'd agree, as would basically everyone. Now take a 40-year-old female teacher and 13-year-old male student, the woman is a monster, right? I'd agree, except how many would take it seriously? Wouldn't we hear in the second case comments along the lines of, "Where were teachers like that when I was a boy?"

Our society has programmed itself that males play the bad guys and females the victim. When you factor in physical abuse and the underreporting of female abusers, this is simply not the case. Male and female providers are equally likely to abuse. Boys report abuse less than girls, abuse by female providers is downplayed, doesn't fit media narrative, etc. Now unfortunately males are more likely than females to commit more serious forms of abuse, sad to say, but that's really the only difference and that's not what we're trying to avoid, is it? We're trying to stay away from any abuse.

OP's point is well taken here, you need to trust the place you take your children to hire good people and if you don't trust them to do that, don't take them there. You can also get to know the providers themselves. Point is, no extra protection whatsoever is afforded to a child whose parent is judging other people on gender alone.

ISYN should know this particularly well. We see abuse all the time by people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, etc. in our sightings and via nanny cam links. You need to know the person who is providing the care and the outside just isn't it. I've heard of plenty of beautiful monsters and plenty of ugly heroes, and vice versa.

VAnanny said...

I agree that female sex crimes go unreported all too often. As I said in my previous comment, I agree with this poster.

childfree said...

I have mixed feelings about male childcare providers because I was abused at a very young age so I tend not to trust males around little girls, regardless of who or how old the man is.

However I will agree with the OP about it being dumb for people to assume the female worker is better with kids or likes them more. I'm a nanny, been in childcare for 6 years, and I'm only good with kids because kids love me. I have no idea why. I don't get attached to my charges (which often works to my advantage) and I don't want kids of my own at all.

Interesting note - while toddlers and up absolutely love me, infants can't stand me. I guess I'm not responsive or maternal enough, but the calmest infant in the world turns into a shrieking monster when left with me for even just a few minutes.

djembé said...

I rarely needed babysitters when my children were younger, but when I did, my all-time favorite one was a teenage guy. Of course, I had known him and his parents since he was born and I trusted him completely. He was very good with the kids and they adored him.

However... OP, it's really not personal (though it may be irrational) when parents feel this way. Yes, there are female pedophiles but even taking into account underreporting, still the majority of perpetrators in this area are male. The parents are just going by the odds, that's all. Heck, it's probably even worse for you being at a church nursery as opposed to, say, a school.

Anyway, it totally sucks for guys who are good with children and would never dream of harming them, but that is the way life is, it is not going to change. It would be healthiest if you could just take it in stride and with a sense of humor. If parents sense any defensiveness on your part, it will only heighten their radar.

Black Orchid said...

Interesting topic. My husband just wrote an eight page paper on a similar topic for school. He is a nursing student and this quarter he is studying pediatrics/labor and delivery. In his clinicals he is rejected by 50% of the mothers in labor. They take one look at him and say they don't even want him in the room. Needless to say, this will not be the area of nursing he will go into.

anon #1 said...

While I totally agree that a male can be every bit as qualified as a female to care for small children, surely you understand the concern??? It is a fact, whether female abuse goes under reported or not, that a male is much more likely to sexually abuse a child. It is also a fact that these are the kinds of situations that a pedophile will put themselves in to have access to children. As a parent, you simply have to be aware of that.

I personally would have no issue leaving my child with a male in this situation but ONLY if their was someone else there at all times. I would also not want a man my daughter does not know taking her to the bathroom. Not only because I prefer to be overly cautious about such things but because I don't want my daughter to think it is okay for a man she does not know to see her "girly parts". It contradicts what I have told her and I don't want there to ever be any confusion for her as to what is ok and what is not.

To the OP, I am sure you are great with the kids and would never do them any harm. But, you have to understand some parents hesitation and try not to take it personally. I would also think that, for your protection, you would not want to put yourself in a situation were there is even a chance you could be accused of anything inappropriate.

anon observer said...

At my church creche, there are male and female helpers, but we have a rule that no nappies are to be changed at all by any helpers, only the parents. Also, only female helpers can take children the bathroom if they need to go. This is set up, so that no one can ever be accused of anything.

What about male doctors doing exams to women? they always need another worker in the room just in case there are any accusations. OP, it is not personal against you, it is just a safe guard the parent is having against anything happening to their child.

by the way, a few years back in our church, before we had this rule, two little girls were molested by a male helper in the creche and it was by someone known and like... so you never know

ORnanny said...

It can change. Everything changes with time and proper data. I say again once physical abuse and underreporting is factored in, males and females are *equally* likely to abuse. I have this from recent and reputable research, and I will post my source in a day or two. I have it bookmarked on my computer, which is being repaired after a small meeting with the floor. My apologies for the delay, believe me, I don't care for the computer I'm using at the moment. For now even if we disagree on the equally part, we agree that it would be smaller than commonly believed. That's all that matters here, the recognition that people put far too much into gender than they should. If you want to protect your child, there are a lot of wonderful ways that don't involve being sexist. "My children are safe, I hired a woman" is not a thought anyone should ever have, but there are people who think it. We've had sightings on ISYN and links that show just how this thinking can end. That one about a month ago with the woman and an 11-month-old on a nanny cam, her smacking the child in the back of the head and the baby falling face forward to the floor. It haunts me.

daycare worker:
"It was really for his protection..." Sure, and this is why females shouldn't be cops, firefighters, etc. for their protection. No, this is wrong. Either you trust someone to do the work, or you don't. Let's be honest here, it wasn't for his protection, it was for the center's protection, based solely on his gender, not anything of substance. It is sexism, plain and simple, and any male in that situation has every right to take it personally as would any female in any job where only gender is playing a part. "Well Sue, you managed to carry fat Ted down that ladder, but we're going to go with Henry, cause he's a dude." No.

anon #1:
No, it is not a fact. Just because you hear of something more than something else, doesn't make it more common than the other thing. We as a society have set up roles for male and female, male is monster, female is victim.I will admit, much to my dismay, that with males the abuse tends to be more severe than with females, so take from that what you will, but they are equally likely to offend and as our goal here is not a matter of severity, but avoiding the situation altogether, it should be recognized that judging someone on their gender, positively or negatively, is not an effective means of evaluating one's suitability for childcare. When at a daycare, parents should check out the center's history, get to know the providers themselves, ask how long they've had their providers, what sort of checks are done and so on. With nannies, parents need to focus on the person, their background, references, nanny cams, talk with their children, have friends drop in or check up on the nanny when they report they're going to be at someplace and some time etc. Parents need to be prepared to do just a little work to get it right. There are no short cuts, and that is all gender discrimination is. It's a short cut, and no more useful than Hastings' was to the Donner Party. It is a disaster waiting to happen for any family.

ORnanny having trouble posting said...

anon observer:
Yes, you never know. For all you know, some of the children at your church have been molested by one of the female helpers taking them to the bathroom. So no one can be accused of anything? Wouldn't a female be someone? It's the assumption that only males would ever be accused, would ever be wrong, that is most at fault here. I'm interested in protecting children and there are real means to getting the job done. Gender discrimination does not help and for one would have nothing to do with any organization that would discriminate based on gender, male or female. And one must ask, what are we teaching children? Are we telling our boys that they should ditch the empathy? What of fathers, should any father out with his daughter be followed? What about when his daughter brings a friend? I mean if males are so dangerous, we ought to take it to the next logical conclusion, right? Just as with Dad, a male childcare provider is best evaluated on the person he is. Get to know who you're leaving your kids with. After all, isn't it the common refrain we hear from parents after a terrible revelation, "But she seemed so nice." Then it is revealed that so and so had a record for such awful things? Background checks, references, getting to know even a provider's family, and a billion other methods are real ways to protect your children. All a thousand times better than "Sally can help potty, but Tommy can't" could ever hope to be. If your church is so interested in protecting itself, and it is about protecting itself, not the providers, you may want to suggest they watch after only children who can handle themselves or whose parents are available on a moment's notice.

CuriousDad said...

Thank you, for posting ORNanny. As a father I KNOW I fall into that kind of expectation trap. This with me knowing logically that it is a false assumption.

I would be very interested in that link.

fine with me said...

I think it's really important to have males working with young kids, especially with populations where many fathers are absent for one reason or another. It's especially important for boys to see that men can also be nurturing, so that they don't come to see that as only a female role. But as a parent, I would have to feel comfortable with the person, regardless of if they were male or female.

HoHum said...

As someone else stated, it sucks to be the other teacher in a classroom with a male teacher. They may be great with the children, but since they aren't allowed to do all the work a woman can, who do you think gets stuck doing their share of the work? The other teacher. I was a toddler's teacher when they assigned a male teacher to my classroom. While he was awesome with the kids, he wasn't allowed to do anything regarding diapers or potty training. And because I was the lead teacher, I was still responsible for the lesson plans, etc. After a few months, I told my director either he goes or I do. It wasn't fair to have to do his share of work on top of my own. He was moved to another classroom. And I personally would never feel comfortable having a male childcare worker (nanny, daycare, etc) as my childs primary caregiver. I do question the reasoning why males become teachers, especially in a younger setting.

priya said...

I've worked with a few men while being in a daycare setting, at first I was a bit hesitant, because of the parents reactions, but all in all I never felt uncomfortbale when they took them to the bathroom or changed diapers. The men whom I've worked with turned out to be some of the best teachers with the kids. Some of them went above and beyond compared to the female co-workers and assistants in the daycare. It troubled me to find out that my Co-Teacher ended up having a record from his previous center for neglect against a child! They ended up firing him for not being truthful all along.
I can see everyones points as to how much more men are likely to sexually abuse children than women (interested in the exact statistics....)
But with that said you can not live in a parinoid fear that someone is going to hurt your child, that's just no way to live. Horrible things happen everyday, educate yourself, get to know your day care providers, that's all you cvan really do.
It is very important to show children that men can be affectionate, caring, supportive and a caretaker.

Toddle said...

Lets all keep in mind this is a church nursery we are talking about. This is not a babysitter you can get to know and screen yourself. This is not a daycare worker you will see on a daily basis and get to know that is hired by people you trust.

I have worked in a church nursery. The woman who hired me did a child abuse background check (which is very basic and is required for anyone working with children) and spoke with me for about 10 minutes before hiring me. Never checked a reference or verified my work history and I started working there before the background check was even verified.

These are the kinds of situations a pedophile will put themselves in to access children. You as a parent have to be aware of that. Not paranoid about it but aware of it. I don't think it is being paranoid or sexist to not want a man you do not know being alone with your small child. It is not too much to ask that a man caring for children in a church nursery should understand that he should NOT have anything to do with anything involving the removal of clothing (ie bathroom assistance, diapers, etc.).

We have to be cautious as parents and think of our childrens safety before anything else.

Lola said... you do question why males become teachers? that's a little much. maybe because they want to change the world through teaching our youth. My daughters 2nd grade teacher is a guy and he is 100x better than her female 1st grade teacher, who was downright cruel sometimes. This year the kids are doing much better academically, socially, etc. Does it have anything to do with gender? I'm not sure but I am sure glad he became a teacher, geesh.

cali mom said...

I have to agree with djembe and those who say it's neither here nor there what gender a caregiver is and to think otherwise is plain ridiculous.

Wait...what?, you are basically saying that if a male caregiver/preschool teacher/babysitter may be OK but bbviously a female would be better, just because they are female, then it follows that a female police officer/airline pilot/firefighter might be OK but obviously a male would be better because they are male. If you can't grasp that connection you must be blind.

Anon observer, only females are allowed to help kids with pottying and diapering so that "no one can ever be accused of anything"??? Um, so females count as "nobody"? And the general ***ASS***umption is that females NEVER commit sexual abuse in any shape or form so therefore no one ever need worry about the possibility as long as the diaper-changer is female???

When my son went to preschool, the shcool policy was that the bathroom door should never be fully closed, (this may be a state guideline actually) and this posed a mild problem for some kids and parents who felt it was a privacy issue for those kids who wanted to use the bathroom all alone. But with 2 toilets in each bathroom, this lessened the possibility of anything inappropriate going on even between 2 kids who were in there at the same time.

Since it was a co-op, and all parents were REQUIRED to work full shifts at the school alongside the staff, AND required to be in full compliance with state licensing guidelines at all times, just as much as the teachers, what would they do, dictate that only mothers and not fathers could carry out the duties? Only paid staff and not parents? Only female paid staff?

I'm just guessing here but I would bet money that in many states, a male preschool teacher/daycare worker/care provider could have grounds to sue for gender discrimination if he were required to perform his duties differently, or forbidden to carry out some duties, or made to perform extra duties, based solely on his gender and ABSOLUTELY nothing else. Sorry, but paranoia simply does not count as a valid concern. What if someone felt that for instance, black people were not as trustworthy as other races and tried to demand that no black caregivers could assist their child with potty duties? Or Muslim? Or white? Or any other group of people they had a general stereotyped suspicion of?

Lindsey said...

Whether or not physical abuse by women is under reported is irrelevant. When you see a man with children you don't think physical abuse, you think sexual abuse. And while yes there are some female sex predators, men far out weigh us in that category.

As for a male nurse, I have no problem with a male nurse being my nurse. I think its a bit different, its a medical situation and not a "babysitting," situation. I had 3 nursing students (2 female, 1 male) ask to sit in on my c-section. I was fine with it as long as they didn't touch my baby lol. I then had a male nursing student come in with my nurse the day I had my staples out and they changed my pad. They asked if he could assist, I had no problem with it. He told me that all the women giving birth wouldn't let him in. Also when I had my gallbladder taken out, I was peeing in the bed pan and it overflowed!!! I had pee all over me and had to get up. My nurse was a male and asked if I wanted a female to come in and clean me up. I said no, for him to do it. As an adult I am comfortable with men as nurses.

But as nanny's or babysitters, its a lot easier to get the job and many pervs go under the radar. I think its better to be safe then sorry.

And as for men making better cops/fire fighters. I totally agree. It is a proven fact that men are physically stronger then most women, and in most scenarios, strength is what is needed from those two professions. There are just some roles that men are better suited for, and some that women are better suited for. Its not an equality issue, its a chemical/biological/physial issue. It's just the way we are made.

ORnanny said...

As I feared, this thread is doomed. I hope to offer some information in hopes of inspiring at least some doubt in the long accepted myths.

Look here:

It is unthinkable and disgusting, but sexual abuse is only 7.6% of all abuse and of that 7.6%, the majority is not the result of childcare centers, babysitters or nannies, but of people related to the child. The other 92.4% of child abuse is too often forgotten and five children die from said abuse every day in the United States.

The specter of sexual abuse is one we ought to get past. No, I don't mean we shouldn't look to protect our children from it, by all means we should. But as it stands now, if someone says child sex abuse, too often for all discussion after all brain cells go dead in all participants.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services NIS-3 found that females represent 78% of the perpetrators of fatal child abuse. Yet we forget the woman drowning her 6-month-old daughter in a bathtub and then chasing after, capturing and drowning her 7-year-old son after he sees her. We forget the thousands of shaken babies. We forget children being slapped, hit with horrible objects, burned and thrown. We forget the faces of these criminals, most of whom are female. Arguably because there are more female caregivers and more mothers staying home, but that's not the point here.

Instead all we can think of is a male face as the female rapist is still treated as a preposterous idea. We think of the monster who locks his daughter away in a basement or the story of the local center, who failed to run background checks. So we form and cling to this idea that all males are trolls hiding under bridges ready to grab an unsuspecting child for perverted means. Thinking of nothing else but sexual abuse constituting abuse, we then take it a step further and decide that if we avoid males, we save our children from all abuse.

Instead, we steal equality from our boys.

ORnanny said...

Wait, what?:

It is the exact same thing. You're judging someone on their gender rather than their abilities and who they are. It's clearcut sexism. And we are talking about all abuse here, I'm sorry if you can't see past sexual. We are talking about all because it would be hopelessly myopic to focus on just sexual.

"Oh, Tommy was beaten to within an inch of his life by Sally, but at least Henry didn't touch him down there."

Not to downplay the seriousness of sexual abuse, but my heavens, physical is a lot more common and males are seen as more aggressive. It is entirely on topic to consider physical, especially with children dying!

All sexual abuse is underreported. Abuse to males as well as from males, abuse to females as well as from females, and with all ages. An implication that the underreporting of abuse by males makes up for the underreporting of abuse by females is sincerely misguided. Our society has opened up to female victims, the stigma that used to be attached to a female victim of rape is dying off. This is wonderful, but sadly it is not being mirrored for the male victims. Male victims are still indirectly told they should be thankful for any attention from a female. Male victims are verbally assaulted, laughed at or called liars more than female victims. The underreporting of male victims and female abusers is greater.

Now get down from your high horse, you do take chances with your kids. Don't be irrational. Even through an agency, and an interview, a caregiver of either gender is a risk. The point is how much you mitigate that risk and whether sexism helps. Running your own background check, checking all references and not just one or two, learning about and perhaps communicating with the caregiver's family, nanny cams and so on. Also, talking with your children. Studies have found senior citizens who have gone their entire lives without mentioning abuse they had as a child because "no one asked". Not that I would recommend any leading questions, just be sure to listen. These methods are real. Sexism is not. I'm sorry if you can't see that.

fine with me:
I'm happy to hear that. The statistics of fatherless children and how they fare later in life are downright obscene. And, "But as a parent, I would have to feel comfortable with the person, regardless of if they were male or female." I couldn't say it better myself. That's my whole point. It's about the person.

I hope you're embarrassed by that sort of thinking some day. Why do you want to be with children and why isn't your reason for being with children good enough for a man? What makes you so special?

Exactly. It is important to show children that men can be affectionate, caring and supportive caregivers.

I hate to do this but my dictionary says sexism is "prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination on the basis of sex". I don't know what yours says, but the idea that not wanting a man to be alone with your small child, but being alright with a female, and making those decisions on gender alone is the very definition of being a sexist.

Yes, parents need to be cautious, but they also need to be smart. There are female pedophiles, so the idea that having only females take children to the bathroom to avoid sexual abuse is nonsense. Never mind that 92.4% of all child abuse isn't sexual. You should ask more of your church nursery. Your church nursery should do a more thorough check of all applicants. It should re-screen all staff. All references should be checked. History should be verified. It needs to come up with another way to handle the bathroom situation and or it needs to allow both genders to do their work. An open door policy on the bathroom, as mentioned by cali mom, isn't a bad idea.

cali mom:
I love how your mind works. Don't stop.

ORnanny said...

Physical abuse isn't irrelevant, children are dying. It is better to be safe than sorry, but the flaw here isn't the gender of the person, it's the other thing you said, "as nannies or babysitters, it's a lot easier to get a job". The answer isn't sexism. It's make the job harder to get. I'd add, don't stop after hiring either. Do more checks, learn more about the person, use nanny cams, have friends anonymously check up when you know where the caregiver and your children will be when out, etc.

As for your comment about cops and firefighters, respectfully you've missed the point. Again, it isn't a gender thing, it is whether the person is well suited to the job. For these professions physical strength plays a role and males tend to be physically stronger, yes, however that doesn't mean males inherently make better firefighters and cops. There are weak males and strong females.

As I pointed out when I said: "Well Sue, you managed to carry fat Ted down that ladder, but we're going to go with Henry, cause he's a dude."

All else being equal, it would be wrong. It is an equality issue. There are plenty of female nannies who just have no business being in childcare, we read about them all the time here on ISYN. It is about the person, and their capabilities, not the gender.

To all parents:
Please, allow no double-standards, all caregivers must be scrutinized.

silent observer said...

Thank you for the thought-provoking comments. I can appreciate your strong opinion and hope that you will continue to voice it on other subjects as well because I have been following with interest everything you have to say!

Katlee85 said...

As a mother who has left her children in Daycare before, I honestly don't care about the sex of the person caring for my child. As long as he or she, can do the job to the very best of his or her abilities I'm happy. Now, when I have left my kids in daycare I did my own personal thorough background check on each of the employees, including management.

CS Nanny said...

My mom is a firefighter, and she is as strong, if not stronger, than a lot of the guys on the department. Lindsey, I hope if your house catches on fire, that you don't call 911 just in case there is a female on the truck. Same with a burglary. Deal with both situations on your own.

Wait, what? said...

As a parent of 4 young daughters I have the right and the responsibility to decide who I want caring for my children. I don't need any more reason than a gut feeling to decide not to leave my children with someone. Is that fair to the child care provider I deem potentially unfit? I suppose not. I mean I am judging them based on almost nothing. Do I care? Nope. Not one bit. My only concern is for my children. I am not going to worry about the feelings of a grown person when I decide who I am comfortable leaving my children with. I believe a male can be every bit as qualified and nurturing as a female. Doesn't change the fact that I would not be leaving my daughter with a man I don't know. I would question his motives and since their is a chance (however slight it may be) his motives are not good I wouldn't take the risk with one of my kids. I do realize that's not fair to him but I don't care. I don't care if that is judgmental or sexist. Does that mean I think a female shouldn't be a firefighter or a male shouldn't be a nurse?? Of course not. It doesn't even mean that I don't think a male is every bit as qualified to care for children as a female. It simply means that I would not be comfortable and I don't leave my children with anyone that I am not completely comfortable with.


Physical abuse IS irrelevant in this particular situation. As is a 40 year old (of either sex) and and teen. It is not what people are concerned about in this situation. Maybe if you are able to let go of your "facts" and statistics on abuse in general for a moment you might better understand the concern here. No one is forgetting all the physically abused children in the world but they are not relevant to this situation. It is simply not what the parents are concerned about when they go to drop off their child on Sunday morning and find a man they do not know.

This is exactly the kind of situation a pedophile will put themselves in to gain access to children. Am I saying all males that want to work with children are pedophiles? Of course not. Am I saying a female cannot be a perpetrator? Of course not. The simple fact is a male is more likely to be a pedophile (not an abuser in general, but a pedophile). I choose not to leave my children w/ a guy I do not know well. I don't need a reason or evidence to make that decision. "Sexual abuse is done by family members." ???? Did you really say that? Most often, sure, they have easy access, but there are plenty of children abused in situations similar to this one. Did you not here about the pediatrician that sexually abused countless children. Their parents blindly trusted him and left their kids alone with him. When I heard that story I was shocked that people were allowing their children to be examined by a DR. alone. I would under no circumstances allow a dr to examine my child w/o my presence. Yet people did it. I wonder how many had reservations about that and ignored them because they didn't want to offend the doctor. I wonder how they live with the guilt of knowing they allowed their child to be put in a situation were they were violated. I will not put my children in a situation were there is even a remote chance they will be harmed by someone. Call me over protective, call me sexist, call me judgmental, I don't care. My kids are safe and that is all that matters to me.

fine with me said...

I have a (white) friend in the deep South who once said, "No way would I send my daughter to that daycare, 'cause all the teachers and most of the kids are black."
Is it her right to choose where to send her kid to daycare? Sure. Does that make her any less racist? No. Can she excuse her racism by stating she just won't take chances with her daughter? Well, that's the question here.
For me, it's important to listen to my gut feeling, but also analyze it. Is my negative feeling the result of my underlying beliefs (which may be racist or sexist), or is it actually a bad vibe I'm getting from the person? And Katlee85 has a great idea- don't just blindly trust, run your own background checks. That's more effective than crossing everyone of one race/gender/religion off your list.

Lindsey said...

CS Nanny, your comment is just stupid and childish. I didn't say women can't or even shouldn't be in those professions. And while your mom may be strong, I can bet that 90% of the men that work with her are PHYSICALLY stronger then her. Men are built to be strong, they have more muscle, the ability to make more muscle. Men and womens bodies are different, it is as simple as that.

Again just like with almost every other debate, someone has to take it to the extreme. Of course there are some women who are stronger then men, of course there are men who are better care givers then women. But in the majority of cases it isn't the case. There is always the exception.


like wait, what? said. In this situation we are talking about what a parent feels when they see a man taking care of kids. Most's firsts thoughts aren't he's gonna hit my kid, its he's gonna touch my kid inappropriatly. Your facts are great, way to do the research, you sound super smart, but your going in the wrong direction.

Yes parents should do their research and have cams, call people and do background checks, thats common sense. But in this situation this guys works in a church, the parents have no say. They don't know who he is, where he is from, how much exp he has, or what his past is.

Call it sexism, thats fine. But as a parent (and I have 3 boys) if I had a daughter I would not want a strange man changing her diaper or taking her potty.

livedthenightmareateight said...

Men who sexually abuse children do not, in most cases, leap out from under a bridge and grab a child. In other words, the vast majority of molesters are related to the ir vistim or **are known and trusted by their victim**.

A man who has worked with a child in daycare or as a babysitter or as a teacher or as a manny is in a terrific place to become **known and trusted by** that child. Does that mean any man working in the childcare field is automatically going to be a molester? Absolutely not.

Does it mean that a molester might be drawn to a field such as childcare in which they have the chance to become **known and trusted** by their potential victims and those children's families? Hell yes, it absolutely does.

There are a few basic facts about anyone who sexually abuses a child. In addition to being related to or **known and trusted by** their victims, Sexual Abusers don't usually look "different", they don't generally act "creepy", and they tend to fit in nicely with the general population.

Fitting in makes it much easier to find the next victim, and truly sophisticated sexual predators know that and work to be as mainstream as possible.

I think it's too bad that men with absolutely no motivation or desire to sexually abuse children are looked at as potential abusers. But that's the way the world works.

cali mom said...

I guess Wait, what? and Lindsey are just fine with the notion of their kids being abused, as long as the abuse is only physical or verbal, not sexual and it's only done by a female.

You have every right to choose who you hire to take care of your kids. You also have every right to choose which daycare you send them to. You do not, however, have the right to tailor the school policies to conform to your own personal tastes (I agree to leave my child with you at this daycare but I require that no black people or males be allowed to assist them with potty needs). They'd have every right to tell you to choose a different center to take your kids to.

And, you DO even have the right to hold whatever outlandishly paranoid, irrational, sexist, racist, stupid beliefs you want. As long as your beliefs are not endangering anyone's welfare or violating anyone's civil rights. But you can't reasonably expect to spout ridiculous, irrational personal opinions and have everyone agree with you that they're justified and that you are not unreasonable, sexist, racist or paranoid. You can tell yourself that you're just overly cautious but expect many others to see your opinions for what they really are.

Seriously, could a daycare center get away with a policy that stated "due to parental concerns, only caucasian and hispanic employees are permitted to assist with diapering and pottying". Tell me in what state such a policy would be allowed to stand unchallenged.

Wait, what? said...

Hey cali mom, get a grip! This is an absolutely a ridiculous statement:

"I guess Wait, what? and Lindsey are just fine with the notion of their kids being abused, as long as the abuse is only physical or verbal, not sexual and it's only done by a female."

Try and focus here. We are talking about the reasons a parent might be uncomfortable leaving their small, defenseless child with a man they do not know at a church nursery. If you want to discuss ways to prevent physical or verbal abuse that's fine but it has nothing at all to do with this particular topic.

Your whole post is absolute BS and you look like an idiot. How did race get thrown into the mix? I know I never said I expected anyone to "tailor the school policies to conform to your own personal tastes" and I didn't see anyone else say that either. Nor did I say that everyone should agree with me or do or feel the same way that I do. You are saying that, not me.

This particular situation would make ME, as a parent, uncomfortable. I do not leave MY children with anyone that I am in any way uncomfortable with. I simply would not leave my child in a church nursery staffed by a man I didn't know unless there was also someone I did know and trust there as well. I would not complain or demand that he be fired, I would simply make other arrangements for my child.

I actually would not have a problem with a male teacher in a daycare situation, as I would have the opportunity to get to know him as would my child. This situation is different. I also likely wouldn't have a problem if the man was one of the other childrens fathers. That probably would not be a red flag to me. A man that seeks out a position like this is. And since I wouldn't have the opportunity to get to know him, I have no way of determining his intentions therefore I would not leave my child. I don't expect you or anyone else to do or feel the same but don't try and make me out to be a racist, irrational person that has to do things your way.

cali mom said...

Wait...what?, you and Lindsey are specifically arguing that physical abuse does not count as a concern because it's only sexual abuse you are worried about, or consider possible, if the care provider is male.

I did not say you had to do anything my way, but it's becoming clear that you are probably not really capable of comprehending much of this thread so I probably won't bother trying to connect the dots for you any further. I actually said that you ARE entitled to your opinions, but you cannot seem to understand that they are YOUR OPINIONS, and they are based on nothing factual whatsoever. You are paranoid, irrational and prejudiced. But you have the right to be that way. You even have the right to share your paranoid, irrational and prejudiced opinions publicly, so go for it if it makes you happy.

How did race come into this? Because you are trying to argue with a straight face that because a person is of a particular gender, it makes perfect sense that they should automatically come under suspicion. In case you somehow have missed this basic fact of world history, for 1000's of years, people of particular races in different places and at different times HAVE been automatically put under suspicion, due only to people like you who hold paranoid, irrational and prejudiced opinions.

Again, if you can't understand that connection, you must be blind.

Lindsey said...

Calimom- I never said physical abuse didn't count. I was trying to relay that in THIS situation, it isn't physical abuse that is the center of attention. Yes it is stereotypical to automatically think a man who wants to be in childcare is a perv, yes it is an opinion, yes it is judgmental. But that is life. Have you never passed judgment? Have you never made an assumption about something or someone? Have you never stereotyped? If you say no, well then you just may be the only perfect person in the world and I commend you.

Toddle said...

I think you, cali mom are the one having difficulty comprehending this thread. This thread is about a male working in a church nursery and the concern he has experienced from the parents. In this ONE, very specific situation, an unknown male working in a church nursery, physical abuse is NOT the concern.

It is a fact that males are more likely to be pedophiles. It is a fact that a pedophile will put themselves in situations, like this one, that gives them access to children. I think it is almost certainly also a fact that the vast majority of males in this situation are NOT pedophiles. It is also a fact that if I toss my 2 year old in the back of the car w/o a car seat she will probably be just fine when we got home. It is also a fact that if I allow my 4 year old to play in the front yard unsupervised it is highly unlikely that she will be kidnapped. Guess what? I would never do either of those things either. It is a possibility so I take precautions to protect my children. It is a POSSIBILITY that a man that is seeking a job with small children does not have good intentions. Since there is no way of knowing in this particular case I would choose to simply avoid the situation entirely.

Does that make me sexist? Maybe, in this ONE situation. But since I don't believe that a man is less qualified or capable of the job I don't know if it can really be considered sexism but whatever. Paranoid? I prefer to think of it as extra cautious but I was sexually abused as a child by someone my parents trusted as was one of my daughters before she became mine thru foster adoption so maybe paranoid fits. Irrational? I think it is irrational to leave your children with someone you don't know and have absolutely no concern whatsoever so I guess we differ there. A racist or prejudice? WTH? That's quite a leap don't you think? Because I don't want a man I don't know and my children do not know caring for them that must also mean that I have an issue with people of a different race?? My husband is hispanic making our 2 biological children biracial. I am also the proud mother of 2 adopted children that are biracial and have fostered many children of all races so I think it is safe to assume I wouldn't be considered a racist by anyone's standards. I guess I must be blind too as I don't see how anyone can jump to that conclusion based on what has been said here.

paranoid, irrational and prejudiced, Lindsey said...

Nicely said, Toddle.

djembe said...

There is a ton of irrationality in the world, with many varying degrees of "wrongness" (for lack of a better word) in the resulting perceptions and decisions.

I've driven my children thousands of miles over the years, NEVER without being properly harnessed, and in retrospect it was unnecessary because I've never had an accident.

I've checked every piece of their Halloween candy before allowing them to eat it, which was also unnecessary in retrospect because not a single piece was ever tainted.

I've made them wear helmets while riding bikes and life vests when boating... also unnecessary in retrospect because they've never crashed or gone overboard. I keep my smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in working order, yet we've never had a fire or a leak.

Responsibe parenting requires that we at least ATTEMPT to reduce the odds of injury. Sometimes the result Is, yes, sexism. Sorry, but I will choose ruffling feathers now and then if that is the collateral damage of my attempt to reduce the odds of injury.

Now, should nurseries or centers have that same right to sexism? I don't think so but good luck staying in business if you don't recognize what goes into parental thinking when it comes to whom they choose for child care.

great post said...

I detest sexism, ageism, and racism. It is sad. I am the first person who posted: I work with a male in my Preschool classroom, he is gay and he is amazing with the children. I think anyone who would think anything badly of him because of this is just disgusting and ignorant. I am saddened by the sexism on this thread, but happy that others agree with me. We need more males in childcare. Period. And we need less parents who are sexist. You are teaching that prejudice to your kids. Kids learn by example. You are teaching your kids not to be discriminating, but to be judgmental and ignorant.

MissMannah said...

This really is a great post and brought out a lot of interesting opinions. And now it is time I added mine, which most people probably won't agree with.

I do not think it is sexist to not want a strange man to change your baby daughter's diaper, or even your son's for that matter. I think it is being protective.

Please note I did NOT say men shouldn't be working in childcare. I think more men should be encouraged to do so, just not in a diaper-changing classroom.

This isn't being judgmental, sexist, narrow-minded or any other buzz-words you people can think of. This is being a good parent and wanting to keep your child out of harm's way. In the case of the nursery worker, if I saw any worker in the nursery I was unfamiliar with, I'd probably go ahead and change my kid so the person (male OR female) wouldn't have to. Nursery workers are not screened as well as childcare employees.

nycmom said...

I'm going to voice another vote for personally not hiring a male sitter for our family, nor being comfortable with an unvetted male sitter in a church nursery. I also agree that in a daycare center I would be comfortable with a male worker, but not comfortable with a male worker changing diapers.

I think this is going to be overwhelmingly influenced by personal experience. If you have only sons; have no personal or close unfortunate experience with male sexual abuse of young children; and/or have been lucky enough to have had past positive experiences with male sitters - you are much more likely to make the choice of being comfortable with a male sitter. But for those of us who have had ANY first hand experience (ourselves, close friends or family) of being victims of male sexual abuse, the risk is simply NOT worth it.

I don't think any of us are advocating blanket views such as no male childcare workers. As many have said, we think there should be more male workers in supervised childcare settings such as daycares. But leaving my kids alone with a male sitter or in a church nursery with a male worker I don't know (and has very likely NOT been properly screened or supervised), no thanks.

I really do understand both points of view, and don't fault any parent for either choice. What I don't really understand is the outrage directed towards those of us who would prefer not to hire a male sitter. As parents, we do all we can to minimize risks for our kids whenever possible. I also don't understand this thread being diverted to physical abuse. Yes, physical abuse is more common and, yes, we all want to protect our kids from that too. But why this is relevant to a discussion specifically about sexual abuse is lost on me.

cali mom said...

Toddle, you are getting hysterically defensive. No one here has accused you or anyone else of being racist.

Your position before was that you'd only have reservations about leaving your child with a new care provider if the person was male, but now you've backpedaled to say "I think it is irrational to leave your children with someone you don't know and have absolutely no concern whatsoever", so which is it?

Most parents would agree if all you were saying is that you need to carefully research the background of your car provider, but all along you, and a few others have argued that you wouldn't tihnk twice about leaving your kids with a new care provider who was female, only that you'd be suspicious of males, and THAT is clearly a case of prejudicial thinking, no matter what euphemism you "prefer to think of it" as.

Also, you say that "In this ONE, very specific situation...", but then go on to apply world history to this ONR guy working at the church care cenrter. In other words, youu're saying that you don't trust this ONE guy because OTHER guys have done bad stuff. So, either apply world history to this or don't, but you can't have it both ways if you're tryiung to make a rational argument.

Now, IF you had some statistic to show that a startling percentage of male childcare workers have turned out to be sexual predators, THAT would be a sensible argument, but I doubt you have that. So all you have, going by your logic, (leaving out any other scenario but this ONE post by this ONE guy) is this ONE particular guy, and the chance that he may turn out to be a bad guy just because other guys have been bad guys.

Katlee85 said...

Does nobody remember the McMartin Daycare nightmare? The family that had been accused of molesting and tormenting children all because a psychologist put the idea into the children's heads?

It really doesn't matter the gender of the person caring for your child, all that matters is that you feel comfortable with them, and have taken the necessary precautions. Always do a private background check, trust me on that one.

Toddle said...

These are your exact words cali mom;

"But you can't reasonably expect to spout ridiculous, irrational personal opinions and have everyone agree with you that they're justified and that you are not unreasonable, sexist, racist or paranoid."

You very clearly said that those of us who do not agree with you are ridiculous, irrational, unreasonable, sexist, racist and paranoid. And now you are also adding hysterically defensive to that very long list??

Oh, and I could care less if you or anyone else agrees with me. You do what you think is best for your kids and I will do the same. I do, however, take offense to being unjustly called racist, sexist, paranoid, etc, etc.

And, I don't need startling statistics. As I said, even the slightest chance is too much of a risk for me.

djembé said...

Well said, nycmom!

cali mom said...

Toddle, you very definitely ARE being ridiculous, irrational, unreasonable, sexist, paranoid and defensive.

And if you changed your statement to say that instead of being suspiciousd of all males in childcare because some guys are bad you were suspicious of all (insert race here) because some peopple of (random race causing suspicion) are bad, then you WOULD be a racist as well. And just because someone is married to a person of a different race than themselves does not mean they can't be a racost, BTW though your marriage is neither here nor there in this topic.

You are entitled to your opinions. But it's ridiculous to state that "I am suspicious of all people with those physical characteristics because some people with those physical characteristics are bad", and then try to deny that youy are expressing a prejudiced opinion.

If you want to be prejudiced and hire only blonde caucasian females under 35, or Inuit females over 60 to care for your kids, you have the right to make that decision. But it makes you look silly to try and deny the obvious fact of your bias. Just admit that you are making a generalization about a group of people based on their physical characteristics and own your prejudice. You have proclaimed its existence repeatedly right here in this thread.

Lindsey said...

Calimom, Why are you so concerned that she is making a generalization about a group of people based on their physical characteristics?

Have you never done that? Have you never made a racist comment, a sexist comment, a generalization about a religion?

Please stop being a hypocrite, it's not the nicest thing to do, but we all go off our own experiences, and sometimes that means we lump all of (said group) together.

Toddle said...

Make up your mind cali mom

First you say we (those of us who disagree with you) are racist because we would refuse to leave our children with a male we don't know. Then you say you never said anyone was a racist (which clearly you did). Now you're saying IF I believe a whole race of people is bad than I am a racist. Well you got me there. That would be true. IF that is what I or anyone else here said you'd have a point.

I have admitted repeatedly that it is a generalization to refuse to leave my children with a man in this situation based on the POSSIBILITY that he would be a pedophile. I have said repeatedly that it is only a possibility and unlikely even. He most likely is a normal guy that happens to like kids. It is unfair. So the hell what. I take precautions to protect my children from all kinds of things that most likely won't happen but the possibility exists.

You are making all kinds of generalizations about me because of how I would handle this situation. But that's ok right? Because I am irrational and paranoid and ridiculous. You go ahead and think that.

What if I am right?? Do you really believe the possibility doesn't exist at all? Do you have any idea how pedophiles find their victims? You have no way of knowing who this guy is in this situation. You can't check his background (and there is a good chance no one else did either). You can't get to know him before you leave your kid. You have absolutely nothing to go on. What if you leave your child with this guy and he is in fact a pedophile? Is not making generalizations more important than insuring your child's safety and well being? FOR ME (and I am only speaking for myself, not expecting anyone else to do or feel the same as I do) the answer is an emphatic hell no.

I am sure you will have much more to say about this but I am done. You go right ahead though. Tell me so more how crazy and wrong I am if it makes you feel better.

let's get real said...

Toddle and Lindsey,
Maybe it will help to hear it from someone who is NOT Calimom, but you are clearly missing the point of what she is saying. She did NOT say that either of you were racist because you did not want to leave your children with a man. That wouldn't make any sense.
What she DID say is that you are using the same exact logic for sexism that people use for racism and other kinds of discrimination all the time. Let me spell it out for you:

The two of you are saying that you would have no problem leaving your children with a female daycare worker, whether you were familiar or not. You would assume that she was trustworthy because she was female. However, you would NOT trust a male daycare worker who you were not familiar with, because SOME males are pedophiles. You assume that, based on the actions of a small percentage of males, this male does not deserve your trust. You assume that he must have suspicious motives.

Now, as Calimom pointed out, this is the SAME EXACT logic people use when they make racist and other prejudiced assumptions. Like when a white salesperson decides that the other white customers in the store can be trusted because they are white, but that she needs to follow the black customer around the store to make sure he doesn't steal anything because some black people steal. Or when a man gets a business- or science-related job over a woman, even if they both have equal qualifications as far as the person doing the hiring knows, because the person doing the hiring believes that men are naturally better in these fields and that a woman would just screw things up.

You are making a judgment about someone based on nothing but their gender. That is PREJUDICED and SEXIST. I'm sure that people who don't trust people of other races or religions use the same logic when keeping their children away from those people. If a black person robs me, does that give me the right to be discriminatory against all black people? If a Jewish person betrays me in some way, should I assume that all Jewish people are untrustworthy?

You can say you are doing these to protect your kids if that helps you sleep at night. However, I think it is a real shame that your kids are learning that it's okay to judge someone based on physical characteristics instead of the person inside. Maybe someday you'll feel differently if you have a daughter and someone tells her that she can't be trusted to do something because she is female, or if you have a son who wants to work with children when he's older and people question his motives and assume he is a pedophile right off the bat.

All this aside, don't trust anybody you don't know with your kids. Not males and not females. There are abusive, neglectful, careless people of both genders and the safety of your kids should always be your number one priority. That being said, don't make the stupid mistake of assuming your kids are safe just because they are with a female. Make sure they are safe with WHOEVER they're with.

let's get real said...

Oh, and Lindsey- haven't you ever heard the saying "Two wrongs don't make a right!"?
You can't excuse your prejudiced attitude by saying that other people also have prejudiced attitudes. That's like saying, "I stole a piece of candy from the store because my friend stole one too. That means it's not wrong!"

cali mom said...

Thank you Let's Get Real. Very well said.

Now Toddle, it's a proven fact, with easily verifiable statistics, that people die in car accidents frequently. Even kids in car seats whose parents are careful drivers. And in trains, buses, schoolbuses and airplanes.

So, do you make the statement that "no matter how slim the chance,. any possibility is just not worth taking the risk", so your kids will NEVER be allowed to ride in a motorized vehicle of any kind until they turn 18?

In this scenario, your "caution", "overprotectiveness", and whatever else you like to call it when you make the judgements againt a person based on your purported statistics, becomes simply a matter of convenience. After all, it's perfectly convenient to choose one of the overwhelming majority of female care providers than it is to walk everywhere with your kids until they turn 18, right? You can't claim the risk isn't there but unless you're Amish, you're taking *that* risk.

cali mom said...

Toddle, to quote your exact words:

"even the slightest chance is too much of a risk for me." are Amish?

Wow said...

Some of you people are so insensitive. Do you not think that maybe someone who has been sexually abused or whose child has already been sexually abused may be a little more cautious and suspicious than someone who hasn't had personal experience? Do you really not understand that? We all make decisions based on our own life experiences.

Talk about being judgmental and making generalizations. You are making huge judgments about toddle because she, a survivor of sexual abuse and the mother of a survivor of sexual abuse, is uncomfortable and suspicious of the POSSIBILITY that a man working in a church nursery MAY have ill intentions. So she must be sexist and irrational and hell, probably racist too.

Everybody's free said...

Sexual abuse is terrible. No one is arguing that it's not. And yes, if you've had personal experience, you are likely to be more biased against males. But it still constitutes prejudice, and the more you embrace it, the stronger it becomes. You could be mugged by a black guy, and then come to fear all black males, and believe they will try to harm you. Does that make sense? In some ways, yes. But it is still a bias. In order to overcome your anxiety about black males, you would need to evaluate in a rational manner, what is the actual risk that this black male is trying to harm me? It's the same with male caregivers. Avoidance only strengthens the bias and the anxiety. If you want to live your life like that, it's your choice, but it is a choice based on biased beliefs, rather than actual facts. Again, it's your choice to examine your biased beliefs about male caregivers, just as it's a choice to examine prejudiced attitudes about people of other races, ethnicities, etc.

jax said...

This is directed at 'Wait, what?', 'Lindsey', 'djembe', & 'toddle', though it apples to most of y'all as well.

Currently, I'm a (female) church nursery worker, have been for 3 years. I was background checked, and our church also has a policy called "Safe Sanctuaries" that is currently being implemented, which provides that 2 workers/1 volunteer be present at all times, and that all nursery volunteers have background checks on file.

I get the impression (though I admit I could be wrong) that some of you don't attend church on a weekly basis, or perhaps you go to a very large church, because many of you had the same reason - "I wouldn't leave my kid with someone I didn't know". That being said, if you attend a church every Sunday, you know the nursery caregivers, also, in our nursery we have at least 1 volunteer, and all parents of children in the nursery are on the list, so they have a chance to be in there [i.e. there's a mom in there every Sunday in addition to my coworker & I].

A while back when we were reviewing our policies, our Children's Minister, who is female, stated she'd like it if when a parent was the volunteer, they would do it as a couple. While most moms said that would be okay, but they might be uncomfortable with another father changing or helping their child potty... what's interesting now, is that 80% of the time, the children in the nursery are little boys. So, while I understand the parents' concerns, I don't know that I'd have an issue with another father helping my little boy to the bathroom, provided he was at church frequently, and interacted [i.e. I knew him].

However, let's say you have a 4 y/o or older, and a cousin, family friend, uncle, what have you, is 13 & up, would you be comfortable with him babysitting your son? (Assuming your guy is pottty-trained and leaving baths out of the situation)? While I do fine with little boys, I know some parents who do feel like another guy would be better as far as playing with Hot Wheels, dinosaurs, sports... But I know every situation is different.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy, and I just recently got a job at a city daycare center, which is state funded by the way. From what I've heard, they're a little nervous about male workers helping kids in bathrooms, but if they're government subsidized, they're not allowed to enforce any rules like that. I've worked in several after-school settings where the kids were as young as 4. In those places, I never really went into the bathroom with them, unless I really had to, like once when a little boy slipped in a puddle of pee-pee from another boy missing the toilet, and he bruised his elbow. Also, when they were puking, one girl I had to bring into a private bathroom in the front office because the other bathrooms were single sex bathrooms.
Yea some parents are really ignorant, but I don't care. If they don't trust me in the bathroom with their kids, I'm perfectly fine with having a female worker in there with me to watch me do it, but I'm not going to heed any discrimination. I just hope I don't have to wipe bottoms though, that's kinda pushing it for me.

Anonymous said...

I just have a question, from a legal standpoint, if a parent discovers that a male child care worker is helping her daughter in the bathroom and changes her diaper, she asks the management not to allow him to do it, and they don't heed the parent's wishes, and the she can't afford to send her child elsewhere, can she take legal action or is she basically screwed?