The Parent Trap

opinion 1
A question for nannies and those that work in childcare centers: at what point do you put in your resignation (nanny) or terminate care (at a childcare center as a family childcare provider or center administrator)? If you had this parent and her child in your class, would you cater to the parent or ask for a different class and risk losing your job?

There is a parent in my center who is very sweet, but goes from nice to bitch in 2.5 seconds. I understand that she has certain preferences - and that's perfectly fine, however, these are beyond preferences. She wants things a certain way, and will complain about anything and everything:
*She likes most staff members but there is a list of 3 staff members who are not, under any circumstances, allowed to be in the same room as her child for the 4 hours prior to school starting.
*She has gotten staff members fired; she has told my boss to fire certain people, and to my knowledge, it has happened.
*Staff has quit because of her.
*By far she is the toughest parent. Ever.

Her 5 year old daughter:
*Thinks the world revolves around her.
*If she is hungry and there is left over lunch, we have to feed her. NO EXECPTIONS. (I don't know if this true, this is what I have heard from her morning teacher, who does it out of fear of being yelled at by the parents and job loss. No other teachers do it.)
*She can do whatever she wants. (Again, morning teacher allows it.)
*I was going to go outside with her class before school started (after lunch) and the child says, " No! I don't want you to go outside. I want Miss ______ to go out with us." (Really? A 5 year old decides who the teacher is?)
*This child does not listen, and we have to make her the teacher helper, using creative redirection. Other children ask on a repeated basis, "why does ______ get to do what she wants? It's not fair."

So what are your thoughts? Staff do not like the parent, they don't want to work with the child, and I think my boss, owner and director are afraid of her (the parent.) I would let her know that we enjoy providing care for her, yet cannot continue to do so because of staffing needs and the treatment of the staff. If this didn't work and she started yelling at me, I would ask her to leave and terminate her care immediately. Any thoughts?


UmassSlytherin said...

This is an administrative issue. Your director should A) support you when this woman complains and insists her child not be with certain teachers. I run a program and if a parent ever said that to me, I would tell them there's the door. I stand by my staff. Unless they do something inappropriate or wrong, I support them. If I did not, they would not be working for me.

B)The director should stop all this gossip and start writing people up. Issues with parents should be talked about in the office behind closed doors. Gossip tends to be a huge problem in many daycare centers because many childcare workers are uneducated and unprofessional. And the administration enables this and many times joins in. A boss who cannot control their staff is not doing their job.

Laura said...

What Umass said.

Pee-ew said...

Umass really????

"many childcare workers are uneducated and unprofessional"

Pot calling the Kettle black much? I'm educated and professional but thank you for your blanket statement regarding the child care profession.

Aries said...

Pee-Ew - Umass said 'Many', not 'All' Childcare workers.

Why are you getting all worked up over that statement? Did your ego just get knocked down?

Aries said...

Why is this girl the teachers 'helper'. She hasen't done anything positive.. How about the good, polite, patient child in the class who has shown good behavior all week? why isn't S/he the 'helper'?

Look i understand this little girl is spoiled, a spittin image of her mother but you guys are sucking up to it. Dont let her run the show, you are the adults, not her. You are the caregivers, not the mother. If she don't like it, then she can leave and find another daycare.

Let the girl throw a tantrum, its her fault and if you need to put her in timeout, then so be it. If her mother doesn't approve, well theres the door. She is interrupting the other children and she is in the wrong, and needs to be held accountable. IF shes to much to handle, have one of the staff bring her aside and calm her down and tell her she can go play or join the activity when she is done with her antics.

I'd be P'OD if someone elses child was getting more attention just because she was a brat. Her and her mother aren't The Queen B and they need to follow directions JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.

If you're that scared of losing your job then sit back and let this little girl run you down. Heck why don't she just switch positions and you go take her place since it seems like shes the Boss of everyone, including you and your boss.

Just My Two Cents Just Now said...

I agree that what you just stated Umass was derogatory to anyone who works in childcare. I have met many fabulous women who work in childcare centers and they are extremely professional. What you SHOULD state is that in YOUR personal EXPERIENCE, you have seen many childcare center workers who are unprofessional.

Anyway, OP...I am confused here. Why is this center so afraid to stand up to this women??? It doesn't make any sense to me. She is just ONE client, if she is making people that miserable, she shouldn't have the privilege of having her child attend your school. My God...I mean really. What is it about her?? Why does she carry so much power? Why are people intimidated by her so much? How can she have the power to fire the staff??? Please explain.

*Melanie Raye* said...

this mother sounds crazy- she should be told that she needs to move on to another daycare.

UmassSlytherin said...

Sorry if I offended. But I stand by what I said: Many people in childcare are uneducated and unprofessional. I know. I have worked in childcare for almost 20 years. It is a job that is always available, and a job that anyone can get. Anyone and their cousin's brother's former roommate can get a job working as an assistant in a toddler room.

I will add that there are many, many educated and professional people in childcare as well. However, it is a profession that employs many, many people of different social, economic and education brackets. This is just a fact.

If I offended you, sorry.

UmassSlytherin said...

ps it is also an underpaid profession and so it attracts a great deal of applicants who cannot get a better job. I know what people make at an average childcare center. you will never get rich doing that. I appreciate people who are professional and good at what they do at such low pay. I am one of those people.

My point was that gossip is unprofessional. Many childcare workers engage in this because they are unprofessional or uneducated or simply because their supervisor allows it.

UmassSlytherin said...

Just my two cents: What I SHOULD have said is that in my experience, I have met both unprofessional and wonderful people in childcare. IN MY EXPERIENCE.

Lyn said...

I have to agree with UMass here. . . In my experience (hopefully now I won't get stoned alive for the following, haha) I have been surprised by the amount of uneducated/unprofessional Nannies I have met. Not saying that a Nanny necessarily needs a formal "education" to be awesome at what she does. But IN MY EXPERIENCE the Nanny who spends the extra time putting together lesson plans, planning educational games/activities/outings, and really catering to the development of the children as a whole, is a rare find. And I personally believe those to be the things that separate a "professional" Nanny from a full time babysitter.

Lyn said...

Also, OP, I would begin looking for a new job. You do not want to work in a place that values any one parent above the rest and certainly not one that values a parent like that above their own staff. I commend you being proactive about finding a solution whether that is a detailed and long talk with administration or finding another child care center or family to work for. Clearly, you are NOT one of the "uneducated/unprofessional" child care workers. The very fact that you are aware how this is effecting not only your coworkers but "your" kids proves that.

nycmom said...

I agree with UMass and Lyn. Due to low educational/credentialing requirements for entry into basic daycare staff and nannying combined with the fact that (for nannying) these are BY FAR one of 2-3 highest paying jobs available to someone with only minimal qualifications, it naturally attracts people who are in it for the money rather than love of the profession.

Sigh, no not everyone of course. But I think it is ridiculous that any poster can now insist we must all preface our comments with "IN MY EXPERIENCE." Isn't that kind of obvious? Did ya really think UMass meant that every single daycare worker, at every single daycare is uneducated and unprofessional? Even though she said "many," you truly think she also needs the extra "IN MY EXPERIENCE" clarification for anyone who just might not have understood (which also really does support her original point anyway!).

Anyway, I suspect there is a long ago behind the scenes issue here which only the director knows about. This parent has disparaging info on the daycare or director. So the director acts out of fear and does whatever she thinks will help. It cannot simply be that this mom and her child are so super-special. Perhaps mom has filed a formal state complaint in the past or observed something bad. You'll likely never know. But this child and her mother will likely continue to get the star treatment.

If you can live with it and like the job, stay. If not, move on.

Phoenix said...

I agree with UMass

Elle said...

I agree with you @Umass....most childcare workers are a bunch of losers. People can deny it, but it is true.

UmassSlytherin said...

I did not say that. Please don't misquote me.

workingMom said...

Umass, Lyn, and nycmom have got it on the money - especially about this mother having some clout the OP is unaware of, and the OP probably won't ever find out what it is.

You have two options: try to get scheduled so that you can avoid carding for this little darling as much as possible, or begin your job search for employment elsewhere.

(of course, there is always the third option of starting your own daycare business, but I realize that's not always feasible.....)

workingMom said...

Sorry, typo: that should say "caring" for the little darling....

UK Nanny said...

Totally agree with Umass! OP why does this mother have so much power?

nannytothree said...

I agree that this mom must have "something" on the center or the director. Who would let a parent act like this otherwise? If I were you, I would sit down with the director and ask her not to schedule you to work with this child, and tell her exactly why. I'd also be prepared to lose my job, but I just could not sit by and let this woman and child walk all over me.

Bethany said...

This mom either has something "dirty" on the director center or makes a huge fiacial contribution to the center.

Either way is thiis the kind of place you want to work for?

I wouldn't get involved in the gossip as that can only hurt you. I would arrange a meeting with the director and discuss your concerns.
Include the possibility of working in another classroom.

If it were me I would start looking for a new job asap!

MissMannah said...

I agree with Umass, et al. Daycare workers usually are uneducated and unprofessional. Yes, there are great preschool programs that hire high-quality teachers but I think we're all talking about your run of the mill Kindercare type of programs that pay minimum wage to any Jane off the street.

OP, it is not uncommon for daycare workers to switch classrooms, so I really don't see why that should be a problem if you want to do that. If this little girl is 5 years old and the family doesn't have any younger children, why not request working in an infant/toddler room? That way you likely won't run into the girl or mother ever because they'll be primarily in an entirely different wing of the building. And quite frankly, it is none of your business why this mom gets the run of the school so your boss is never going to tell you the real story. Though I would never want to work for a director who runs her school so unprofessionally.

UmassSlytherin said...

Your last sentence, Miss Mannah, shows me why OP should begin looking for another job. Who would want to work for this woman? where there are problems like this, there will be more. She could switch classrooms, but to me that would be like a band-aid. I see your point and you are right: it is common to switch classrooms in daycare. I have not agreed in the past with certain Director's methods and given my notice and they always first suggest switching classrooms. But at the end of the day, the unprofessional, unfair person is still in charge. I would not want that.

I vote OP starts looking for a more professional center.

MissMannah said...

I generally don't like for my first piece of advice to be "Just quit." That should be a last-ditch resort. But you are absolutely right: bad management=bad business. Nobody wants to work for a director who won't stand up to the parents.

Teacher said...

I work at a center that only employs teachers with other daycare experience AND a Bachelor's degree in Education.
STARTING pay is $14/hour.
THey also offer benefits such as health & dental insurance, paid holidays, paid vacation, paid sick/personal days, 401k plan, promoting from within, etc.
And it's a "chain", owned by corporate