Daycare Assistant's warning to parents about home daycare settings
I was a daycare assistant in a home daycare setting in Irvine CA for approximately 5 months. What I discovered is that the motivation for most of these business owners is the opportunity to supplement their income while being able to stay home with their own young children. The woman I accepted a position with was no exception. The experience started with what I thought at the time was the usual toddler antics. Her child was 3 and a half, and she was in charge of a 9 month old boy, a 2 year old boy, and a 2 year old girl.
Upon my addition to the license, she started aquiring more charges, in particular a pair of brothers who were 4 and 2. The 4 year old was an exceptionally bright child, which was looked upon with disdain by the owner, for the reasons that follow. First, he could talk. My mother worked for behaviorists for many years, and as such, I know a little about disorders. The owner's son was definitely afflicted with ODD. I know this diagnosis is reserved for an older child who has had a chance to try and blend in with a structured school setting, but the aggression, defiance and meaness could not be ignored.
The owner, (who is Caucasian) was married to a man of Honduran descent, and he believed in raising aggressive boys, and fostered this through VERY rough play with his own son, even bending his legs in ways in which they weren't meant to be manipulated, and flicking him in his face if he cried. His mother was forbidden to intervene. What I witnessed was her child carrying this into the daily setting of the daycare. To my dismay, not only was this not discouraged by his mother, but the kids who would cry over being beat on by this tiny bully would be punished for crying. BTW this mother was on prescription stimulants, and I believe, they were being used not to correct anything, but, rather to be able to, in her own words, "to get things done".
She has an immaculate, beautiful home, which was the web into which the parents (victims) were drawn, I'm sure. I remember one day that, I think she was OVERSTIMULATED (i.e. - took a double dose) that I ran the daycare TOTALLY while she swept and mopped her floor THREE TIMES STRAIGHT. She seemed to be driven by a motor. It was crazy to see. All in the name of pleasing her husband. But getting to the good stuff, the reason I left was that I was subjected to witnessing brutalities on a daily basis. In particular, her son would pick on a child that she possessed particular disdain for. This boy would get BEAT IN THE HEAD WITH TRAINS AND LEGOS by her son, and PUT IN THE HIGH CHAIR FOR HOURS - YES HOURS, FACING THE WALL for crying because of his pain. She would just say he needed to "TOUGHEN UP". Back to the 4 year old. Their stay didn't last long.
When the owner's son started on him, he would speak up, and actually articulate the unfairness of what was going on. This would be followed up by the owner with OPEN HOSTILITY TOWARD THE CHILD, HIS BROTHER, and a very bad mood that would last all day. When the 2 year old girl left our daycare, due to family circumstances, on her last day, the owner's son in a fit of unprovoced rage pushed her face into the corner of a table, leaving her with a fat lip. The owner told her mom she fell. That's not all, I'm on a roll now.
The 9 month old she was in charge of was a poor sleeper, and would wake up after only about 30 minutes, when she expected at least an hour's nap out of him. Often she would say, and I quote "LET THAT BITCH CRY UP THERE, I'M BUSY". Mind you, this was a "PREMIUM" daycare setting, no welfare kids here, parents were execs, real estate moguls, and DOCTORS!!!!!! This experience left me with such anxiety I quit on the spot one day, when I brought my niece to work with me because it was a no school day, and the owner agreed to it.
The straw that broke the camel's back was when I was changing a 14 month old boy, with my niece next to me, and the owner's little devil came over, seething with jealousy over the attention being given to the new child, and STEPPED ON THE CHILD'S STOMACH WITH HIS FULL WEIGHT. My niece looked at me with the most shocked expression as tears started to well up. The owner looked up from her computer, which was what she did all day while I did EVERY diaper, clean up and etc., and said "what happened". When I told her what happened, she said "if that really happened, that baby would be crying harder". That was it. It was over. I left and never went back. Don't worry, I am reporting.