I went to pick up my 5-month-old son at day care today. He attends a small day care center with a separate infant room.

When I arrived, I heard one of the babies crying; she was lying on the floor. The day care worker was walking away from her while saying " Stop crying. You don't have to cry just because I'm walking away."
This baby is also 5 months old. She picked her up and she was still crying. She said "stop" to her two more times.

I was a little uncomfortable with this and would expect any childcare worker to soothe or reassure a 5-month-old rather than tell her to stop crying. This bothers me even more, as my son has been particularly fussy this week with teething and sleeping issues.

I am debating on discussing this with the director, but I'm afraid if she brings it up to the worker, she will start to treat my son differently, even subconsciously. I believe my son's physical needs are being met while at day care, but I need to make sure his, as well as all the other babies', emotional needs are met as well.

How should I address this matter?

  • 5
    Start by understanding that daycare workers are low wage earners in a high stress environment with little opportunity for upward mobility. No matter how much they adore children when they start, they quickly become jaded unless the facility is extremely well managed. I expect that she was talking to the child much like I talk to my computer when I'm frustrated at work - I don't expect anything from it, but it allows a harmless outlet for frustration.
    – pojo-guy
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 5:08
  • 3
    I understand and agree that childcare workers are t compensated enough for their work. I can only imagine how stressful it can be for a worker to deal with 4 or more screaming babies all day. However, I don't think a baby should ever be used as a "harmless outlet for frustration."
    – Daniellemb
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 9:50
  • 2
    Can you ask the director to observe this person's behaviour themselves, and then bring it up with them? It solves 2 issues.. a) the care giver may be having an off day when you saw them, but they're a joy to have around on other days. b) if the director observes shortcomings themselves, you may not come up as the source of information.
    – learner101
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 14:18
  • That is what I am thinking about doing. I think I may meet with her tomorrow and let her know I am happy with the day care as a whole but I was worried about the comment the worker made. I'll also explain that I believe this worker is a good person and means well for the most part, but express concern the worker may be worn out or need more help with the babies. And like you said, perhaps she can keep an ear out.
    – Daniellemb
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 18:22
  • 3
    "she will start to treat my son differently," -- sorry. but isn't that the point? Look I know that daycare workers are underpaid, overworked and underappreciated. If she was working at McDonalds and treated you badly, you would not think twice about complaining. Please discuss it with the director and ask that person to start off by keeping your confidence. This is not your fault. You are paying for a service and frankly -- the best service possible. Same goes for any person in care. They are often helpless and that is not their fault -- but we do need to protect them all.
    – WRX
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 22:15

1 Answer 1


When it comes to parenting your voice is what is most important. You must learn to listen to your instincts as you care for and love your child.

If you are worried that your child isn't getting the proper care in any regard you should approach the issue directly. Use direct and precise wording as to what your concerns are and how you want them addressed. There is nothing more important.

This is true for daycare, teachers, doctors, nurses, coaches, etc. You cannot be concerned with how they feel but always be concerned with how your child's needs are being met or not met.

If you are worried about repercussions then mention that concern as well and then watch for any positive or negative changes. React to those changes immediately when they are noticed. For positive changes make mention that you like the new direction and note how it has made an impact. For negative changes you should react as needed - taking your child to a different provider if needed.

I am a parent of 7 children ages 10 to 21, all of them have unique needs and challenges, the one thing that remains is that they need their parents to be their champions.

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