Many people, by now, have seen that horrible online video that has gone viral of a 9 or 10 year old kid physically abusing and violently shaking small babies in a crowded home daycare. The caregiver in charge of the room is seen on surveillance on the telephone and essentially ignoring the small infants and toddlers in her care while one of the centers older kids does some pretty horrible things to these small kids. I could hardly watch the entire video when I saw it. It is one more thing to frighten new parents who have to return to work and have to find child care options for their kids. Grrr.
It’s why this NannyJobs posting, it shared with us featuring 10 clues the daycare you are contemplating placing your child in may be overcrowded is quite timely and resourceful:
- Constant illnesses – One of the first signs to watch for is constant illnesses. Spreading germs in a daycare is pretty much inevitable, but overcrowding only makes it worse. If your child is continually sick, this could be a problem with the daycare facility being stretched to its limits.
- Behavioral problems – Another common problem with overcrowded daycares is lack of supervision. This can lead to behavioral problems if left unchecked. Children can become argumentative, defiant and unruly if left unsupervised for long periods of time.
- Injuries – Children who experience overcrowding in local daycares are prone to more injuries. These can often be minor things like scratches and bruises or more major concerns such as cuts or burns. Lack of supervision can lead to kids fighting amongst themselves or getting into things they shouldn’t be allowed to.
- Stalled development – Without adequate emphasis on learning and activities, children from overcrowded day care centers can have stalled development. They need constant interaction and stimulation to develop new skills and progress normally, which can be hard to do when teachers are constantly trying to manage too many children.
- Children not being clean – If your child is often grubby when you pick him up from the daycare, this could be another sign of overcrowding. It’s difficult to keep active kids clean all the time, but if this is a common occurrence, it could be a cause for concern.
- High turnover rate – Local daycare facilities with a high child turnover rate could also be a sign of overcrowding. Some parents may be forced to place their children in a less desirable facility until there’s an opening elsewhere. These daycares may also take on too many kids because of the volatile client base.
- Owner is stressed – Another sign of daycare overcrowding is when the owner is in a perpetual state of distress. Trying to care for too many children day after day and keep up the illusion that nothing is amiss must be very stressful, and will eventually wear on even the most composed of people.
- Unsanitary conditions – A common thing parents and daycare inspectors look for in daycare facilities is unsanitary conditions. This is not always a good indicator because overcrowded facilities can be kept spotlessly clean while others are not. However it is something to watch for.
- Difficulty keeping staff – Overcrowded local daycares often have trouble keeping staff. If you notice constant staff changes at a facility that could be another warning sign. Caring for too many children and trying to hide it from others is not a job anyone wants to do for very long.
- Headcount – Of course the most obvious sign of overcrowding is to get an accurate headcount of children being cared for and the number of staff. You then need to check with your state standards to find out what the acceptable limits are. Your own personal standards must also be considered when making a determination
Good luck, sleuthing, parents!