Need Advice To Talk W/babysitter W/concerns

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Old 03-24-2009, 08:06 PM
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Help Sign Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

My almost 2 YO DS goes to an in-home daycare, and has been there since he was 6 weeks old. She has 4 kids that she cares for. The first 19 months or so it was great, I absolutely fell in love with her! She used to be a PA in our doctor's office so she is great w/kids. She would have structure, each day of the week she would work on development both physically and mentally with him. She would tells us when we picked him up what exercise they did and what muscle they were working, or what they were striving for developementally, etc. She told us from day one that she made all foods from scratch and they were natural ingrediants.

Lately, I've noticed a change. Her house is messy. She keeps the kids in the main room right when you walk in the door, and there is mail, school books/papers, and lots of "stuff" piled on the floor in the corner. The clutter keeps growing. I used her bathroom last month to wash my hands and when I looked to the right at her living room, and looked to the left at her kitchen, I could see piles of clutter everywhere! There was a walkway through her living room through the clutter (it used to be very clean). He's also been having about 2-3 accidents per week where his diaper leaks and when I pick him up, he's in his "spare" clothes. We don't ever have leaks when he's at home. Last week, when I opened the plastic shopping bag to take out his soiled pants to put in the washer, I found a receipt and noticed there were several purchases for Stouffer's frozen meals. I noticed one in particular that said "tuna noodle cass", she had fed him Tuna Noodle Cassarole last week, which makes me wonder if she's no longer making the food from scratch like she claimed, or if she ever did. I think she's a little depressed, she's divorced and doesn't seem to ever go out w/friends or do anything outside of her business and her own kids, one of which has problems in school. She's also not as talkative when I pick him up, she used to chat with me for sometimes 30 minutes, now when I arrive, she's meeting me at the door with him ready to go. She never mentiones things they worked on during the day like before. It's mostly just complaints about how fussy he was, or how he wouldn't nap much.

I'm concerned that the quality of care is not what it used to be and I'm not sure how to discuss this with her without her getting defensive and angry with me. I consider myself a friend (I've taken her kids with my oldest DS to parks, recreational activities, etc) and she used to offer to watch my DS on a weekend night (which she hasn't offered to do in awhile, not that I would want her to at this point). Since I do consider myself a friend, I would like to bring this to her attention to see if I could help in anyway, and to ensure that she understands the quality of care that I seek for my DS. I pay $210/week and feel that I deserve better care at her home then in a daycare center. My DS has an immune weakness so he has to be in an inhome, but I'd hate to move him from the only place he's known since birth. However, I'm not willing to let this go on much longer, they say mother's intuition is always right. How do I approach her to address my concerns?

Thanks for reading my long question.

Last edited by myoung; 03-25-2009 at 05:23 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2009, 09:04 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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WOW...there is something that is going on there...but what...How can a person change that much, but then you did say that she is going thru a divorce, but even so she is suppose to be taking care of other children, and your son, which I think you have every right to be concern....I certainly would try to check into this more and see what exactly is going on....maybe go and pick up your son at different times to actually see what is going on, so she's not expecting you...I would try that...but remember its your son...and that would be my main concern not friendship at this point...and you really are paying her a lot of money also...but its the safety of your son, please check into this more...good luck...keep us posted...
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:38 AM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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Wow I can't believe that you pay that much a week. I do daycare at home and we only get paid half of that a week per child. Anyways I would definatley bring something up to her. I would also be careful in your wording with her if you are wanting her to open up to you. Maybe ask one day when you pick him up how things are going and if they are still doing any preschool stuff anymore. If she says no then maybe you could say that's a shame because it was so nice. Or ask if there is a problem with his diapers as to why he is leaking through them. Just to see what she has to say about it. There definatley is something that is going on in her life and maybe she jsut needs a hand to reach out to.
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:03 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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That sounds really rough

I've had lots of experience doing childcare, and, unfortunately, lots of experience with depression as well. At my worst times, I loved babysitting twice a week because the kids were the only happy thing in my world at that point, but I don't think I could've possibly done it everyday all day.
Depression is utterly exhausting, and if that is what she's going through, I can understand the clutter, frozen food, etc.

Maybe you could tell her that you've noticed that she seems different lately. That she doesn't chat like she used to with you and just seems down (I wouldn't mention the clutter, food, or diaper changing right away, because that would probably make her defensive), and you're wondering if anything's wrong and she'd like to talk. If she opens up, great, maybe talking will help her or you could recommend that she see a counselor. After that, maybe you could broach the other things in a gentle way.
And then see how things go. Having someone to talk to, and someone that cares might make a big difference.

If she denies that there is a problem, I think that you could bring up the fact that she seems to be doing things differently lately (and mention the things), and you're concerned for your son.



If nothing ends up changing, I don't think it necessarily means that you have to pull him out, but it's certainly something to consider. If he loves her, and she loves him, and he's happy and she still seems to be interacting with him as much as usual, then maybe it's still worth it to have him there unless the clutter becomes a hazard or he's getting serious rashes or what have you. I'd def. try hard to make it work, because a loving caregiver is so important, and unfortunately often so hard to find.


Sorry I'm so long winded, I hope things work out for you!
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:47 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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I spoke w/her today, thanks for the adivce. I didn't mention the clutter, diapers or frozen food yet. I just asked if everything was okay because I've noticed that she doesn't talk much anymore and that she seems "down". She opened up completely. Turns out she is in a "funk", her ex served her w/court papers, he wants full custody of the kids and he wants her to pay him child support. He makes like $250K/year and the kids hate going to his house. He can afford a much better atty. than she, so she's pretty upset about the whole thing. She says she is still doing all of the normal activities, even though she hasn't mentioned them to me at pick up.

She does cost more than most inhomes in my area, but I pay the price because she does the preschool stuff with the kids, instead of just watching them. Nobody else I interviewed offered the extra learning. There is no TV allowed at all. It's worth every penney if he's getting more out of it than just a "babysitter".

I may see how things go over the next few days and then bring up the frozen food thing and diapers. I do want answers to those things. I'll not mention the clutter, it's not my business how her house is kept. I just mentioned that in my original post because it's different than what her house used to be, so I think it was a clear indication that something was going on in her personal life. I have compassion for her, of course, my DH does not. He wants to pull our DS out immediately and he has his Aunt calling around interviewing new people already. He doesn't understand that it would be hard on our DS to pull him out if we can fix things and avoid that so he can stay in the environment that he's comfortable in.

BreaMarie...I hope all is going good with you now.

Last edited by myoung; 03-25-2009 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 03-25-2009, 04:49 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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Sorry to hear about the situation and then hearing her situation.... I hope that something gets figured out, even though she is going through a lot, I hope that she realizes that you have to whats best for your son as well.... Keep us updated!
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:23 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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Well, looks like we're done and looking for a new sitter. I went by at 9:30 am on Friday to take some more spare clothes (unannounced of course) and my DS was napping already...at 2 years old, he should not be napping so early. I heard one of the younger babies crying upstairs. I couldn't hear the other two kids so I asked if they were napping too, and she said no. Funny how quiet they were. My DH picked up our son later that day and she said to him "guess who didn't nap at all again today?"

Funny how she told me he was napping, and told my DH that he didn't nap. Why did she lie? What was she hiding? I'm going to stop by there tomorrow to pick up his stuff and tell her we will not be needing her services any longer, and I'm dreading that conversation. We paid her on Friday for the next two weeks, so I will tell her she can consider that her two week notice.

Guess I should have gone with my gut instinct earlier.
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:27 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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I'm sorry that happened. It's so hard to have to deal with issues with child-care providers.

If things are bad, probably best to go with your gut. Good luck!
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:18 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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Wow that totally stinks! I am sorry for your loss in a great caregiver. Good luck in your search for a new one!
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Old 04-07-2009, 06:39 PM

RE: Need Advice to talk w/babysitter w/concerns

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I think you are doing the right thing.

It's very hard when there is a problem with a sitter. I have become friends with mine too. We've had our problems. Since no one is perfect, you will probably have some problem as you get to know any sitter that you are trusting to keep your most precious possessions. When I have had to talk with my sitter about things that we want changed, she has gotten angry every time. For her, that means she barely speaks to me for a week or two, then she gets over it and we're back to normal.

Also, the condition of your sitter's home is very much your business if your children are staying there. In fact, I'd ask for a home tour of any sitter I'm considering. You need to look for safety concerns (such as covered outlets and locked cleaning supplies) and general cleanliness. Kids spend half the day on the floor, and it needs to be reasonably clean.

Try not to worry about your son. Babies have a huge capacity to love people and he will fall in love with the next sitter too. My SIL & BIL move about once a year because my BIL is a chef for Hyatt and he gets reassigned. Their daughter cries at each new sitter for a little while, but she adjusts each time. Good luck!
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