Here in Atlanta there was a newsreport regarding an incident where a Mom of a 4-year-old went to the director of the center to inquire about a bruises on her daughter and was told her daughter was no longer welcomed at the center. After doing some investigation I discovered this center received it's inicial licensing review on July 17, of this year. Which makes me sure of two things: this director is new to the field and she had no real support to find out how to handle this issue.
I suspect Mom's version of this story is the accurate one, why I have been there. When you are new and a situation comes up like this you panic. Thus, you say something stupid like "your daughter no longer meets the parameters of this center she is excused from the program". In other words, I am scared and I have no idea what to do except to solve the problem by getting rid of you. A more experienced director would have said, " This is the first I am hearing of this. Give me a few days to investigate what happened and I will get back to you. I ensure you the safety of the children is our paramount concern."
I am almost positive what happened in this case is primarily about inexperience and not callous disregard for a parents concerns. This is why I think parents need to ask about the director's experience when checking out centers. While a new director can be effective it usually takes between 2-4 years to be comfortable unless they have dealt with children or been in a center for a long period of time before becoming a director.
I want to use this example for several things:
- I would like to see owner and franchisers of childcare to hire a director/assistent director for training purposes. You should not hire a new director unless absolutely necessary.
- If you are a new director call your local National Association for the Education of Young Children state office and request a meeting. Once there ask if they can suggest a possible mentor for you to call if you hit a problem.
- Remember as a director it is your job to ensure you are meeting the needs of your team (staff), customers (parents), and your clients (children) at all times. The only way to do this is to talk to everyone and find out what happened and then make your decisions.
- Parents be sure to investigate by asking a lot of questions before you place your child in a center.
- PT&A teaches a class on choosing quality childcare, contact us for help!
You can avoid these situations on both side it just takes a little time and asking lots of questions!
Believe in Parenting
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