Family Day Care

Family day care is becoming all the rage now and is popping up all over the place. With the cost of childcare and difficulty in gaining a place more people are opting to place their children in family day care. For those not familiar with this new form of childcare, family day care is where a carer looks after up to four children in his/her own home (though it’s usually a ‘her’.)

Apart from the obvious lack of credentials besides a brief training course I find this new phenomenon scary. At the playgroup I attend with my daughter there is a woman who does family day care who takes the children along for an activity. She seemed nice enough at first. She talked to me on my first day there and seemed okay, if not a little harsh, with the children. But as time’s gone on she’s become more and more ‘strict’ on the children she looks after. It started with a bit of excessive yelling but this week was more worrisome.

One of the two year old girls she looks after didn’t want to eat her piece of apple that was provided. The day care woman kept telling the girl to eat the apple. The girl refused and the day care woman yelled at her. Still the girl wouldn’t eat the apple so the day care woman forced the piece of apple into the girl’s mouth and said, “Chew, chew.” The girl still didn’t want the apple so the day care woman kept the girl’s mouth closed over the apple. The day care woman eventually gave up and went and yelled at one of the other kids she minds.

What would the mother of that child think of this? Is she aware of how her daughter is being treated? It’s awful to think of what kind of treatment family day care providers can get away with. Who knows what goes on once she’s alone with the children?

Is there too little accountability for family day care workers? Or is family day care any different to trusting your children with a teacher or babysitter?

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