July 17, 2008,
S.W. asks from Flower Mound, TX on July 15, 2008
I have an 8 month old baby boy in daycare. I know the ratio is 1 teacher to 4 babies. However, I keep going to pick him up and they will have 6 babies with one teacher. I have talked to them about it and they said as long as they only have 4 babies awake and the other two are sleeping they only need 1 teacher. Does anyone know if this is true. I got on line and could not find anywhere that there is a clause about the baby/teacher ratio if some are asleep. I think 6 babies for 1 teacher is too many even if a couple of them are asleep. Any feedback would be appreciated.
K.K. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2008
Here are the minimum standards for Texas that all centers must follow. Page 49-53 answers your question. You can have more children in one caregivers supervision after 18 months of age!!!
I would strongly advise you to report this to ensure other standards are not being misunderstood. They will come do a visit and observe what is going on. Don't take this lightly...
at the www.dfps.state.tx.us site there is a phone number for you. They are friendly and are there to help protect children.
1 mom found this helpful
E.C. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2008
As most on here know I use to be an Assistant Director at a large center here in Keller up until April. The ratio for Infants 0-11 months is 1-4 and 2 to 10. No matter if they are asleep or not.
Children are still considered infants until 18 months where the ratio for 12-18 months is 1 to 5 or 2 to 13. Also the ratio is determinted by the average age. So lets say you had 3 six month olds and 2 18 month olds the ratio is 4 and there should be 2 teachers in there.
What they are doing is ILLEGAL you need to report them. You have already discussed your issue with them you need to report them and you DO NOT need to tell them. They will find out when they are investigated.
If they can not fix the problem you need to find another childcare center. Also as the previous lady stated even though infants cost alot childcare centers do not make money off of infants their money are in the higher ratio classes such as the 3's through school age.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask!!!
A.T. answers from Dallas on July 17, 2008
The infant ratio is 1 adult to 4 children. That should not change b/c there are sleeping babies! And, Adventure Kids in Plano does not follow this ratio. I have been in there and seen one staff with 5 babies. All the babies were screaming and she looked worn out! The rest of the floor looked understaffed too. Not to mention the toddlers were mixed in with everyone else - and they take up to age 12. Scary!
A.K. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2008
I would talk to the director again and call the state board regarding that. I worked at a daycare in Georgia and that was NOT the rule and being out of ratio was a VERY big deal! I would tell the director that you intend to call and question that...sounds like a big fib to me. I wish I could tell you how many times the classroom that I was in was left out of ratio - that is ultimately why I quit! I thought it was awful that these parents were paying SOOOOO much and bascially being lied to about what happened during the day. (I worked at the Goddard School - it was not cheap!) I would complain until someone listens. What happens when the there is 1 teacher and 4 awake infants and 2 sleeping children and the 2 wake up?????
S.B. answers from Dallas on July 16, 2008
Hi S. - you have received all the right info in responses so far. Definitely not allowed, definitely you need to report the violation. Violations with the state are investigated immediately. Doesn't mean it won't keep it from happening, but at least the state will come out & check it out & inform of the the CORRECT ratio. It could be that they aren't necessarily lying to you - they may very well have misinterpreted the regulations. But even so, I would be very leary of a facility that misinterprets standards of care - makes you wonder about the other standards they are "misinterpreting" or ignoring.
The number to Childcare Information is 1-800-862-5252. That should be a starting point for you.
Incidentally, can you PM me the name & locarion of the center? My company secret shops daycares & I'd like to get this one added to the list & ensure we get it shopped soon.
P.B. answers from Tyler on July 15, 2008
I used to teach preschool.
There IS a clause about naptime. But that is for OLDER kids and there still have to be enough teachers available at the facility to cover the class in case the kids wake up or (heaven forbid) a fire alarm (we had a faulty alarm go off in the middle of naptime once; we were very glad to have the extra people to come help us evacuate until we had the all clear to re-enter with the now wide-awake toddlers).
I am not sure how old they have to be before the clause kicks in, but if your child is under 12 months, I KNOW it does not apply. Babies are STRICTLY 4 to 1.
Day care centers do NOT make money on babies (they only care for them to try to keep them until they are old enough to be put in a larger group where they WILL make money on them). If you are going to get the state involved, you may want to persue other child care arrangements. The center could be cited/fined or worse: closed down.
You are right in asking. They have obviously twisted the laws. The book is called the "Minimum Standards for Child Care" and that is just what it is: MINIMUM. If a center is doing BETTER than the minimum, they are the CADILAC of child care and VERY rare.
I'll be praying for your situation. It is centers like this that made me step down from the workforce.
P.G. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2008
That sounds like BS - I'm not in the business, but I know that at Adventure Kids Playcare - a walk in daycare for infants and children, the infant room has the 4-1 ratio. As soon as they get a 5th child, they pull another caregiver into the infant room. Awake or asleep makes no difference. I'm not sure what agency you would report them to, but I'd call that agency and find out what the rules are for sure, then go back to the center and let them KNOW that you know the rules, they are violating, and if they don't come into compliance you'll report them AND remove your child. Good for you for being attentive and taking action!
L.G. answers from Dallas on July 15, 2008
They are pulling your leg!! I would print the link Kelly K sent you or go to your library and check out a copy of minimum standards and bring it to them! That is major! 1 to 4 is hard enough for one teacher. I went to College for Early Childhood Education and I can tell you that what they are saying is a lie! They must set the ratio by the age of the youngest child. Therefore it must be 1 to 4. With 2 teachers you can go to a 1 to 5 ratio for 11 months and younger but it is not recommended. At naptime the ratio of teachers to children may be cut in half ONLY for children ages 18 months and up. Because your son is 8 months old it is against all minimum standards! I hope that helps.