8 answers

Unhappy in Daycare

Dear moms,
my 26 months old doesn't like going to daycare, he starts cring as soon as he sees the building. did you have the same issues. please advise what should i do.

What can I do next?

More Answers


I've worked in daycare for 13+ years. It breaks my heart when I'm in the 2 year old room. They are so young and just want their mommies. Some get over there crying in a couple weeks, some a few months.
How long is he in daycare each day, how long has he been attending that daycare and does he have to be there? Two years old is very young and they don't know what is going on. They do not have the maturity or capacity to understand where mom is going and that she is coming back. Separation anxiety is quite common at this age.
You don't mention your working situation or if this is for "socialization". If there is any way to keep him at home either with you, family or a babysitter, by all means arrange that. At this age, kids should be home. At 2, kids do not play with other children, they participate in what is called parralel play/learning. This can be accomplished by taking him to the park or mommy and me outings. Kids do best in preschool when they are older 3, young 4. At this age they are eager to learn and have the concept of parents coming back. Your son has a long school life ahead of him, it doesn't have to start now.
If he unfortuanelty must be in daycare, take a good look at the school. It may not be the right place. Some things to think about the school:
-how many kids to teachers
-are the same teachers there everyday and are they nice
-what kind of activites and opportunities are available or do the kids just play all day
-how involved are the teachers with the children and class activities
-do other kids seem happy and healthy, is there a lot of biting, hitting (more so than usual 2 year old so!)
-how are nap and mealtimes
-cleanliness and diapering procedures
-is the director involved in the school
-how do other parents seem (complaints, happiness, etc.)
-stop by at various times of day to see how things are

Hope these suggestions help.

1 mom found this helpful

It sounds like that daycare is not working for your son. I would consider moving him. Perhaps their methods or caregivers are just not something that works for him. You don't mention how long this has been going on, but if it is outside of the first month, I would start looking for something else. My daughter loved her school, but hates her moves to the next class at first. She cries for a bit, but then adjusts.

I am sorry to hear that. I have had a similar situation. My son was younger but would cry as soon as i would pull into the day care parking lot. When i would walk him up he would start freaking out! The day care lady always told me that he would cry most of the day and was concerned. She also told me other things that SHOCKED me! not too long after that i found out that my son was being abused and neglected at this day care!
NO wonder he would scream before we even go there! he was trying to tell me something!!
This MAY and hopefully is not the case in your situation but i would pull him out for the safety of your son and put him in a new day care. I would not risk this for anything. He is trying to tell you something whether it be as simple as he doesn't like the people there or that he is not getting his needs met.
Talk to the people there, ask ask ask ASK as many questions as needed or you feel you need to. Ask to sit in for a day, do random drop ins and even have someone else drop in.
I guess i am just overly cautious when it comes to this because i have had a bad experience.
I always heard of yucky things happening and always told myself that would never happen to me or my kids...haha its more common that we know.
My prayers go out to you and your son!
Good Luck,

What type of daycare is it, anf how old was he when he started? J. L.

I would also recommend trusting your instincts but also I work with kids a lot and know that some cry and the minute their moms are gone are happy as can be. Is he still sad when you come back to get him? I would leave him and drop back an about 30-40 minutes if he is still upset find a new place for him. When I watch kids if they are crying when their parents leave I always call the parent in like five minutes so they can hear that the child has stopped. The provider may not be doing anything really wrong but your child may not feel secure there. I would try and find someone who can either come to your home or a stay at home mom who only will watch your kids and hers this is what I do and it works great. I have 3 kids 17 14 & 5 and take in one other child that way they become like part of the family not a bussiness. Good luck. It must be so hard to have to leave your kids so young.

Hi A. -
Yes, we had a similar problem with our son, so we found a Montessori school instead, and he loves it!

Good luck to you, L.

Hi, Being a daycare provider myself I have never had a child that starts crying when they see my house. Sometimes everynow and then I get a child that when the parents leave they get a little separation anxiety. Usually the minute they are out the door they stop. The only time I have a child that continues to cry after the parent leaves is if it is their first week with me. It sounds like you have your son in a facility. Some people say the home daycares are more appropriate for kids under age 3. I am located on the Lakewood/Long Beach border if you would like to come check us out? I do have an opening and will have an opening for your 2 month old in January.


Be very observant, check everything out, stop in often. Pop back in 30 minutes after drop off and see how he is. See if you can determine if there's a problem, or if he's just not bonding with the teacher, or if he's just stressed about separating. My son went to a home daycare and everyday I had a weird feeling about something that didn't seem quite right. One day the lady was ironing when I dropped him off - a big pile while little kids were running around the iron! One day her daughter met me at the door and wouldn't let me in and handed my son thru the door - she had some weird excuse. One day at the end of the day all of his bottles were still full - she claimed she'd given him something else. At the end of the week I couldn't take it anymore and I pulled him out and found a new daycare - that turned out to be the best most loving place and he loved it. Trust your instincts.

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