Child Cries on Days He Has Daycare After School

Updated on December 06, 2007
J.R. asks from Bay City, MI
14 answers

My little boy is 5 years old and has attended the same daycare since he was 3. This year he began school in a "begindergarten" class and goes 1/2 days. 2 days a week I pick him and and we come home and play until Dad comes home, then I get back to working. 3 days a week he takes a bus to his daycare and he eats a lunch they provide and then it's naptime. He does not take naps at home, but is forced to lye down there. He began crying in the mornings of daycare days and told me that he is yelled at if he is laying there but doesn't go to sleep, last time he covered his head with his blanket so they couldn't see he wasn't sleeping, but a 5 year old boy moves to much and they noticed and he was yelled at to go to sleep. Also, he stated that that if he didn't sleep they would take his "buddy" away. This is his lovey he takes everywhere.

To maybe resolve the issue I called the daycare and mentioned that he does not take naps at home and could they have him play with a different group of kids during his classes naptime. They told me ages 0-5 are required to have naptime and when he is up and playing he wakes other kids up.

I am not sure what to do? Am I being over protective and this is normal discipline for non-napping kids what? My husband wants him pulled from there immediately.

Thanks for your thoughts on if this is normal daycare issues or if I'm overreacting.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the overwhelming amount of responses. My husband and I agreed pulling him immediately from the daycare was the thing to do. Its now been over a week that he comes home with me after his school and we have been having a blast doing our own thing.

Thanks again to everyones thoughts on the subject!

Featured Answers



answers from St. Cloud on

I am a daycare provider myself, and I would never yell at a child. Thats not ok, there should be other ways to deal with the situation so thats a red flag there!

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answers from Milwaukee on

i would be looking at a different day care. my son gave up naps at the age of 2. and to force a child to sleep. wrong!! and to threaten to take away HIS toy!! that doesn't cut it with me. i would be looking for another place!!!!



answers from Salt Lake City on

I don't think you are overracting at all. I don't know many 5-year olds that still take naps (my 4-year old doesn't nap). If he doesn't take them at home and isn't irritable, then it seems he's getting enough sleep. I think it's unacceptable that they expect him to sleep. I can understand that they'd want him to be quiet while the other children are sleeping, but they should have some quiet activities (coloring, looking at books, etc) that he can do during that time. Yelling at him to sleep (and threatening to take away his lovey) is just unacceptable. I would go in and talk to them about it and see if there are quiet activities he can do and if they are still demanding that he sleep (not even just rest quietly), then I agree with your husband - you should find alternate care.



answers from Grand Rapids on

You are not over-reacting. Just because he does not sleep does not give them the right to yell at him or to take away his security item. That is not acceptable. My daughter is in daycare and I have worked in several over the years and while we (and her current one) require the kids to have a 'nap' time, they are not required to sleep. If the children did not/do not sleep, they must remain on their cot quietly, but they are not required to sleep.

If it were me, and the daycare were unwilling to work with you and allow your son to do a 'quiet activity' (ie books or something) on his cot while the others sleep, I think I would start looking for a new place to take him. There are some kids that don't need naps and they 'should' know this as people working with children (not to mention the director is suppose to have a minimum of 18 credit hours in child development courses - if it is a center and not a home based center). I know it would be hard for me to move him, but if he isn't happy there and they are unwilling to work with you - it might be time for a change.

Good luck.



answers from Omaha on

I also have a daycare,and I can not beleive that they make him take a nap at his age, it should stop at age 4 because then they don't sleep at night. I would demand that he not take a nap. you are paying them remember that.
hope this helps your situation.



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi, I am from Wisconsin, and a licensed day care provider. The day care (state) rule is:

Children under 5 years of age in care for more than 4 consecutive hours shall have a nap or rest period. A provider shall permit children who do not sleep after 30 minutes and children who wake up early to get up and shall help them to have a quiet time through the use of equipment or activities which do not disturb other children.

Since in home providers work without breaks often for up to 12 hours a day, they too need some down time to do things like eat, use the rest room, catch up with the dishes, etc. And nap time is the only time this is convienent. (I have the older non napping child color, do art stuff, etc.) I think it may be time to switch day cares, and if you are at a center, try an in home provider.



answers from Boise on

Jodi - Having been in a similar situation, I recommend finding a new daycare for Peter. My son gave up naps at 3. The daycare he was at did not agree with this, and he was uanble to just lay there quietly for an hour. Their pressure on him to sleep just made it worse. The threat of taing away his buddy is going to cause anxiety, not induce him to sleep. While this may have been a good fit for him until now, their inability to work with him on this is not going to end well. I understand how frustrating it is to have a child not go to sleep when you want him to and they'll end up taking that out on Peter. Good luck!!



answers from Provo on

Hi Jodi,
I've never even heard of this problem until reading your post & responses. I 'm the mother of a child who turns 5 this month & stopped napping when he was 3. There's no way he would sit & pretend to sleep! I feel sad for your little boy. It sounds like he's trying to listen but they are still threatening him anyway. I hope you can get this resolved.



answers from Lansing on

i agree with your husband i would pull him to no five yr olds i know take a nap unless they are sick . i would go to the head of the day care and tell them they can find something for him to due while the other kids are napping or you will pull him out well good luck



answers from Des Moines on

Any competent daycare center should know that somewhere around age 5 is when those naps start to go away. If he's being quiet or doing a quiet activity, there shouldn't be a problem. Maybe he could look at books or color quietly in his nap area.

The Center should have some sort of plan for those kids who give up naps sooner that others. No they shouldn't just assume that a child isn't going to nap, but if recent history has shown they've outgrown that stage it's time for them to maybe even move them up to the next class. Maybe they need to do more active things before lunch so that he might even be more tired. I know that my son, who is almost 5, will take a nap if he's been running and being very active.

If they are so set in saying this age to this age then they aren't really there to provide care for the children. they're trying to just regurgitate policies out of a handbook and as we all know as parents is that kids don't follow a set formula every single day. So if they aren't willing assist you in finding a better fit, then I'd pull him. they shouldn't be yelling at him for something that isn't necessarily his fault.



answers from Lincoln on

I have yet to be in this situation but if I were you I would take Peter out of the daycare and find one that will tailor to his needs. Every child is different and some nap and some don't you can't force a child to sleep at naptime if they aren't used to taking naps. So I would suggest finding a daycare center that will respect the fact that he doesn't nap during the day and see if he likes that instead.



answers from Des Moines on

I haven't reached this stage with my little one- but I remember doing the exact same thing when I was that age! My Mom talked to the daycare and at first they tried having me lay down and gave me a book or quiet toy to play with, but that still didn't work I guess because they eventually just let me stay up as long as I sat and did a quiet activity at the craft table- usually coloring or something quiet that didn't disturb the others and didn't require a lot of supervision. I do remember if the daycare lady needed to go to the bathroom, I had to go sit outside the bathroom and wait there, then she'd take me back to the table.
So, I'd say, the daycare really should work with you on this and if not, maybe try to find another arrangement.



answers from Salt Lake City on

I would move him if you can. First of all nobody should be "yelled" at during daycare. Second of all five year old boys do not nap easily. My son just turned 5 on the 29th he doesnt nap, every once in a while he will crash during the day. If talking tot he teacher didnt help then I would start interviewing new daycare centers.



answers from Appleton on


I am a licensed in home childcare provider in WI so your laws may be different but I can tell you that we are required to have each child 5 and under have a 25 minute rest time but they do not have to go to sleep. They can not force your child to go to sleep and I would be concerned also. You may want to find out what the licensing rules are for your state and if this is a violation then you can contact the licensing office and report this issue. Good luck.

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