Continue or Withdraw from Daycare?

Updated on April 05, 2008
J.S. asks from Springfield, MO
12 answers

My 3 year old has been in daycare for about a year now. I love her daycare, and she has adjusted very well to it. However, I was hoping it would help her advance more than what she has done. She still doesn't talk much. She has very few words that she will say, and she cries for things she wants rather than using words to tell me what she needs or wants. She seems to be at the same developmental stage as an 18 or 24 month old. I don't blame the daycare, but I feel as though I am wasting a lot of money on this. My mom could watch her while I work and we could be saving that money for other things. I don't feel she will be ready for kindergarten when the time comes, and wonder if there are any other options out there to help her catch up to kids her age. Because of her birth date, she is supposed to start kindergarten in a year and a half, right after her fifth birthday. It wouldn't be the end of the world to prolong it a year if she's not ready, but I would prefer not to if we could avoid it. I have attempted to try Parents as Teachers with her, and had someone assigned to me, but that woman never contacted me. I finally gave up trying to get their help because the hassle of trying to get someone to speak to me wasn't worth the headache anymore. Has anyone else had this problem with their child? I am open to all suggestions and advice, or even just your own experiences if you have had a child who appeared to be a bit delayed with their development. Thank you in advance for any ideas you can share!

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answers from Springfield on

Have you looked into having your child evaluated by a speech therapist? That will really tell you if she is in the acceptable range or if she needs to have special speech therapy. Preschool will help her speech development, but you shouldn't expect them to do what a speech therapist is trained to do.

Best of luck to you both!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Champaign on

I just joined and so I don't know how to read all the other responses, so if someone has already said this, I"m sorry.

My daughter was delayed. We called Early Intervention when she was only 5 months old. They will come to your home and assess your child free of charge and then if they find enough of a delay, then you will qualify for services through them: Occupational therapy, developmental therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, etc. This was wonderful for my daughter! She received therapies through EI or a year and a half before she didn't qualify any more.

Daycares are hard because they have so many kids to take care of. Some day cares don't do much with the kids, while others do a ton. Some are more like pre-schools and some are just like babysitting. So, it's hard to know if it is the day care program that is to blame or if your child is just a bit delayed. Getting help for your child is something you can do through Early Intervention and they are wonderful. Please don't be embarrassed about getting help because there are so many kids in that program who do amazingly well! And, some people can qualify for free services! Good luck and let me know if you have any questions about it!

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answers from Kansas City on

If I were you I would go ahead and change daycares just to see if another environment would help. I've had so many kids come to me with delays and emotional issues that turned around and usually the changes begin to be apparent in just a few weeks. Sometimes it's just subtle things that adults do to stunt a child's emotional growth and sometimes the child just isn't responding to the provider no matter how hard the provider tries. I've had other kids that just didn't assimilate into our program no matter what we did.

When she cries for things. Do you give in? As soon as I am sure a child can use words I will start being rather strict in this area. I do not respond to a child that isn't making some kind of effort to communicate. I am also very good at ignoring crying and whining. I see a lot of parents give in though because it's just easier. I don't have a lot of opportunity to see how daycare providers interact with their kids. But I imagine the temptation to just give in and coddle them is even more easy when there are a number of kids to deal with. I'm not saying it's definitely there fault or your fault. But you can't be changed in this scenario and it is really easy to at least change them. I am concerned that most grandparents would not be much help with this sort of problem.
It's been my experience that kids that spend a lot of time around their grandparents are more used to being waited on hand and foot and crying and whining works to get their way.


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answers from Memphis on

Most of the school district's early childhood centers do developmental screenings for 3 and 4 year olds. I would call your center and see if they do. It does sound like she's delayed in terms of speech. If she's delayed enough, they would provide free speech therapy for her.
As for day care, I would definately think about switching to another center. If money is a big issue, perhaps daycare 2-3 days per week and grandparents the other days. Lots of centers will do part time enrollment for preschoolers.
I wouldn't worry too much about Kindergarten at this point. That's a long way off. So much can change over the next year and a half.
Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

I am an early headstart teacher and mother of 4 daughters. I have been a mom for 24 years (Oh my..thats a long My oldest daughter is a special needs child and I have worked in the public school system with special needs kids. I have three daughters still at home and the 10-year-old has been diagnosed with ADHD. That being said, I would make an appointment with your Doctor and tell him your concerns. If your child has a developmental condition you will want to get help with that asap. Earlyhead start and Headstart has wonderful programs that will help your daughter with any special need if she has any. These programs are popping up everywhere so there is possibly one in your area. You will want to identify her "problem" if she has one. A 3-year-old should be talking your ear off. Your doctor can give her a check up and rule out any visual, auditory, or health concerns, then refer you to someone from there if he finds something that isnt quite right. Maybe she isnt ready to talk. Does she seem to understand simple commands or requests? Does she point to pictures in a book if you ask her "where is the puppy?". If you ask her what she wants for lunch, does she tell you? How does your child communicate her needs? Do you know any sign language? We use sign where I work and have children as young as 6 months old signing words like "eat, more, stop". What does her daycare think? Do they give you any feedback about her development?
Remember this and foremost.....Dont worry so much. Just start with her doctor and go from there. She is a wonderful little girl and you want what's best for her. You are a fabulous mother and you are doing a great job.
Good luck.



answers from Springfield on

I agree with getting a referral from your pediatrician for a speech therapist. I had a friend who did this when her daughter was around 3 and she caught up to where she should be quickly.



answers from Topeka on

I own a home daycare and I would encourage you to leave her in daycare for the social interaction with other children. Being with a grandparent is great but doesn't give her the social skills of being with peers. Do you give her what she wants because she "reaches for it"? Try Parents As Teachers again, explain you need help and no one has contacted you as of yet. Don't worry about is she ready for Kindergarten yet, alot could change in a year and a half. Read to your child often asking her to identify objects in books. Cook with your child and ask her to help you to open the communication level giving her a chance to respond to you. Play age appropriate songs with your child and sing with her. You can buy these in the baby dept. at Wal-Mart. I had a daycare parent that had a child that would not speak at ALL at 2 1/2 yrs. Great parent-but listening to her interact with her son she did all the talking about what he wanted, never giving him a chance to respond. Good Luck



answers from Kansas City on

My little girl took a while to talk until about 2 but we had her seen by Childrens Mercy speech therapist and she had a speech therapist come out 1 time a week to work with her and it really helped, Kansas Toddler and Infant service provides this service for free and they will go to the daycare and work with the child one on one,


my daughter is now talking like crazy at 3 and now learing to read which a year ago we would of never dreamed.
Some kids just need a little extra help getting over the hump.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I would not waste another minute and get a referral from your ped for an early intervention referral!! If she is really that delayed she can get a personal therapist or enroll in a Head Start/special education preschool.

My son was in EI for almost a year and it did wonders for him. Best of luck to you.



answers from Kansas City on

Hi Jenn,

I'm a home child care provider myself. One of the kids I watch is 17 months and as far as his vocabulary it is a little slow. I tell them what color things are and we try saying different words, we go over what everyones name is.

Now on the flip side of this I also watch a little girl that will be 1 in a week and she can uh oh.
I also watch a little boy who is going to be 1 at the end of Janurary and he is starting to say words like Hi and uh oh.
I also have a 1 year old myself. She is 14 months and she says Uh oh, Dad, Mom, Bud (our dogs name) and Alex one of the little boys I watch. The point I'm trying to make in on this is that even with my best intentions they will still talk and develop in their own time. Not just what I do but it's a team effort with the parent and provider.

For your own child you need to make sure on your end that you are making her communicate with you on things she needs and wants and not just grunting or making noises. After that you need to talk to her teachers at daycare find out if she is communicating with them or trying to. And in this communication between you and the daycare will go along way. If you aren't talking to them about your daughter not commuicating but she is communicating with them at daycare how are they gonna know what issues you are having if you are not talking to them on a regular basis.

I have a 3 year old daughter also and I watch a 2 1/2 year old, we do learning time for 2 hours a day everyday and so far they know all of their letters but 5 and can count from 1-10 and they know all of their shapes and colors. Now why are they doing this well you ask ? Well thats because for the little girl that I watch her parents go over with her what we have done during the day. Everyday we work on letters, numbers, colors, counting, writing, shapes and identifing the letters upper and lowercase. It is a team effort between us.
I also don't think it would be a good idea to let Grandma watch not for the concern of whether she would take care of her or not but because theres alot of things your daughter gets from being with other children.
For good example my 2nd child was watched by his Grandma and she loved him and took really good care of him but where he lacked at was social interaction and communication skills and speech. I started staying home with him right before he turned 3. When I started staying home with him I couldn't understand a word he said but after alot of hard work and a year later and me starting my own daycare it all came together and now he talks great. Your daughter may be on the slower end of talking but you may see that after awhile she will just start talking up a storm.

So my advice talk to your daycare provider see what is going on there, voice your concerns before you jump the gun. Let them know she isn't talking much at home ask them how she communicates with them. Ask them if they are encouraging her to talk and communicate and not just with them but with kids in her class.
Hope this helps, W.



answers from St. Louis on

My Parents as Teacher program does a 3+ screening. Our district is great but I do know that alot of the other districts in our area are not as proactive. My oldest son (who is 4) goes to preschool through our school district. You can call your local school district and they can evaluate you child and see if she needs therapy or what kind of help if any she would qualify for. We started my son in speech therapy at a little over 18 months old and he still didn't talk much until he started this preschool right after his 3rd birthday. Good Luck!



answers from Kansas City on

I had my son and daughter in daycares that didn't seem to help so I went with in home daycare (some one not family that she didn't know) with my daughter not is it cheaper but they have more one on one time with them. I put my son in a regular one and it helped he is three and everyone says he seems like he is five. So you may just need a different daycare.Good Luck!

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