Day Care Sanitation Concerns (Texas)

Updated on May 04, 2012
A.T. asks from Frisco, TX
15 answers

I have a 3 year old and 4 1/2 year old that just started attending an in-home day care with capacity for 12 children. This is the first time they've ever attended day care outside my home. They've been sick off and on with coughs, runny noses, crusty eyes (I expected sickness since they haven't been in this environment before) I have picked up sickness and pink eye now. I am a working single mom that needs childcare. I am concerned with the level of cleanliness from things my son has told me. He said the kids are encouraged by one of the ladies to share their drinks. (He says one of the ladies says 'Take a drink and pass it on') He said they would not allow him to wash his hands after using the bathroom, we are very strict with him at home and had a detailed discussion about this. Very gross with a dozen kids. What would you suggest for handling this situation? Would you approach the owner? Report with the health department or state? We are in an area with limited options to switch to a new one. She is licensed.

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answers from Youngstown on

Have you actually seen her license? If not, ask to see it. Yes, small kids do get the truth mixed up in their heads but where there is smoke there is usually fire. I used a private sitter when I first went back to work. At first it worked out great. But over time I started to see a lot of red flags and my mommy instinct told me something was not right. I pulled my daughter out of her care & put her in a highly reccomended daycare/preschool center. It was the best decision I could have made. She has been there for a year now and I don't have one single complaint about the daycare. It's an amazing facility and my child has thrived there. I highly suggest a daycare center. Good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't report it, no, not until I verified the story and spoke to the owner. One time, when my daughter was younger, she told me that her care provider had left her by herself and went to wal-mart. Of course, I freaked out, but I knew the story sounded silly, so I just asked our provider if it was true. She was very upset, and denied it. She had gotten my daughter a prize at wal-mart before she was there, and my daughter just assumed that the sitter had gone to wal-mart while she was playing! She didn't know she was lying, but she did tell me a doozy!

I say this because when kids tell stories like this, even though we want to believe our kids, sometimes they perceived something incorrectly. Your kids aren't even 4. They could very well be mistaken. Just ask the owner and see what she says.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Well, first off, you do have an option. Find another home daycare. There is no requirement that you stay with this one.

Also, remember you are taking the word of a small child. Not saying your children lie, but children's views of things can be easily warped. I know. I have done home childcare for 15 years. I hear whoppers from the kidlets about what they did or ate at home at the night or weekend past or even things they say to their parents while I am standing their at pick up time, that I need to "interpret" to the parents.

But if you truly KNOW things are bad, gross and unsanitary..first off, why did you choose this childcare? You should likely see signs after some time in the care yourself. A provider could gussy the place up for interviews, but after the normal working days pass you would see the place "fall apart". Secondly, you could consider a call to the licensing agent, but this is an extreme step. In many states, even a report call like this stays on a providers record FOREVER, even if found to have not occured (no foundation for the report or evidence to support it being found, etc when investigated). Every state is different in how they handle these things.

If you really have concerns, talk to the provider, address your issues (away from the prying eyes and ears of other parents and children), or find another provider you have more trust in.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I would talk with the director first but not in an accusatory way. You are taking the word of a very small child. Not saying that he's lying, but children see and interpret things differently than adults. So, I would ask her about it, but pick your tone carefully and don't point any fingers because there may be more fingers pointing back at you!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

In my state, no home day care is permitted to have more than 4 children.

I would investigate whether this woman is permitted to run a day care this way. She may not even have a license (many home day cares do not).

Either way, I always say, and I now know from experience -- if you are uncomfortable with a particular care situation with your kid, that is your instinct talking to you! That means that something is wrong, even if you cannot put your finger on it exactly.

In the end, there are always options. Always! Look and you will find, it is worth it for the sake of your children.

If it doesn't feel right to you. Then it isn't. I suggest you pull them out and move on.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Do they let you in the house? If they don't that would be a big red flag to me. I would talk to them if you don't get the answeres you want I would talk to the health department or whom ever and they can check them out. It may be that they have them use hand sanitizer after using the restroom and he donsn't think that's washing his hands. I think I would be a little uneasy and want to talk to someone if I was told that as well!!! I know I pulled my kids out of one when my youngest was a baby. She told me she had to run to the store before she left town but her adult son whom I had met several times was going to watch them till I could get them and I was welcome to get them at the normal time I think there was a death in the family. So I went ahead and left right then. I knocked on the door sevral times he did not answer. So I proceded to walk in the house where my oldest was laying on the floore on his blanket taking a nap and my youngest was in the back bedroon in his carrier awake. I gathered them up and almost left without saying anythign cause he was in another room playing video games. But I was nice. Then I called his mom and she appolagised I never sent them back. You have to make sure your kids are being taken care of properly. Yes they will get sick and they will get you sick but if they really are sharing drinks and not washing hands you need them out of there.

Good luck and God Bless!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I'd move them into a daycare that is not in-home and report it to the state. When your kids first go into daycare, it's true that they may be sick more, and YOU will definitely be sick more. The first year my daughter was in daycare, she wasn't sick at all, but I was sick non-stop...she brought the germs home to me but was able to fight them off for herself!

If you say much of anything to the provider or report her, you're likely to be asked to leave anyway. You can't just drop in to monitor what's really happening there, and you don't know how clean it is or is not. At a daycare center, you could drop-in, and there are cleaning crews and sanitation rules in place. Plus, as a single mother, what do you do if your provider is sick, is called for jury duty, or is on vacation? There are a lot of daycare options in Frisco. There are some good websites for finding or reviewing childcare...a good one for reviews and suggestions is

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Getting sick in general would not bother me. Kids get sick. You can't stop it.

What would bother me is stories about not washing hands or sharing drinks. I would address that with the daycare and if it doesn't change or you don't get good answers, then change centers. Get their POV on what your child describes to find out if it's that Jimmy took a sip from Timmy's glass by mistake and they said it was alright, mistakes happen or if they gave Jimmy another child's drink to share.



answers from Dallas on

I definitely wouldn't report it just yet. Talk to the owner if you are concerned. I personally wouldn't mind the whole sharing thing. Germs are actually a good thing. They keep our immune systems strong! As for not allowing him to wash his hands? That's just wrong. Maybe he was mistaken? I would just speak to the owner about it before taking any other action.


answers from Chicago on

I would go thru this site see what you can do to get someone to investigate the facility. I would also ask to see her license and check it for experiation date in the mean time. I would also get my kids out of there YESTERDAY. I used to live in Texas and there are MANY child care options in home and in centers etc.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I would speak with the director of the daycare. If these things are true, I would switch. I would also let her know you will be reporting her if she does not immediately pop out with some explanation and resolution (oh, so sorry, that was X , my niece, she was just filling in for an hour and had no idea of the rules, we have already addressed this - or some such similar thing). I would look at a daycare center - IMO they tend to have much more uniform rules about sanitation which are generally written down in a handbook for all employees.



answers from Phoenix on

My opinion is that kids often exaggerate, leave parts of the story out, fib, let their imaginations get a little crazy, or misunderstand other people & situations & even though we want to believe everything they tell us as gospel, a lot times you have to take what they say with a grain of salt, especially at that age. I wouldn't jump to conclusions until you've spoken with the other parents and/or the provider, personally.

I guess I find it hard to believe that a provider would be preventing a child from washing their hands, and I'd bet there's more to the story.

As far as the sickness, all of that's completely normal & changing providers will not prevent that.

Why is the sharing of drinks that big of a deal - these kids are sharing the same toys, books, etc. all day every day, so I don't think it makes that much of a difference, personally.

That being said, if you are still uncomfortable, then by all means, move your child. Keep in mind that your kids will continue to get sick in any care setting until their immune systems are built up. I think if they are safe & well cared for, then sometimes you need to let the little things go.


answers from Dallas on

I would switch day cares. Thats gross, sharing drinks with other kids, of course you would expect things like runny noses, but pink eye???
Yes, ask her, but you might want to look into something new


answers from Cleveland on

Kids get sick at day care, no matter how clean they are. You have a bunch of toddlers (which are basically little germ bins! lol) running around together, and no matter how much supervision they have, they are going to share toys and crayons and hug each other, drool on each other, wipe their snot on their sleeves, etc.
That being said, I would absolutely be checking this out with the people in charge.
Legally though, I guess this technically depends on whether this is an in-home state licensed day care center or not. If they ARE, then there are all sorts of guidlines they legally have to follow (just like a regular day care center). If they are not state licensed, they don't have to follow the same rules.



answers from Dallas on

Sorry Mommy!
Your in such a hard place. I would re read your parent handbook she gave you first. Then I would read the following link
Then I would as to have a meeting with her. Tell her your concerns (FWI not at drop off or pick up) and tell her what you would like her to do. If she did not follow the law to the letter for pink eye I would tell her about it. If you do not feel like talking to her write a letter. also look on the above website and find other care givers in the area. Bring a cup for your children 100% the same 3 each and tell her your kids can only drink out of these cups. I would say. "Mrs._____, I am so sorry I know you work so hard. I love the way you do this ______. However I am worried that the children are not washing there hands. When do you wash hands? Oh ok. Well I printed this out for you it says here on page 99 this is when to wash hands (fwi its like ever 3 hours lol). I would also buy yes i know you do pay her but still buy the cleaning wipes. Also in future I would like to be notifed if student gets and illness. Thank you so much for taking care of my priceless children. Please let me know how I can help you.

I too have a licensed childcare, I love it. Its the best part of my life.

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