Friend Being "Blacklisted" on Daycare's in Her Area, Legal Way to Stop It?

Updated on October 03, 2012
M.P. asks from Minneapolis, MN
21 answers

I had posted a while back about my friends baby being abused in her daycare. There was an investigation. They determined that it was accidental, but not reported correctly. The one that made the bruises, was a friend that was substituting for the original day care owner for a few hours, while she went to a doctors appointment.
The young woman, claimed my friends 5 month old was about to topple out of a bouncy seat, and she "grabbed" both arms to catch her and steady her. (the baby had perfectly formed finger forms in bruising, from shoulder to wrist on both arms, no broken bones.)
She claims it was accidental, but when asked about it, she said at the time she didn't know what happened. She denied she did anything till the investigation was in full swing. She claims she didn't think that would have left any bruising that bad, and she thought the bruises were gotten at her parents home. That was her story.

So since then the substitute was fired from this at-home day care for the problem. The licence was re-instated, and the original daycare owner is allowed to operate. She returned all the items that were at her house, to my friend, and stayed on a friendly basis. Stating she understood mom's position and would have done the same if it were her own child. My friend asked at this point, if she could continue bringing the child there, since it was so convenient, and it was resolved. The day care owner said yes.

THEN that weekend, the day care owner put a note on her door (they are block neighbors) while they were gone. It was a termination letter for her two kids, stating that she could no longer care for her children properly, due to the investigation at her home. That she required the full month price, and that she would not be watching them the coming week.

After calls were made and discussion, the daycare owner still refused to take her daughters back, but waived the monthly fee requirement. So my friend spent all weekend looking for a new day care. Which is no easy task on short notice. This was 2 weeks ago.

She lives in a place that is very small. The community is less than 5000. There are only 4 daycare/preschools in this town and nothing for another 30- 50 miles. She started calling the area daycare's. They would ask her name, and when she gave it, they would say immediately, no they have no openings, when they say they do in adds in the papers and such. So she enlisted me to help.
I would call and ask if they had openings for my same age baby, for full time. Everything that my friend also was looking for. LOW and Behold. They had immediate openings, and when did I want to start. So we have determined that she is being blacklisted. Most of these daycare's know this woman, or are related to her.

Is there anything legally she can do? she doesn't WANT to send her children to a place that would discriminate against her, but she is in a big bind. At the moment she is bringing her child to a big day care in the Twin Cities Metro but this is miles from her work and requires a ton of driving back and forth. Her older daughter needs day care for after school and now she has used up all her vacation and sick time to just try to get around and take them where they have to go. It seems with out a proper day care her husband will likely have to quit his job. This seems low balled and just wrong. Suggestions?

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So What Happened?

8Kids - yes they do talk, but that not what I am asking, I am asking is this a legal thing they can do to her? I am not leaving anything out other than a lot more explanation that is not really needed. Are you trying to imply they falsely charged someone with abuse and it wasn't? I believe they were correct in what they did. I would have done the same thing... and I would have likely been blacklisted as well. I don't live here, its Western WI area. Not sure what funny feeling your getting, about details.

If anything I left out is that the husband of the daycare provider was belligerent and stated that "kids get bruises all the time, and that if it was him he wouldnt be bringing the child back to the day care" (police added it to the report) while they were on the porch during the search.
Jessica, I stated it was the substitute not the original day care owner that was in question. They have been friends before their kids, and supposedly still friends after the investigation. The mom works for CPS and is familiar with the way it was to be handled. The daycare provider was aware of her job position. She had watched their first daughter for 5 years. It's the 5 month old, and they never had a single issue with the day care provider, this happened on the subs watch. The day care provider never let on there was an issue, she was compliant about all the investigation. Worked with the authorities involved and (because of legality issues, could not return the personal items to my friend during the investigations, she had one of her relatives return it to her when she was not at home). She claimed this in no way had changed there friendship, when really it had, and she went out of her way to stop others from watching this baby. I stated she does NOT want to put her child in a day care there, but she has little choice. She is currently looking for care now, her husband is on the brink of leaving his job for his children. Nothing sinister on her end that I can see.
She never yelled, or screamed, she cried a lot for her child... She was never nasty with anyone. She cant be because of her profession. She is the sweetest woman, if a bit blunt.

Featured Answers


answers from Lakeland on

It is very sad that they are doing this but private run daycares (and schools) can pick and choose who they have enrolled. She needs to look into a nanny or sitter that will come to her home.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I think the problem is that this went to investigation and she is a CPS worker so now the other daycares believe she will be a problem.

There is no way to force someone to provide services to you. They aren't discriminating against her - she is not in a protected class. I feel for her, but don't think there is anything she can do. And even if she could sue them, that would take years and would only make her situation worse.

She should call sittercity or one of those places to find someone to come to her home.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

A private business does not have to accept clients they do not wish to work with. For instance, I run a construction company, and there are certain clients I won't work with, simply based upon feedback from other contractors. It might be that the clients are not reasonable, or that they don't pay on time, or whatever, but when these potential clients have called, I've politely let them know that we aren't accepting new clients right now (even though that is not true). I'm not trying to offend them, I simply don't need or want the level of drama they will likely bring me.

Even though your friend may have been right in what she did, as a CPS employee herself, I believe she knew exactly what she was doing when she filed a report against her daycare provider. Being that she had been with this daycare for more than 5 years, that's a fairly extreme step to take for a one-time incident. It's hard to believe that she didn't realize that in a small community, word would quickly get around to all of the other daycares. Sometimes it's better to try to work things out directly with someone, rather than bringing down the wrath of a large government agency. Bottom line, your friend threw her daycare provider under the bus, and the daycare provider returned the favor... nothing illegal about it.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

She may have a case for slander/libel, but if the previous dc provider is simply telling others about what happened, she can do that till the cows come home.

What I find most shocking about your story is that the mom of the abused baby was WILLING TO PUT HER CHILD BACK IN THEIR CARE?! SERIOUSLY!!!

Reason number 483 I would never leave my kids in an in-home day care to begin with.

In a big bind?? I would quit my job before I would allow someone to watch my child that I thought was abusing her, or would possibly retaliate for an investigation....and I make good money!

Wow. Just wow.

No, there is nothing illegal about a private day care provider refusing service to someone.

Her and her husband need to put their heads together to figure this out. Perhaps family can come stay for a few weeks to help out until they get this fixed? There has to be someone reliable willing to help out for a little while....or, the mom or dad may just have to take off work until they find a solution. They also need to check with the older kid's school to see if they have a before/after school program. Most do. But nothing is worth putting your baby in harm's way.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Well, there is no proof of anything. Most likely these centers see her as a liability, regardless of what information they have or how they got it.

You are getting her side of the story and are going to be biased. She was not there, nor were you. I am always sad when a kid gets hurt, but it always seems like parents rush to blame the provider & get them in trouble, before getting the whole story.

I am surprised that she would try to get the place shut down over one incident, honestly, after how long she had used the place. Now, if I were her I would have (and actually have) taken my child to another center.

It's time to let it go & move on. Find a sitter who can stay with the little one & help with the older one.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The way you are telling the details, I have a funny feeling you are leaving out crutial details.

ETA: Yes you did leave out crutial details such as the arguments and that the mom works for CPS. If I had a daycare, I would NEVER have the child of a CPS worker in my day care. And YES it is legal to have who you want or don't want to do business with as long as it is not based on one of the EEOC discrimination laws.
ETA: Catherine C. said it better than I did and she even mentioned the "bus".

Small towns are very "talkative". Now all the day cares have heard about the investigation and its results. No one wants to loose their income and the day care where this child was being cared for almost lost her license. So rather than take a chance, the day cares are not willing to have this child in their day care. It will take her a while to overcome the stigma.

Good luck to you and yours.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

There may be nothing she can do about being blacklisted. I don't know if the agency that oversees licensing for these facilities have any regulations about that. But if they're not going to play nice, she shouldn't want her kids there. I'd suggest she consider something like to find a nanny. If her or her DH's company offer EAP services, see if they can help find a daycare. Ask the daughter's school where other children go after class.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Daycares and preschools are privately run. That means they're not required to take on clients and they get to pick and choose their clientele. They can afford to turn people away. Your friend has a reputation that precedes her that she contributed to. It's not the fault of the original daycare woman even if she remained friends with the substitute that left the bruises on your friend's baby.

Is it fair? Of course not, and it's sure a pain in the backside. But your friend is just going to have to keep on keeping on. Because here's the gist of it: Discrimination in general is not illegal. We discriminate FOR and AGAINST people all the time every day. It's necessary. What matters is what's in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. Being blackballed as a "problem parent" by local daycares isn't covered.

For her older child, she needs to check and see if the school her child attends has a before-and-after school program for families in their situation. Our schools have a program called Treehouse for parents who have to drop their children off as early as 6:30 AM and/or pick up as late as 6:00 PM. There's usually a sliding scale fee based on finances. You would need a separate daycare for your younger child.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I don't know if it's legal, but I understand why it's happening.
Your friend should probably find a nanny. That way she has the kids in her home, she probably will pay the same or a little less (especially if she gets a SAHM to watch her kids), and then she wont have to deal with the politics going on in the other 4 day care centers.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albuquerque on

There isn't anything legally she can do, because private businesses are allowed to pick and choose who they "hire" as clients. If she thinks that the first daycare lied about her to everyone else in the area, then she could talk to a lawyer about slander or libel... but those are really hard to prove charges. Plus, it wouldn't change anything about finding a new daycare. Really - there's nothing wrong with a daycare not taking someone as a new family. They might get a bad vibe, be worried about the parent's attitude, not like the way the child plays with others, anything. They're allowed to pick and choose.

I think her only chance is to call back and ask if she can come in to talk to each daycare. Maybe meeting her in person will change their minds... but really, she is kind of labeled as a problem parent now. Many small businesses wouldn't want to deal with that for fear she'd make allegations against them too. How about an ad on Craigslist looking for a stay at home mom who wants to make some additional money?

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

I think at this point she should move on. Her best bet now is to look for a nanny/babysitter. I agree with the others in posting on Craigslist or for a SAHM, college student or other responsible adult who is willing to watch her children either at your friend's home or another location. She's going to be out of luck with the daycares and frankly I wouldn't want to go to anyplace that didn't really want me or my children.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Krista P. said everything I was going to say.
She needs to just find someone to watch the baby at your friends home, who can also go and pick up the daughter from school.

I also bet her attorney advised her not to care for this family again.. Or her husband has asked her not to...he sounds like he was not pleased.

Maybe in a year, a new center will open, or the centers will change their minds.

These are private businesses, they can refuse service to anyone.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

i think that she can talk to the licensing workers at her job to see if they have any ideas. They are the ones who have all the pull when it comes to child care. If they make a comment to the owner of the home care provider that it seems that there are some rumors going around and that if she finds out who is breaching confidentiality then they are going to lose their license and never be able to get one again, then this woman may be able to find child care again.

The licensing workers hold total power of a child care provider. They have the power to walk in and tell them they are out of business for not reason more than their cots are too close together or that there is 1 plug in the facility that is not covered correctly> They are the uber boss.

If they let it be known they are going to go after the one that is breaching confidentiality then that woman may start to backtrack and change her mind.

Otherwise what you could do is both of you go to a center or home provider for a tour and information with just your name. Then when they say they have immediate openings she could speak up and say "I called this morning and you said you don't have any, why is that?".

I might also have my cell phone or a tape player recording the conversation. That way I could play it back if needed to the licensing worker.

I would make them uncomfortable and sort of press the issue and see if they'll spill the beans. I would make sure to have pictures on my phone to show them if they say they heard rumors. When she shows people what the issue was and they see the bruises they will know that it was factual and not malicious.

If they do this woman is in deep do-do. She has no right to spread any tales and get this family treated like this.

Especially since she was totally cleared.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

No, there is no way for you to legally force someone to babysit your kids if they don't want to. Just like stores have a right to refuse service, so do day care providers. Clearly there is a reason the provider decided not to take the child back, and I am sure it is for her own protections. I am not saying your friend did anything wrong, but I can not blame the care providers for being hesitant when the woman has already filed a claim against a care provider. Sorry, but she will have to play the hand she has been dealt even if it does seem unfair. This is really no different then when a cosmetic surgeon refuses to treat a woman who already filed malpractice suits against other doctors, the patient may have been in the right to file the suits, but that does not mean the doctor wants to put himself or his practice at risk. I am sorry for your friend, it sounds like a very sucky situation all the way around.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Post an ad on craigslist (or any other local venue) to look for a stay at home mom that just keeps one or two kids in her home. Someone nice and independent that she can trust. I think a more personal, home-like setting is better for little babies anyhow. I did this for the first few years of my kids lives, and it actually cost less than the daycare they are in now.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

To be honest if you are in that small of a town well town gossip is especially loud when in a small town. I'm sure the news went around as to what was going on. It's an assumption that the previous babysitter is getting her black listed. These other people pry know the gossip and don't want anything to do with this woman or her children. They don't necessarily know what did happen. I doubt it was all public record especially because it was a child involved so town gossip has pry made it into the telephone game.

Maybe I'm horrible but if I was a at home daycare provider and this was my job and I'd heard some lovely salacious story I pry wouldn't want to watch her children either. I'd have no idea in all actuality what drama was coming my way but I'd know there was already drama plus I'm sure the other ladies daycare and her income stopped during the investigation and I wouldn't want mine to. So she's a risk. A risk I'm guessing I'm not alone in not wanting anything to do with. You kinda indicate she's some sort of a social worker correct? That would make me wonder, even more considering I either don't have the whole story or even worse case ONLY have the old babysitters story if her position made her more paranoid or better able to make a stink.

I guess I'm just saying these women don't have the whole story. There is no way they can. Worst case they have the old daycare providers side and I doubt it's the truth. They don't know about the bruises. They don't even know more than likely what you've just told us. Would you seriously take a business risk of this sort? I find it hard to believe most will. I doubt there is anything you can do about this either. You can't prove they are discriminating because of anything criminal or anything like that. Not to mention is she really going to get a lawyer and sue some little daycare for not taking her children. That would definitely make her situation worse not better. So does it really matter? She needs to deal with this crappy situation and move along. Those daycare's aren't an options obviously and why doesn't really matter. She needs to think outside the box.

There are so many unemployed people. There has to be somebody among those 5,000 people that are out of work that would gladly take on those children. I know tons of people in my area that aren't a licensed daycare but just moms who going to work isn't advantageous over daycare costs in the first place. Surely there is someone in your area that is in that situation that pry even has their own children that could watch hers too. Like I said getting the daycare's to take on her children is a waste of time. Start thinking outside the box. This situation sucks beyond sucking. It's like the girl who puts a sexual harassment claim up getting fired shortly after for being late. It sucks but it's reality and there isn't a thing you can do about it nor would you want to more than likely.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Look on

Yes what they are doing is wrong. Is it illegal? That depends on the licensing of the place. If they are a public daycare 'chain' then yes it is illegal. If they are in-home based daycares, then no I don't think it is illegal. They have a right to decline service.

What I would do is to go there in person, ask for a tour, ask for openings, and then after they tell you in person that they have openings, tell them her name. It is much easier to dismiss you over the phone than in person. Tell her to keep her whits about her. If when she is there, they ask her to leave, then she should leave, without issue. If they mention what happened, calmly tell them that you did what you thought was needed to protect your children.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

MM, I think that the key to this is that your friend works for CPS. THAT'S why no one wants her kids in their daycare.

It's like some companies won't even interview someone when they see "OSHA" on their resume. They are afraid that the person will have them investigated for any and every offense.

What invariably happened is that the daycare provider has decided she doesn't want to take care of kids of a CPS employee. She has decided that this is worth throwing a friendship away too. Her husband probably demanded it, from what it sounds like.

Either she or the fired sub has called of the other daycares.

I don't know if it is legal for them to say there are no openings or not or discriminate against her because of working for CPS. I think that I'd talk to the CPS about it and ask for their help. They may be able to ask one of their attorneys who could advise her.

It IS low ball and wrong. All I can say is that they had better hope that she doesn't end up investigating them after shutting her out over this.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I am a Licensed Family Child Care Provider in the Twin Cities metro area (Brooklyn Park to be exact). While this whole situation stinks all around, providers and parents alike have to protect themselves. In this case it sounds like the sub did something she should not have. Perhaps it was an accident and she was scared to speak up? I guess only those who were THERE really know and it is on their conscience forever. I am glad the baby is, ultimately, OK.

But having said that, there is NOTHING illegal about the provider not wanting to continue care or the other providers not taking her on. Even in the bigger suburban area I live in, word spreads and as other posters said, most might not want CPS parent in their client list. It is just a protective instinct. We can deny a person because we know their name, because they are a vegetarian family, don't immunize, or many other reasons. We get to decide that.

Aside from that, finding infant care is very difficult all the time, everywhere in the metro! So she is likely going to have a frustrating search in front of her. Providers open themselves up to an incredible amount of risk, and parents can call up and say we did all sorts of things, and even if they are found to not have occurred, they stay on our records forever. Most providers do all we can to weed out any potential client that might cause us undue issues and be vengeful, etc when nothing actually happened (the typical pissed off parent). Another case of the few ruining it for the many.

I am sorry for your friend and all that her own family has been through, but I can see where these providers are coming from as well. Your friend needs to move on.

I don't know what city she is actually in, but if you have not tried these resources, pass them along to her.
(both have a "Need childcare in MN? option that allows you to search via zip or city)
(put in "family child care" as the license type). This will show ALL the licensed providers in whatever county or city they put in the other search areas.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

No because she really can't Prove anything illegal is going on. Besides even if the other woman tells them not to care for her kids that's not illegal because they don't have to care for them. It's up to the childcare provider on who's kids they take and whos they don't

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answers from Columbus on

Tell her to contact a lawyer, one that specializes in discrimination.

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