Dear Parents (A letter from a daycare worker)

Parents, I read about the article where a young boy died because a daycare worker sat on him and suffocated.  This is a hard letter for me to write because, as a mother, this is something that I prayed would never happen to my daughter.  Let me assure you, it should never happen.  This seems like a tragic accident, but a huge question circling everyone’s mind is “how did it happen?”  You don’t just sit on a baby and not notice.  Of course, accidents happen and, as a daycare employee, I understand things get loud and hectic.  I am not one to pass judgement or blame.  Accidents happen, no matter how tragic they are.

I am here because of all the comments I’ve been hearing in light of this event.

“This is why I don’t bring my child to daycare.”

“This is why I am afraid to let my child out of my sight/go to school.”

“How did this happen?  The daycare worker must be stupid/negligent/awful.”

Like I said, I’m not here to pass judgement and I even went back and forth on writing this.  But, as a daycare worker I wanted to get this out there.  Most daycares are safe.  Most people in charge of your children while you are at work make them their world.  Constant head counts, constant interaction, constant play and learning.  But, that also makes us very tired.  The funny pictures go around about how parenthood is exhausting.  In a given day, I take care of 12 children at most.  That may seem like a lot to you but for me (and my mother) it’s easy peasy.  We are used to the multitude of children and we have not had a single death.

There are days where I’m so exhausted I can barely keep my eyes open.  Yet, I still do head counts, love your children, dance and sing, jump around, and play.  That makes for bad judgement calls at times (like putting the wrong diaper on the wrong child) but rarely does it happen to the point where your child is in danger.  In my daycare, we don’t have beanbags.  They are unsafe.  But, just like in some homes, they are in some daycares.

I promise, as a daycare worker and a mother, that while your children are in my care, I will do everything in my power to protect them and keep them from harm.  I will cherish them and love them while you’re at work.  I will do my best to ease your mind because not  all daycares are unsafe.  Not all daycare workers are negligent and I want you to be sure that at the end of the day you know w e are doing our best to bring the best care for your children.

The only thing that I expect in return is your trust.  I hope you can trust us with your children and though you may hear tragic news like this, I hope it doesn’t keep your children from experiencing the world.  Because they will go to school, they will go out in the real world, as dangerous as it may  be, but you have people like us who will help guide  your child when you can’t.

So instead of passing blame, speaking ill of other daycare workers, or spreading hate in light of this tragic news, let’s hug our children a little tighter and put trust in the people, whoever it may be, who are charged with your little ones while you’re at your job.  Spread love, not hate.  Let’s mourn this little boy instead of pass blame.


A Daycare Worker


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