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In sickness at the daycare?

Every child will get some kinda sick in their childhood.  If your child is in daycare, what are the rules - the hard and fast rules, the "it'd be nice..." rules?  How about when your daycare provider is sick?  An urbanMama emails:

I was wondering if you could post a question concerning daycare etiquette.  What kinds of rules do people follow with regard to sending their kids to daycare when they have colds/flus/fevers/ear infections?  What do folks do when their daycare provider is sick?

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I don't have a daycare center experience to share but rather an in-home provider who is a retired friend of mine. My boys are the only ones she watches so there isn't the infecting other kids issue. Just what they'll pass on to her! Our agreement is that if the boys are sick to the point that they would be miserable without mom, I stay home with them. If it's a little cold and their behavior is still typical, she'll take them. Fever free for 24 hours is also the guide. We also factor in a pay issue. She commits to caring for the boys one day a week, so if cancel on her with less than 24 hours(ish) notice, I still pay her half of what she would be paid for caring for them. If I give her more than 24 hours notice, I don't pay for her time. Hope that offers a little of what you're looking for.

Oh, and if she's sick I stay home. Thanks goodness for sick leave!

If our daycare provider is sick, my husband or I have to stay home. Luckily we have jobs where we can work from home while he is asleep.

My son is almost 9 months old and at 2 months had to be hospitalized with RSV. Nothing is scarier when you are a brand new parent!

A month ago or so ago his daycare provider called me at work as he had spiked a 103.7 fever. We picked him up and took him into the doctor and they took his blood and ran some tests. His WBC was over twice what it should have been and they immediately gave him antibiotic shots in both of his legs. This was scary sickness number two in less than 6 months!

Whenever I ask what I can do to prevent this from happening to him, I am told that I should not take him to daycare or other places where there are a lot of kids, especially during flu season. This of course is not always possible.

I am then also told that I should expect this the first year and that it will get better. I am hoping this is the case!

If my son has a fever, we stay home with him. If he has a typical cold/runny nose, he goes to daycare. He probably got it from daycare anyway! (There is no telling if it is because of teething -or- a bug too) One time my provider was sick and she found someone to cover for her. She said that she only closed daycare one time in 12 years due to her own personal illness, because her whole family had the flu.

The Oregon Administrative Rules covering registered child care (http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/rules/OARS_400/OAR_414/414_205.html) state: "Except for mild cold symptoms that do not impair a child's function, children who are ill shall not be in care." The rules our daycare follow include the child being free from fever/vomiting/diarrhea for 24 hours before returning. Also things like productive cough, green snot, rashes will exclude them from care. Generally, if our children are acting sick, as opposed to having mild symptoms but still happy and energetic, we keep them home. We are lucky enough to have sick leave and so can stay home with them if needed.

Thanks for the link to the OAR, AmyS. I believe schools/daycares require that children be fever-/vomit-/diarrhea-free for 24 hours before coming back to school. "Fever" means a temp of 100 and above. If we have to stay home, my husband and I take turns, and we are able to use sick leave or negotiate some work-from-home situation. We also keep them home when green snot is involved.

We used to not know what to do with our friend/daycare provider for days off or sick days, so I like your method, Tracy (of paying 50% with less than 24 or some-other-set-number-of-hours notice). What about if one's daycare provider is sick? Do other parents offer a certain number of sick days?

I don't know how others handle it when their provider is sick, but in my case I didn't offer any sick pay. She was not caring for my boys out of financial necessity but rather because she was playing a grandma role and I paid her because I valued the commitment she was making as a child care provider. And it was one day a week, 5 hours. I suppose if I was talking about a more formal arrangement for more hours it would be different. We were recently looking at getting a part-time nanny (20 hours/week) and wondering about those kind of things as well. In the end, we decided it wasn't going to be something we wanted to do, but we did look at the NW Nannies website and they had limited information about some of these issues.

As a childcare provider, and by law, I can't take care of any sick children. If a child becomes ill at daycare, I have to send them home. Luckily, in my daycare we have two providers, so if one of us is sick, the other can still provide care. A lot of daycares also have back up providers for when they're sick, and a lot of parents have back up providers for when their child is sick and they can't stay home.

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