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Avatar universal

Where is the line drawn for kicking a child out of daycare?

I am a daycare/preschool teacher. I teach 3 and 4 year olds. I have one child in my class who does pretty good during the day but when she acts out (won't follow instructions, repeatedly does the same thing over and over, won't stay quiet at nap time) and is told to stop or is sat in time out is just completely defiant. She tells me "NO!" and kicks and screams. If she is told to be quiet (especially at nap time) she will just look at me and keep saying words (random words) loudly. If she is told to lay down on her mat she will keep getting up and readjusting her blanket and pillow. She refuses to take a nap. She says "I can't close my eyes" or "I don't know how to take a nap."

Her mother doesn't seem to care a terrible amount. When the director talked to her about it, she basically said "Well she is only three years old." She brought in a bigger blanket and a pillow and a bear for her to lay down with, but it doesn't help her lay still or stay quiet. She fights sleep like nothing I have ever seen before. And has woken my other kids up multiple times, and i can't them to go back to sleep because she doesn't stop being loud.

For getting her to go to sleep i have tried white noise for music, I've tried patting her back, rubbing her back, holding her hand, laying next to her, I've tried letting her watch baby videos from my phone that are supposed to put children to sleep and make them sleepy. I've tried positive reinforcements such as offering a prize if she took a nap. I've tried everything i can think of, she does not seem to care. After that i tried just giving her a quiet activity like reading a book or matching games. But she talks to herself the whole time she does it (and she doesn't talk quietly). When i ask her to keep her voice down or zip her lips, she does it for about a maximum of two minutes.

She just started last week at our daycare. I don't want her mother to be upset when she comes in to pick her up and her note that goes home says she is misbehaving everyday during nap. But its becoming unmanageable. I plan activites/games/lessons during nap time and i can get anything done when i'm constantly reminding her to be still or lay quiet or not to talk.

If you're a parent of a child, whats the best way for you to communicate with your childs teacher? If you're a daycare provider, what would you suggest?

Is any of this means for asking a child to leave the daycare?

This discussion is related to Behavior Problems - Daycare.
30 Responses
535822 tn?1443976780
Children of 3 year old very often do not need to sleep during the day , is it possible for her to not lay down but go somewhere and read or draw ? How long is nap time , children who are not tired will find it hard to be still .
377493 tn?1356502149
Well, at 3 and 4 many children no longer nap.  My son is 2 and naps some days but not necessarily every day anymore.  And there is no way he will just lie still for an hour while the others nap. There are a couple of non nappers, or inconsistent nappers in his group.  What my daycare does is send them up to the older kids group for an hour, and they participate in story time there, or whatever else is going on.  It works well.  It's pretty tough to expect very young children to just stay quiet, especially if they are typically very active kids.  If nap time is the only time she is misbehaving, I would be looking for an alternative solution.  The one at my daycare seems to work very well.

The kids that are asked to be removed from our daycare are the ones that can hurt other kids.  So kids that bite, hit, kick, etc.  That is unacceptable, and if a parent is unwilling to work with the daycare on solutions, then the child is removed.  So I think it comes down to safety and well being of all children type issues.
377493 tn?1356502149
I kinda thought about this a bit more.  I can tell you that if the only reason my son was being removed from a daycare was because he refused to nap, I would be pretty angry.  Now, if he was acting out, etc. during different times, that I would seriously address.  But not for just refusing to nap and reacting to someone trying to force him to.  Maybe others will feel differently, but that's my opinion. I can only imagine how tough your job is, and I have a great deal of respect for people that work with children, I just can't agree with this particular issue being a "removable offense".  
1006035 tn?1485575897
Short answer, NO, that is not a reason to kick a child out of day care. Trouble during nap time is incredibly frequent for small children. My DD stopped taking a nap when she turned 3. It's gotta be so hard to sit still for 2-3 hours when you aren't sleepy! My DD went to a school where they fought with her so much about sleeping. They actually tried to pin her down and make her sleep. Well, predictably, she kicked the teacher in the face. She got kicked out of the school for that. Later I found out they were locking children in the bathroom when they wouldn't nap and hitting them. My DD couldn't tell me about this because she is nonverbal.

At her new school we had some trouble at nap time. Now she has a weighted blanket and a special pillow for at school. She a problem regulating her senses and craves deep pressure. The weighted blanket helps her rest. She doesn't sleep, but she will lay down and "read" a book. At one point we did consider getting her a small dvd player for her cot so she would stop running around, but it never came to that.

Has this child been assessed by the school district? Do you have a school social worker that could help come up with some ideas for nap time? There's got to be a solution to this problem. The only reason to give a young child a 2 weeks notice is if they are violent. If they are biting, hitting, or scratching repeatedly. Other than that there are very few reasons to kick out a child from preschool.
973741 tn?1342342773
I have a slightly different take on this.  Not every situation or 'program' is a good match for every child and this does not sound like a good match for this little girl.  She would do better in a more personalized program that took into account the differences in children and their energy levels.  

If I were her mother, I'd WANT to know that this isn't a good fit because I wouldn't want my child to feel like they were 'misbehaving' for not being tired and wanting to be AWAKE during the day.  My boys DID nap and have quiet time during the day because it suited their personalities.   If it didn't, I'd not FORCE them and feel they were being bad for being too awake to take a nap.

This is not a developmental delay or anything like that as the issue is ONLY at nap time.  This is  a case in which what you provide doesn't meet the needs of this child or her family.  She's not a bad little girl because she doesn't give you your planning break----  she just doesn't get what she needs during the day nor do you.  It isn't a good fit.  Her mom may want to find a situation better suited to the energy level of her child.  I would.  good luck
377493 tn?1356502149
I didn't look at it that way, but well put.  I agree 100% with you (what else is new..lol)
757137 tn?1347196453
There are two people here worthy of consideration - the child and you. The primary responsibility for the child is her mother - not you.  So put the child out and let the mother deal with it.

You have exhausted all your know-how in handling this child. You are frustrated and out of ideas. So send her home. Also, you have a lot of children under your care. They are not getting the attention they deserve.
Avatar universal
Another thing you can do, is see if the child's mom or dad would like to come in during nap time once or twice. I know there is some law (in most states about how long nap time should be. One thing you should never do is force a kid to sleep. As Diva's sister, I have seen what can happen when that is done.
The kid has been at your daycare for just a short amount of time. Give her time to adjust. Kicking a child out of daycare for not sleeping, is a very crazy idea.
757137 tn?1347196453
Actually, about the sleep business, I agree with you.
1006035 tn?1485575897
As a parent I would probably end up pulling the child from the classroom if the teachers really couldn't handle them. But, I don't think it's a choice that the school should make without consultation from the parent(s) and school aids (ie social worker). It's hard for children to change schools or start new schools. In time she might adjust.
535822 tn?1443976780
Would anyone here like to explain to me why it is necessary for a 3 year old child to have to take a nap during the day ,is it a mandatory law or for the convenience of the day care workers, as its usually 2 hours this seems a long time to me .and how on earth can you keep them still and quiet if they cannot sleep.Surely it also affects night time sleep..any one have an answer for me?
973741 tn?1342342773
It is not a law in my state for sure.  My kids did nap still at three, four and into five----  they were big sleepers.  But they were at home with me and in their own rooms.  I have friends whose kids gave up naps at 2 and three and that was just that.  You really can't force kids to sleep in my opinion and if my kids weren't nappers----  I'd not enroll them in a program that required it.  It wouldn't be a good fit.  
1006035 tn?1485575897
The law in the US states that kids must be given the option to sleep for that long. They don't have to, but the option has to be available for them. Many children do need that sleep and are sleep deprived, but for those that don't it's very frustrating. When my DD did nap at school she would be up late into the night (11pm or 12am). She only needed 11-12 hours of sleep. At one school they let her chill with the older kids in another room. At her current school she'll usually sit and play quietly with a puzzle or book.

At one school the teachers would take their lunch breaks during nap time and that's why they got angry she wouldn't sleep. The law isn't for the convenience of the teachers, it's to make sure that all children are getting the sleep they need. There is a huge portion of the population of children that are sleep deprived. I see where the law is coming from, but I think they need to reduce the mandatory time.
973741 tn?1342342773
I believe it would be a state to state law as there is no law on the books for my state.  I've looked it up.  
1006035 tn?1485575897
The laws are confusing. Teachers in IL and MN told me it was a federal law. I'll have to look into a little more... I think if the school/daycare is open for more than 5 hours they have to provide a nap time.
973741 tn?1342342773
I just wanted to add that it is an okay thing to 'offer' a nap in my mind as some kids need it.  My kids WERE nappers.  My expectation would be that if my child couldn't nap for a day or every day that they'd have an alternative plan for them during that time.  No child should be thought of as "bad" because they don't want to sleep.  
377493 tn?1356502149
Here the law is the same. The option must be provided, but I agree they should never be forced.  And absolutely should never be made to feel they are bad for not sleeping.  As I mentioned, days my 2 year old won't nap, he just goes with the older kids and it works just fine.  Our daycare has never made this an issue at all.

To say to just throw a kid out of daycare for that?  That is not in the child's best interest at all.  Some moms have to work (I am one of them) and it is not easy finding affordable and more importantly, good quality child care.  For all the kids under 5 or 6 at my sons daycare the option to nap is offered (so a different daycare wouldn't be a solution at all, they all have the same thing), but having alternatives for the kids that don't serves everyone just fine.  
535822 tn?1443976780
Oh I do agree a nap time should be offered but this child from the original post 'wont stay quiet at nap time ' I think we all agree its darn hard to keep a small child quiet if they are not tired.there should be another room where they can play and read if they dont want to sleep.  Anyway thanks guys I just dont get it , some children are still expected to nap to 4 years old I hear .bet they don't sleep at night and parents wonder why .
757137 tn?1347196453
My children went to nursery and pre-kindergarten for only half a day. Two took naps at home from two to four PM and two did not.

The problem may lie with the daycare system which institutes inflexible practices that are not suitable for some children. In any case, being away from home for so many hours, at such a young age, is not a great idea.
377493 tn?1356502149
Actually, I have to disagree that being away from home for the day is a bad idea.  My son attends daycare 3 days a week.  He is there from 8 until about 4:15.  He absolutely loves it.  He is an only child, and thrives in the social environment.  He also benefits from the fact that I have an income...darn having to buy food and help keep a roof over our heads anyway.

It is not necessarily true that daycare is not a good situation for kids.  Like anything there are pro's and cons, and familes must choose what is best for them.  I don't feel one bit guilty about my son attending daycare.  He is happy there, and happy the day's he is home with me.  It's a good situation.  Much depends on the daycare, and it's important to find one that is a good fit for the child and their specific needs.

As for keeping a small child quiet while others are sleeping?  I agree, not possible.  Not mine anyway.  He, like many other children his age would never just sit quietly no matter what was tried.  And some days' he needs/wants the nap, other days he does not.  I like that my daycare lets him take the lead and does not ever force the issue.  
757137 tn?1347196453
I can see where daycare might be a good situation for an only child - depending on the temperament of that child. I had my first two a little over a year apart, so there never was an only child in a sense. I also was a working mother and found that bringing someone into the home to take care of the two was better than sending them someplace I could not control. Also they had each other to play with. Obviously my situation was different from yours and, as your choice suited you, mine suited me.
689528 tn?1364135841
I worked at a daycare and we never called it nap time. It was quiet time. Each child had a cot that were their own with a blanket. The time slot was 2 hours and most of the older children would not sleep. Some would and it was fine but a lot of them knew how to keep quiet. There were some defiant ones that wouldn't be quiet enough for the sleeping children to rest. So they were removed and sent to another room. Sometimes we would turn on a movie and leave it on low so they could watch that. Or they could colour or look at books. It all depended on how many children stayed up and how much longer was left of quiet time.
To me it sounds like she is not aware of the new rules of the room. She is new so it does take time to transition. Especially if she has never been to daycare before. Also, she knows it bugs you! LOL so she's going to keep doing it. They are sneaky that way. Try to ignore it as much as you can, if she's chatting away loudly....remind her that it's quiet time and she needs to stay quiet but not too much. It'll just go in one ear and out the other. I don't think prizes are a good idea. That's not fair to the others who are doing perfectly well, right?
171768 tn?1324230099
I agree that she has only been there a week and it is too soon to consider this to be a problem.
I have the perspective of both a parent and a preschool teacher.

At my old job, rest time was scheduled for 2 hours. This was absolutely necessary because there were 2 full time staff members, and each needed a lunch. In order for each to get their lunch and to maintain state ratios, the children needed be asleep or on their cots during the time that there was only 1 teacher in the room.

I currently work for a public preschool that very strictly follows state regulations. We have ALL the children at least rest for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, we are supposed to give the children who are awake quiet activities to do on their mats or at a table. Lights stay off for an hour.

To the original poster- it sounds like you have tried many different approaches, and I give you credit for that. My only concern is that you have tried that many approaches in only a week. That is not sending the child a consistent message at all, and it is not giving any of the approaches a chance to work. First, I would inquire about the child's sleep habits at home. Does she nap at home? When does she go to bed? When does she wake up? Most parents report their children do not nap at home, while they certainly do at school. School is much more stimulating and tiring than a home environment. When I worked with 3 year olds, I'd say that at least 90% still napped regularly at school. At least 1/2 of my 4 and 5 year old students nap too. Often, children who do not have regular bedtimes or routines at home have difficulty napping at school even if they need it. This can be because they are overtired, or because they never developed self-soothing techniques. Some of these kids often have their mommas still crawl in to bed with them to get them to sleep at night. Of course they can't fall asleep at school. If you have an understanding of what she is used to and what happens at home, you may be able to help her adjust better.

So, I used to be the teacher who expected children to be quiet for 2 hours. It was a health and safety issue. You can't supervise that many awake kids, and most of them do need the sleep. To help them sleep, I rubbed backs and played soft music. For those few children who truly didn't need the nap, I did give them books, coloring, puzzles, etc. I even allowed one to bring an mp3 player from home. (By the way- before I forget, stories on CD instead of lullabies can be a nice compromise- it helps entertain, and you can even allow the awake child to have the book that goes with it. You local library probably has many if you don't). It definitely interfered with my planning time, but fighting them would only disturb more kids. BUT, now I am also a mother to a preschooler. And I know that I would be furious if anyone expected my child to be quiet for 2 hours. 20 to 30 minutes is reasonable. My kids fall asleep on their own, but they talk and sing themselves to sleep. So, this has changed my perspective a lot. I let kids quietly talk to themselves. They can bring a special cuddle toy from home. I put those kids in a more isolated area of the room. I give them notebooks, coloring books, or journals if they can't fall asleep after 30 minutes. If you are worried about the other kids seeing what they are doing, you can construct walls by cutting open large cardboard boxes.

I would open a dialog with mom, but also understand you need to give it time. Your plan should be based on what you discuss with mom and what you both determine her needs to be. Pick one approach and try it for a bit longer. Also remember that nap time can be very overwhelming and scary to a kid who is new to daycare. During the busy times, it's easy to be distracted from the fact that you miss mom, but when it's quiet it's much harder.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your response, yours has definitely been the most helpful.
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