Ottawa daycare tapes kindergarten kids to cots (!)

by DaniGirl on June 17, 2013 · 7 comments

in Life in Ottawa, Working and mothering

I read this story in the Ottawa Citizen this morning and I cannot stop thinking about it. It’s about an in-school daycare in Hunt Club – a regulated, licensed, let me repeat IN SCHOOL daycare – where two daycare workers were fired after “three or four” kindergarten kids were TAPED TO COTS with masking tape when they didn’t settle down at nap time. “It is unclear how long the children were restrained with the masking tape or exactly where it was applied but the parent who contacted the Citizen said mouths were taped and that it happened on more than one occasion.”

I need to take a deep breath every time I read that. Holy hell, if that were Lucas? You would have heard me bellowing all the way downtown. How on earth does that happen in a licensed daycare in a public school? It would be horrible and totally unacceptable in a private home daycare, no doubt about it, but seriously – in a school? And these people were accredited early childhood educators, according to the story.

I’m just about done my daycare years. In fact, except for a week at the end of this summer, we’re pretty much officially done with daycare. After a long decade laced with wonderful caregivers and horror stories, we’ve finally made it through the other side. Normally, I’d take this opportunity to rant (again) about our collective need for more licensed, regulated daycare spaces but that’s exactly what this was. As if finding decent, affordable child care was not one of the most difficult challenge a modern Canadian parent faces, now we have to worry about this sort of thing?

By the way, I never did get around to blogging the follow-up to my conversation with Lucas’s school about skipping him ahead to Grade 1 or keeping him in senior kindergarten for September. After meeting with his teachers and the principal and reflecting on all your comments (thank you so much!) we decided the best choice for Lucas would be staying the course and keeping him in kindergarten. The reason I mention this now is that the whole idea of the imposed afternoon “quiet time” for naps or resting was my last bone of contention.

Not only do I think Lucas is way beyond needing a nap at this point, but if one were imposed upon him he’d be up half the night. The teachers, who happen to be parents of young children themselves, are sympathetic to this and promised that no naps would be forced on kids who didn’t need them. I have heard of other full-day kindergarten schools, however, who send home “tsk tsk” notes when kindergarteners do not settle down and sleep during the afternoon rest period. Never in my wildest dreams, however, could I imagine something like taping the children to the cots!

So usually I’d end a post with a question to invite your comments like “what do you think” but I’m pretty sure I know what you think on this one. I mean seriously, the question I would really like answered is “how does this happen” and “how do we make sure it never happens again”?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 valerie June 17, 2013 at 9:42 am

I have trouble with SK napping. Even at 3.5, when they were doing it for Sammy`s class, he was way beyond needing one – but would sometimes fall asleep anyway and be up all night. Drove me crazy.

This story – totally insane. So glad we`re past that.

2 Sasha June 17, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Only just tripped over that news story on FB. Yeah, that’s crazy. I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon trying not to think about it. Because, you know, if I’m going to be able to afford to keep my kids in daycare I need to get *some* work done. Eek.

3 Janet June 17, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I have the best caregiver on the face of the Earth and I thank my lucky stars for her every day. I’m thanking her even harder today after reading this story!

4 Sarah McCormack June 17, 2013 at 9:21 pm

This has been a big topic of conversation in my parts today, as this is the school right NEXT to our school… and I have a lot of friends with children there.

It is shocking. Yes, the workers have been fired, but I almost feel they should be charged. this is abuse. No one HAS to work with children. These individuals CHOSE this job. If you do not have the patience required (and many people do not) then you should not work with children.

As for naps in kindergarten.. my boys both stopped napping around 18 months, so this would not have been great for them. I am glad, however, that Lucas is staying with his peers. Hopefully he will be happy and confident with kids his own age. This is so much more important than ANYTHING else. IF he needs to be challenged academically this can be done outside of school.

5 Windex June 17, 2013 at 10:08 pm

My youngest goes to full-day sk next year and I heard rumours about this nap time/rest time? Do all schools implement this or is it a choice?
As the whole process is new for our school they are still planning and have not come up with a schedule of the day yet.
And how long is nap /quiet time?

6 DaniGirl June 18, 2013 at 10:50 am

I’m not sure how universal the after-lunch rest period is, but everyone I’ve spoken to about all day kindergarten seems to have it as part of the day. I’ve been told that if a child truly does not need a rest period or becomes restless to the point of being disruptive, there are other acceptable quiet-time activities that they can pursue. If anyone else has direct experience I’d love to hear more myself!

7 alice June 23, 2013 at 1:57 pm

education is very important for kids

kids Kindergarten

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