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I want to visit every day at lunch

Oct 1999

I need advice. My baby is 9 months old and I have just started leaving her at daycare. I leave her there full time but have decided to spend my lunch hour with her so that she doesnt feel like I have been away for too long. However, the lady running the daycare has a problem with that and says that I shouldn't visit my daughter since it is uncomfortable for everyone. Does she have a right to stop me form spending my lunch hour with my daughter? What are my rights?


For the mom whose day care person doesn't want her to visit her child at lunch time: to me, there is something profoundly wrong with this picture. She doesn't want a mom to see her kid? Disruptive"? Huh? "Rights"? Nobody has the right to stand between a parent & her child at anytime & deny the mother access. The mom is asking to be allowed to see her own child? I would immediately get a different one. This day care flunks the basic karma check.
You should always be able to visit your daycare any time you want. I don't know what the specific legal rights are (I'm sure someone else on the list will!), but after all, it is *your* child. Certainly you have as much right to see your child as a landlord has to see their property. A landlord only has to give 24 hours notice, and then he can come in whether or not you are there.

When my daughter was young and first in daycare, I spent EVERY lunchtime there, nursing her. Because her nap times were still erratic, I often ended up eating lunch there, chatting with the caregivers and playing with the other babies. No one ever said it was a nuisance or that it made them feel uncomfortable. I often felt that I provided a service--another adult to hold another child while they changed one; two more arms to fetch toys. You're paying for this time; you should be able to use it however you want, including being there with your child.

If someone is uncomfortable watching the way they treat my (and others') child(ren), then I think I'd be uncomfortable having my child there.


I think you have all the rights to go and visit your baby at lunch time on a regular basis. You are not asking too much. Your baby's provider should find a way to accommodate you. Providers usually want to keep transitions nice and smooth. As a provider I can say that it can be disruptive to the other children when a parent comes to visit, specially around lunch and nap time when the kids are hungry and tired. I have had similar situation before and it worked out just fine. If your presence becomes disruptive maybe you can arrange to stay in another room separated from the other children. It shouldn't interfere with their routine and you would enjoy being with your baby. Good Luck!!!
I missed the original post about visiting daycare during lunch, and I am interested. The director of my daughter's preschool always firmly requests parents not to visit during lunch and circle time. I understand her reasons, but I disrespect her approach. It is definitely immoral and illegal to *forbid* parents access to their children. It also immediately made me suspicious that something uncouth might be taking place at those times (what were they hiding?). I haven't had time to actually visit during those hours (after all, she is in preschool because we work), but I won't hesitate to do so when I do have time. If any directors of daycares are out there reading this, I would advise you: If you don't want parents to visit during a certain time of day, phrase it as your own need. Make it clear that peace and quiet during those times would improve the quality of the children's day. Ultimitely it is the parents' right to make this decision, and telling us that we can't see our kids only makes us ornery and distrustful.
My son has a nanny, and some days I am at home. If he sees me, he goes ballistic, starts to cry, reaches for me, and it takes me a while to calm him down again. Then when I leave the room, he protests again -- but this time it's the nanny who has to calm him. So she finally requested that we keep ourselves as scarce as possible (my husbands works from home, and I am a student, so I stay home and study when I don't have classes). We had the same situation when we started sharing our nanny with another family. The other mom was upset; she felt that the nanny was being secretive because she didn't want her around. Part of the problem was due to a communication/translation conflict. I don't know if this is part of your issue as well. If you have just started your child in the situation, and you're not happy with the childcare provider, try and find something else. However, chances are that it's a communication problem. As for your rights, *of course* you have the right to be with your child -- that's no question. Hopefully you can work this out. Good luck.
I don't believe your daycare provider has the right to bar you from having lunch with your daughter. You should be allowed to drop by at any time, unannounced. When my son started at a daycare (at 10 months), we were encouraged to come for lunch. I chose, however, to stop doing so: separation anxiety is so acute at that age in some kids, and saying goodbye twice a day was too tough on my son (is this at the root of your provider's resistance? What does she mean by "it makes everyone uncomfortable?"). I tried, instead, to shorten the separation by skipping lunch and picking him up early instead -- though I recognize that I was lucky to have this option.
I don't believe your daycare provider has the right to bar you from having lunch with your daughter. You should be allowed to drop by at any time, unannounced. When my son started at a daycare (at 10 months), we were encouraged to come for lunch. I chose, however, to stop doing so: separation anxiety is so acute at that age in some kids, and saying goodbye twice a day was too tough on my son (is this at the root of your provider's resistance? What does she mean by "it makes everyone uncomfortable?"). I tried, instead, to shorten the separation by skipping lunch and picking him up early instead -- though I recognize that I was lucky to have this option.
You should certainly be able to visit your child's daycare. I think, however, that I, as a daycare provider, would find a regular noontime visitor unacceptably disruptive to the routine. I know that my daycare provider tries to have a certain "flow" to the days - morning activity, snack, outside time (weather permitting), lunch, nap, snack, afternoon activity - and that it would be hard to work around the presence of a parent for an entire hour every day. In my case, I do drop in now and again, but not as a regular thing. It's a darn demanding job to start with, so I think your provider is within her rights to object. You are also within your rights to want this. If this is really important to you, you may want to seek out a care provider who is willing to work with you on this.
Ideally you would of discussed this with your provider before enrolling your child but since you are just beginning that conversation now, you both have valid points.

As a parent yes, you do have the legal right to inpect the facility unnnanounced at any time your child is in care. I don't know whether your visits would actually count as an unnannounced inspection though since it is something you want to do on a regular basis mainly to spend time with your daughter rather than to check on your provider and the level of care.

I can symphathize with your desire to want to spend as much time with your baby as possible. Your provider does have a valid point too however. Lunch time is one of the most difficult times in the daycare day. It very well could be disruptive to the other children to have an additional adult there. Some children may act up to get your attention. Others may be feel badly that their moms are not there. Some may mistake your arrival as am indication that their parents will soon be arriving. Your presence may interfer with the smoothness of the provider's routine and with her ability to meet the other children's needs, if she is preoccupied with what you are doing on your visit. Most importantly, it may be difficult for your baby to have you come and leave again.

That said, after a period of adjustment, your arrival and departure could be incorporated into the general routine of the day. This is something that you and your provider will both have to agree on. She is the person who will have bear the brunt of such an adjustment period. I think you need to acknowledge that and approach her with a willingness to hear her concerns. She may be willing to try it out on a trial basis and she may not. If not, you do have the option of making routine unnannounced visits but, ultimately I think she will resent that and it will harm the working relationship you need to have.


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