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Date : September 24, 2023

Daycare Diaries: ‘I can’t stand it when parents lie about their sick kid’

Daycare Diaries: 'I can't stand it when parents lie about their sick kid'

Ever wondered what your kid’s childcare teacher is really thinking? Now is your chance to find out.

Our new series, Daycare Diaries, gives you an inside look at what it’s really like being a daycare educator – the highs, the lows, the hilarious and the shocking; it’s the truth about childcare revealed.

In our first diary entry, early childhood educator Lisa* unleashes about daycare sickness and her parents’ sneaky drop-off act.

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Daycare Diaries

“Let me start by saying that this winter has been absolutely brutal for sickness. I’ve been working in the childcare industry for over 20 years and I have never, ever seen it this bad. The back-to-back illnesses. It’s been horrible.

Believe me, I know personally how incredibly challenging it is for parents to juggle a sick child and work. But if there is one thing that really gets on my nerves, it’s parents who don’t take illness seriously. It’s one of my pet peeves.

We know all about the ‘panadol drop-off’

I’ve had moments where a parent is so blatantly disrespectful, that I’ve had to walk away and get a colleague to deal with them because I don’t think I’ll be able to keep my cool.

They seem to forget that most of us are also working parents. We are in exactly the same position as you… struggling to look after our own sick kids and work.

In fact, we are in a worse position because we are legally bound by ratios so unless we have someone to cover for us to run out and pick up our sick kid from school, we can’t leave.

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Preschool childcare centre toddler playing early education learning children

Don’t think we don’t know you gave your child a dose of panadol just before drop-off. We know. We see it all the time. We know because your child is suddenly sick exactly four hours later.

It’s interesting, because some parents are honest and openly say ‘Look, I have just given them panadol as I desperately need to get a few hours work done. Please just give me a couple of hours’. Other parents literally dump their kid and run. We’ve seen it all. And most of the time, we know when you are lying.

We can’t grill you, and we do have stringent policies in place but at least when parents are honest I will try to be flexible and help them.

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I may not be a doctor or have a medical degree but I can tell you now that teething doesn’t cause fevers. I can’t stand it when parents try to pass off their baby’s 38-degree temperature as a result of teething.

They are clearly sick. Fact.

And finally, can we please stop blaming childcare as the cause of sickness? Contrary to what parents seem to believe we don’t create viruses! I’m not in the kitchen cooking them up every day to give to your child.

Please don’t blame us – we spend hours and hours cleaning to strict guidelines and teaching outside whenever we can. It’s group care. We are doing our absolute best under really difficult circumstances. We are all in this together!”

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