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To Daycare or Not to Daycare

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by JBattles, Jul 31, 2012.

  1. JBattles

    JBattles New Member

    Jul 31, 2012
    I'm new to this forum, and needing advice. My son, Quincy, is 2 years old (27 mos), and was diagnosed with type 1 at 11mos. Ever since Q was diagnosed, my husband and I have juggled our schedules, so that Q always either had one of us, or a trained sitter with him at all times. My employer has been incredibly flexible, and allowed me to come and go as needed, but I realize my career has been taking a back seat, (it's a job that I love and want to keep), and I need to come up with a better child care situation.

    We could hire a full time sitter, but to be honest, it would really strain us financially. But, push comes to shove, we could do it. However, we recently interviewed a day care center in my town that I loved, but doesn't have any nurses on staff. The staff was very willing to be trained in taking care of Q's type 1, and seemed sympathetic to our situation, but I'm nervous. I'm nervous about exposing Quincy to other kids and their sickness; I'm nervous about training the day care staff; I'm nervous about any number of things that could go wrong with a toddler with type 1 diabetes (mainly that he doesn't yet recognize when he is low, and if someone isn't watching him carefully they may not pick up the signs - plus, what signs!?! He's 2!).

    On the flip side, Q really needs socialization. He's an only child, so he's strange around other children. I also think he needs more independence from us, and needs to develop confidence, and emotional maturity. We are very guilty of babying him a lot. I like the cognitive skills and sense of community he would gain from day care. I think he would have a lot of fun.

    So, what do you think I should listen to more... the voice that is more concerned with his medical condition, or the voice that is more concerned with his cognitive development?

    Have any of you struggled with this choice? Am I crazy for considering daycare at all? I mean, he is only 2. Maybe I should wait until he's 3???

    Thanks for your help,
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Welcome but sorry you have to be here.

    If you have found a care center whose staff is willing to be trained, you should count your blessings and utilize them. Many people have difficulty finding good child care for their CWD. Remember, you don't need to be a nurse or medical professional to care for a CWD, look at all of us.

    It will take some time and planning but I am positive you can put together a simple yet comprehensive training program for his care. After a year of doing this I am sure you know what the key elements are that would make you feel comfortable that the staff need to do.

    Your son is going to be exposed to other children's illnesses eventually, so whether it is now or later, it is going to happen. And he will be fine. It sounds like the social benefits you feel he will gain, outweigh the risk of getting sick from other children.

    I am giving you a link to a guide that is more for school aged children, but I think if you look it over you may find some helpful information in it for your situation:


    Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012
  3. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    My son was dx'd at 3. He went to daycare and a private school -- all without a nurse. I trained the staff on what I expected.

    Not many parents are trained on what to do to care for their child. A responsible adult can be trained on what to do in a day care situation -- usually counting carbs and bolusing and testing, plus glucagon treatment if ever needed.
  4. heypb

    heypb Approved members

    Oct 6, 2010
    Finding a willing daycare staff is half the battle. We kept our son out of daycare for a year, but wanted to get him into a daycare for the same reasons. Once we found a willing staff, it took a some training, but we have been very happy with his D care when he is at the center. And it's all the better if you have flexibility at work to answer a question they may have about his diabetes care.

    Good luck!
  5. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    My experience has been that when Selah is in the care of others, or when her schedule is "full" (meaning inconsistent, so child care may be the reverse of that for you if it regularizes his schedule) it can be more difficult to manage her bg's into range from highs, and we spend a little more time and effort on it because there are more factors. We may run into a few more lows, but they aren't any more hazardous than when she is in family care because the places she is there are a ton of eyes on her. Selah has always shown her lows in her behavior, so lots of observers can mean lots of picking up on lows (and not a few false alarms, but that's o.k.!)

    You will generally get the advice here that anything you would have done pre-diabetes you should find a way to do post-diabetes. I normally go that way, also, but I do think it's important to understand it's about trade-offs. It's not that you can do everything the same way, or without any dings to the diabetes management. You may see some care that is different from what you consider "ideal" (or you may not, they may put in protocols that make care exceptional!) but the question is whether in the big picture life is better or not, both health-wise and in other aspects. I would not, though, worry too much about dangerous lows, which seems to be your main concern. I've seen some folks here have to work with schools on that, but I think child care workers (good ones) ar accustomed to having to keep a personal eye on the kids all the time.

    As a former teacher, I do want to chime in on the OT of cognitive and social development. There is no "normal" way for a two year old to act with peers, any way he wants to act is normal (although some ways, like biting, are discouragable :p). I've seen lots of parents of only kids worry about that, but remember that every oldest kid was an "only" for several years, usually. A child psychiatrist I knew through his wife once said that children learn socialization from older kids and from adults -- then they practice it on each other. If they learn socialization from peers their same age, it's the blind leading the blind! The same could be said for other areas -- for example, speech structure is learned by copying adults who speak fluidly, not by copying peers who are also just beginning to learn the ropes. This is not to say peer groups don't have a place, but I would not assume that a child needs full time peer exposure in order to develop cognitively and socially. Much play at the age of 2 is tandem play, anyway -- and that needs to be perfectly o.k.

    I realize this last bit may sound like I'm discouraging you and I really hope you will disregard it all if you think I'm trying to push a POV on you or "judge" you. We all have our POVs on child care and I don't want to step on yours, but sometimes I feel parents are pushed into believing they are depriving their children if they don't put them in a child care or preschool program from a young age, and when I hear language that sounds like a mom might be being pushed that way I just feel the need to chime in that kids can be well-adjusted, happy, and fully cognitively developed without it.
  6. maciasfamily

    maciasfamily Approved members

    Feb 15, 2012
    Ditto exactly what he said!! If you found a daycare willing to learn, jump at it now! It took us about 6 daycares to find one who was willing to learn. With us, we didn't have a choice and needed to find something for our 3 yr old. I'm so grateful the center we found and they've been amazing.

    As for sickness, it's going to happen no matter what. Our son has had a few minor sicknesses, but overall he's been fine. The socialization part is one of the biggest. We do have other kids, but kids really need to be around other ones to learn to share, get along with them, etc.

    It will take a little getting used to, and they'll probably call you a lot at first, but afterwards you'll be glad you did it.
  7. zoomom456

    zoomom456 Approved members

    Jan 19, 2011
    Welcome to the boards!

    Just to give you a little background, my son was diagnosed at 13 months while in daycare. We trained the staff on testing and recognizing lows. The other thing I made very clear to the staff, if ANYTHING is off test. At first the staff tested William tons, but pretty soon they learned his cues for lows. At 2 years old we moved onto pumping and the daycare has been wonderful about learning to count carbs and give boluses. Now we have a CGM and I must say, not only do I love it, but the daycare thinks it is the greatest device ever! The staff really likes the heads up the CGM provides. William is now 4. He is in the same daycare and will be moving to preschool soon. Most important, he is happy, healthy and active.

    As to illnesses, training others on D care, and lows while away from you, these are all fears you will have to face when your child enters school as well. The only way out is homeschooling, which many parents do successfully. Kids will get sick, and lows will happen. If you trust that the staff is well trained and has an open communication with you, then everything will be fine.

    My daycare has specific instructions on when I am to be notified immediately, when I need to be called but not urgent and when a written note is acceptable. That said, I am always called and notified immediately by staff. They feel better and I feel my child is safe.

    I can tell you that I do not regret my decision to keep my son in daycare. I am able to work and provide a better quality of life for my family. My kids are healthy and well adjusted.

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