Children get sick more often than we want them to - that is part of building a healthy immune system. It is ok to bring children to dayhome if they have a mild cold or are recovering from something more serious, like an ear infection or strep throat, as long as they are taking antibiotics for these conditions and are feeling well enough to attend.
You should not bring your child to dayhome under the following circumstances:
If a child is too ill to participate in regular dayhome activities or becomes ill during the day I will contact you and we will decide what to do. Any of the above conditions require an immediate pickup.
If you discover that your child has pinkeye or head lice on a weekend, it is very important that you phone to let me know as soon as possible. These conditions are highly contagious and I will need to check other children and myself for infection and to do extra cleaning and handwashing at my home to prevent your child being reinfected.
This is not an issue much anymore, as my children are older, but if my own family members or school-age children are ill, and I feel that they are recovering enough for me to be able to care for and other children as well, I will isolate the sick child as much as possible and dayhome will remain open. I will inform you of the facts and you can make a decision about whether you want to bring your own children. Unfortunately, many conditions are contagious before children even start to show symptoms and it is therefore very hard to limit their spread to other children in the home.
As a parent who has had a child in a daycare, I do know how frustrating and inconvenient it can be to have to miss work when your child is ill. It does get easier when one's children are older, but that is little consiolation.
Here are my best suggestions to help parents keep their children healthy and avoid the frustration of sick days:
My top priority as a dayhome provider is the health and safety of the children in my care, as well as of my own family. I follow proper sanitary procedures for diaper changing and food preparation at all times, and teach the children about handwashing, proper nutrition, and safety rules. These practices are summed up in this Alberta Government publication on healthy childcare:
As a dayhome provider, I can NOT administer medications to children unless they have been provided by the parents, are contained in an original container with that child's name on it, and EACH DOSE is signed for in advance by the parents. My agency provides medication forms for this purpose.
Too many children have become injured or have died through accidental poisoning. All medications in my home must be locked up, and this includes medications and ointments left in purses or diaper bags. Medications that must be refrigerated can be locked up in our basement pantry room fridge!
It is the parents' responsibility to inform me at the time of drop-off of any medications contained in their child's diaper bag so that I can store them safely.
If parents are administering new medications, herbals or homeopathics to their children prior to coming to the dayhome, parents must provide written notice of this to enable the provider to watch for any unusual effects. A text or notation in the margin of the sign-in sheet can suffice.