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The Trouble With Daycare: What’s With All The Criminal Madness??!!

By Serge Bielanko |

Kids in daycare.

They are calling it a ‘Fight Club’ for toddlers.

According to a piece today, a Delaware daycare center has been shut down and three people have been arrested for encouraging three-year-olds to fistfight for the adult’s entertainment.

People, people, people, I ask you with sincerity.

What the hell is going on out there?!

This is just the latest in a rash of recent stories about daycare facilities that specialize not just in nap times and games, but also in extreme trauma and horrific crime.

I mean what are you looking for, what do ya’ need? There seems to be no shortage of outlaws dancing around in the daycare field.

Parents that barge in and punch other people’s kids? Check.

Drunks hanging out with the children? Check.

Pyromaniac child attendants that burn your kids alive? Check.

The list goes on and on and it’s completely insane.

It seems to me that every time I take a ride in my car, I see another sign popped out on someone’s front yard that says DAYCARE. But I’m thinking that a lot of times what they really meant to post was a sign that reads: “Hey, drop your kids off here! I need the loot! We got juice boxes AND an old stack of Legos!”

Why is that? Is it really that easy for people to go into the real business of officially taking care of our kids? Or is the leader of a daycare just a glorified babysitter like the ones you can just call up on Craigslist.

Now, I’m not a paranoid parent by any means. My daughter goes to a daycare at our local YMCA, and while her mommy and I both toured the facility and met the care-takers and talked to the head of operations before we allowed her to start there, I’m starting to wonder…was that enough? What else should I be doing or watching or uncovering?

She loves it there and has made a lot of friends, both young and old.

But still.

It’s really heartbreaking to learn of these places where people pay fairly decent money to allow the most valuable people in their lives to be cared for by strangers who are supposed to be ‘professional’ to some degree. But, with today’s awful news,I’m now asking: ‘what is a professional daycare worker?”

Is it a stay-at-home mom who needs cash? Is it a teenager or a college kid looking to break in to the education field and make a little scratch? Or is it a person who has gone through some rigorous criminal background checks as well as at least some degree of state-mandated intense training before they are allowed anywhere near children?

I’m not certain of the answer actually, but judging by all the signs up on front lawns up and down my home county, I’m guessing that it isn’t choice C.

Yeah, I know, I know, there are thousands and thousands of good and decent people running way more safe daycare centers than there are wackos running ‘Fight Clubs For Kids’. But it’s a really terrible situation when even one defenseless child in daycare is being abused or neglected or mistreated by the people in charge.

One is too many. And we are way past one now.

But how do we end it? What can be done?

Is it all up to parents like me to make certain we pick the right place?

Tell me what you think. Tell me what you know.




You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.

More from Serge:

Bookworms Forever: Why Kids Who Love Reading Live Better Lives

Was I Wrong to Post This Picture of My Daughter and Myself on the Internet?

10 Qualities I Hope My Daughter Picks Up From Her Mother

Baby’s First Week At Home: Invaluable Tips For New Dads


The Ways Of Love: 20 Things My Kids Have Taught Me About Living




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About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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6 thoughts on “The Trouble With Daycare: What’s With All The Criminal Madness??!!

  1. Nina says:

    I’m really nervous about placing my son in daycare — even if DHS certifications or other stuffs are completed. Is there really a most perfect place (ALL the time)? Maybe I’m going to be a helicopter mom…

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Nina, you’ll be fine. There are tons of great places just about everywhere. My hope was to stir up some discussion about the places that might not be run by qualified people and what exactly we are all looking for in a daycare. Our family experience with the YMCA has been phenomenal. If there’s one available to you, check it out. Good luck!

  2. bunnytwenty says:

    Um, dude – you do realize that the mass media trump up these stories to make parents more anxious in order to make working women feel guilty, right? There is no huge terrible rash of daycare tragedies; it’s just that every time anything goes wrong in a daycare (and forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t parents at home sometimes abuse their children as well?), it’s trumpeted in EVERY HEADLINE EVERYWHERE.

    Don’t fall for the BS panic created to pressure women back into the home. You’re too smart for that, Serge.

    1. sergebielanko says:

      bt: Well, I wasn’t looking to push anyone anywhere. Just a discussion on daycare safety is all. Thanks though.

  3. Nina says:

    Thanks, sir! I appreciate the encouragement. I think I would look for a creative environment, padded walls, and perhaps a bar. Oh wait. That’s for me and not the one year old. Nix the bar and let’s pretend I said “a detailed and responsive staff or individual that my kid enjoys being around” or something else that makes it sound like I know what I’m doing.

  4. @TheGizzardStone says:

    Our son goes to an in home daycare with six kids run by one woman. She was recommended by our pediatrician and midwife. Here are some ways we vetted her:

    Recommendations from third parties and friends of ours whose kids she took care of.

    She is licensed and gets grants for improvement and equipment. She also has to take a certain number of hours of training each month.

    Money: she isn’t cheep. My sister took her boy to a cheep in home daycare and regretted it.


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