Well, the follow-up on my conversation with the Head Start supervisor is pretty anticlimactic. He listened. He hummed when that was appropriate and tsked when that was appropriate. He tried to make excuses for her (she had just gotten a call from a sales person before me, yada, yada, yada). I said everything I thought. I think I called her a nincompoop. I was not argumentative. I was articulate. I outlined each concern. I was high on my customer service soapbox. I even told him about writing an article about chosing childcare. We talked for a long while and I ended the conversation feeling as though I had said everything that needed to be said.
Here's the thing. With the exception of his initial impulse to defend her (which he seemed to get over when I shot a gazillion holes in his defense), he did and said exactly what the nincompoop should have. He handled me well. He said they had a call into their licenser and were working hard to put dependable processes in place to ensure that nothing like this happened again (Count the freakin' kids). He thanked me for taking the time to call. He thanked me for painting a more detailed picture of what occurred. He was good. I was sure to tell him this.
Child care is hard. The part where you deal with stubborn strong willed kids is sometimes hard. Responding appropriately to each and every interaction can be really hard. Entertaining demanding kids in an "on demand" world is hard. Challenging kids and helping them develop cognitively, socially, emotionally and physically is (you guessed it) hard. It's NOT easy. Tantrums, biting, difficult parents, smelly play dough, and crappy diapers? Oh, and minimum wage? Wicked hard. Counting kids? Well, counting kids isn't website development (I currently find this more challenging than brain surgery.) Counting kids is just easy. Plain and simple.
Would I send my goldfish there? Nope. They have a long way to go. I am still considering a call into the licenser. I have heard from a couple other parents that when they are sharing the playground space with this program the teachers are just sitting on the benches yelling to the kids. Maybe if I do make this last call then I can put this to bed in my head.
Let's practice: 1,2,3,4,5.....