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I Was Told ‘We Are Not A Good Fit’

I Was Told 'We Are Not A Good Fit'
I had finally filled my last daycare spot that I had been trying to fill for several months, mainly because I was having the worst year ever. But things were “starting” to look up as I brought on a new family. They were transitioning over from another daycare that again was not a good fit for them and their family’s needs. Maybe this was the beginning of a pattern for this family, I have no idea, just mere speculation. Or maybe they were just having bad luck like me.

The ‘not a good fit’ week.

The ‘not a good fit’ week didn’t start off too good and not because of the daycare. On a personal note, we were dealing with family illnesses and the slaughter of our chicken (named after one of my daycare kids) by a raccoon in our backyard. So we already were not off to a good start. I’ll have to write more about this on another post.

And so the week began with this new family. It was a girl! And if any of you knew me I usually have all boys in my daycare. I’ve even been teased about changing my daycare business name to Shadow Oaks Boys Academy, LOL!

Thrilled that a girl was joining us I made a cute little welcoming banner for her and posted it on my Shadow Oaks Daycare Facebook page.

It's A Girl!

It’s A Girl!

She was three months old, dropped off all decked out with her hair bow and her black and white converse all star high tops. Of course, I removed all the accessories as we started the day and I began to get her settled into her new surroundings.

I put her in a safe spot, so I thought.

So I’ll just get right to it. If you were going to change a child’s diaper and had to put another child (baby) down in order to accomplish this task, where would you put her? Um yes, the safest place possible, which was behind a gate from the other kids and in a pack ‘n play. We were all in the same room. She was in a safe place. What could possibly go wrong? So that is where I put her.

I admit she was not happy when I had to put her down but I needed to attend to another child at the time. She was fussy and kicking her feet and I continued on changing the other child’s diaper. As I finished up throwing away the dirty diaper, I turned and headed off in the baby’s direction only to find blood on the nylon mesh of the pack ‘n play. My first thoughts that crossed my mind was “What the hell is that? Is that blood? Is she ok? How on earth did that happen?”

As I quickly inspected her and the surrounding area, I come to find out that she had a layer of skin removed off her pinky toe from kicking the nylon mesh on the pack ‘n play. I had never thought this would or could happen. I quickly controlled the bleeding and informed mom with a phone call. The phone call was later preceded with a text message of images and how to treat her little-injured toe. Mom came up with the idea to have her wear socks from now on when she was placed in the pack ‘n play. I thought that was a good idea.

I did research on pack ‘n play injuries from the nylon mesh.

After googling our mishap from the pack ‘n play I found out that many other caregivers have had the same thing happen. Below are some of my findings…

Pack N’ Play Injury… any advice?
Bloody toe on baby – pack n play injury!
Pack ‘n play mesh acted like a “cheese grater”.

Continuing on with the ‘not a good fit’ week.

We continued on with the week, dealing with our family illnesses and mid-week having the day off to celebrate my daughter graduating middle school. And then Thursday…it was supposed to be smooth sailing from here on out. So I thought!

Exhausted from the year, the week, the day, I sat on my couch watching the kids play. The three-month-old happy as can be was on my lap, facing out, and watching the other kids play as well. I paused for the day, soaking in the happy noises and the calm atmosphere. Some time had passed and before I knew it it was time to give her her bottle. I began to feed her and as she held my hand I noticed the mark on her arm. “Are you kidding me? How the heck did that happen?”

I tried to figure out what happened to her arm. Was she scratched by another kid? No way. Well, how was she injured? We were just sitting here on the couch. Then it crossed my mind, she gave herself a hickey, sure enough, it was self-inflicted. She had been sitting on my lap, sucking away, while we watched the other kids play.

Baby hickeys
LO has a hickey!
She’s giving herself hickies!!

Again I immediately informed mom of what had happened with a text message and photo. I asked her if she had ever done this before. She told me that her daughter had given her a hickey before but never herself. It was a nice conversation between two people communicating about the child. But then ended with a text message from mom that read, “Hi Elyssa so I’m actually out of work early so I’m going to come get (daycare child) now if that’s ok?” And there was hint #1.

Usually my gut feelings are right.

I started to get that gut feeling that they were not happy after receiving mom’s text message. Mom ended up coming to pick up the baby and then preceded to tell me that she would not be here on Friday because her boss allowed her to work from home. And there was hint #2. This was going to be a long weekend.

Sure enough, Sunday afternoon arrived, and this is the day I figured I was going to get the call. I got the call from dad. And dad’s words were, “We are not a good fit.”

I tried processing the whole thing in my mind.

I guess I fell in the lines of #6 here, I wish we could have talked it out and worked through whatever they were feeling but I’m guessing we were beyond that point. They were going forward with the “something doesn’t feel right” and who can blame them. I get it.

What’s your feedback? Could I have done something differently? Have you ever been told, “you’re not a good fit”? Or as a parent, what’s your perspective on this?

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Interestingly enough, I'm a home daycare provider at Shadow Oaks Daycare in Thousand Oaks, California. Before Shadow Oaks Daycare, I worked at a promotional advertising company in the advertising specialty industry as a System Analyst and Cost Accountant. On my spare time I like to create websites using WordPress.


  1. As a daycare provider myself, I say, don’t take it personally. You did the right things, You talked to the parents about things that came up. We can’t control their responses to things that come up only our own responses. If the parents only knew the things we worry about during the day! Don’t beat yourself up. Go forward. 😊

  2. Umm- their loss! You are AMAZING! We miss you tons. I have never had such a loving and conscientious person take care of my child. I am willing to bet that they aren’t a good fit anywhere! Xo we love you! -krista (and lily!)

  3. Taking newborns like you do is pretty impressive. I did daycare for a short time years ago, and chose to only keep toddlers and up, and I’ve been nursery supervisor at two churches (for newborns and up.) Parents are extra careful of babies ( I know I was – and my kids were only in the church nursery) SO hang in there! It’s not you – it’s super duper careful parents.

  4. I think there are so many variables and some people won’t be happy no matter what. You just do you and it’s going to turn out okay in the end. This is not an easy job, we are critiqued by everyone when no one has tried to do what we are doing. You handled it great, so even though it’s nearly impossible, try to let it go. We’ve all been there.

  5. They need a nanny

  6. I think they are right, it isn’t a good fit…. For you. As childcare providers, we are always under a microscope. The liability is high enough without parents who want to nitpick every little thing. Yes, babies suck on themselves and sometimes leave marks. And sometimes they get hurt in a seemingly safe place. When my daughter was a baby (very young) I went to change her diaper and pulled off her footed onesie and found she had a piece of my hair tied around her toe and her toe was cut and the circulation was cut off. When I went to the ER with her (because I was scared to death) we dealt with it. My pediatrician later told me on the follow up visit that this happens VERY often. So yes, things happen to even very young immobile babies sometimes. I think you dodged a bullet with this family. They likely won’t be happy with any caregiver. It isn’t about you!!

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