We do not allow any kind of physical discipline in daycare such as spanking, slapping, smacking, yelling or hitting. This type of discipline will not be used in daycare, regardless of your practices in your own home. We will not do anything that will threaten, frighten, or humiliate your child, please do not ask us to use these methods. Instead, we prefer the following discipline methods to handle any dangerous or hurtful offenses:
For children under the age of about 12 months, we find it most effective to remove the child from the situation, and redirect their attention elsewhere. Although we will most likely explain to the child that the offending behavior was inappropriate; children of this age are rarely are able to fully understand what they have done. Fortunately, at this age their attention span is also usually shorter than with older children, so simply showing them a different toy or activity usually does the job.
For children of about age 12 months and over, we will alert the child to the offense by saying firmly “No Thank You” with an explanation of what they did wrong. Then if the child chooses not to behave appropriately, we will place the child in the time out spot for a period of about 1 minute per year of age, not to exceed 10 minutes. At the end of the time-out, we will ask the child if he or she understands why they had a time-out, ask if they understand why they shouldn’t do that behavior, then ask if they are ready to play nicely again.
We will also encourage children to apologize to the other child/ren involved, when developmentally appropriate. This method not only stops the offending behavior, but also teaches the child consequence, responsibility, and empathy in a positive manner. Dangerous and hurtful offenses include hitting, biting, kicking, pushing, hair pulling, throwing objects at someone, climbing on an inappropriate structure, willful destruction of property, tantrum throwing, and not following reasonable requests. These relatively minor offenses will be handled as described above, depending upon the child’s age and developmental stage.
In the rare instance that we feel any child in care has a serious discipline problem I will request a conference with the parent(s). If an understanding cannot be reached, I reserve the right to terminate our contract with as much notice as possible in order to guarantee the comfort and safety of the other children in care. We will reward positive behavior with praise and encouragement.