All daycare business owners should have policies regarding biting incidents, hitting, and other types of behavioral issues. Not only does it help maintain order, but it is important to have signed rules and policies in place that protect your daycare’s liability.
A daycare owner asks: “Anyone willing to share your policy on hitting or biting (pushing, kicking, all other forms of physical aggression)? I am trying to rewrite some of my policies and I am curious what others use as discipline and how you determine the need for termination.” We asked the fans of OwnADaycare on Facebook who are daycare owners for their opinions on this matter. Here are their best responses:
- Unacceptable. The child is told so and if they do not continue then they cannot play with everyone else until they stop. If it becomes a problem again the parent is informed. If it continues then at that point we will discuss termination.
- This is a tricky one. Children are in a group setting to learn how to interact with other children, “kicking them out” is not solving any problems. As long as no one is getting hurt, I would record all occurances and look for a trend. This could help identify what is causing the negative behaviour and help you find a way to prevent it a/o deal with it before it escalates. Speak to the parents about the behaviour and make the policies clear to the children (where developmentally appropriate) that they have to have gentle hands with all their daycare friends.
- I had a constant bitter a few months back. I had a meeting with the parent, came up with an action plan, and informed her that if we weren’t able to stop him from biting together i would have to let him go. He did stop biting and is great with the other kids now.
- Depends on the age of the child and if recurring incidents. For young toddlers I’ve removed them from the play area every time they were physical. In most cases, the issue resolved itself. For one child, however, I placed him in a playpen every time he bit. He hated it, but he broke the skin on two infants & an older child. As mentioned above, I spoke w/all parents as to what I was doing in reference to their child’s behavior & perhaps it should be done at home as well. If all parties agree, it’s great. If not, you need to consider the safety of all, as well as parental reaction from the “victim”. In my case, he stopped the biting but it took patience & consistency. Keep in mind as a provider, you don’t know what their home life is like, you can assume, but that’s it. Aggressive children learn it from somewhere but thy have the sense to learn aggressiveness isn’t acceptable everywhere. Your day care is one. It’s good to outline your discipline procedures & reason for termination, but there’s always the exception.
- In my daycare any physical aggression is an automatic time out. The age of the child depends on how long I am willing to work with the child to change the behavior. Severe issues like biting, doing anything that leaves a mark on another child result in parent notification. But I have toddlers some of which aren’t verbal yet, so we are just beginning to learn to stop these things. I will terminate if the problem is persistent in older children, like preschool age and older. By that age, there is no reason to act out in such a way, and it can become unsafe to the other children.
- I look at it as this is normal development for children. Most of the time the aggression comes from frustration, especially if a child is not able to communicate with others very well. I feel it is my job to help teach them appropriate responses to their frustration and over time it does diminish.
- I always have to stop and look at the big picture. If it’s affecting other families and other children u don’t want them to find other daycare. I would do a discussion with the parents of the child who is misbehaving to see if it’s happening at home as well and what they do as far as discipline. If it continues and continues then u may have to let that family go as it’s not fair to the rest.
- Put a teething ring on a necklace and make them wear it, obviously not at nap or unsupervised but it gives them something to bite instead of the children
- Having children of my own and providing daycare, I realize as a mom/ provider it comes and goes and with each child its different. Your policies should reflect your house rules and your view of ages and stages. That way if an incident comes up you can handle it individually instead of trying to make each family fit into a box. Children make some pretty weird choices most of the time. It’s how they learn… it keeps our lives interesting and our days full.
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