Report: #112531

Complaint Review: Kindercare

  • Submitted: Tue, October 12, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, February 06, 2012
  • Reported By: Tacoma Washington
  • Kindercare
    635 South Mildred Street
    Tacoma, Washington

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

My son was in their care for approx two months. In that time, he had to be picked up or couldn't come in 12 days out of those two months due to illness that was due to him being in their care. My son had been in other daycares prior to this facility and had never been that sick.

On one occasion I was asked to come pick him up because he had a fever. When I arrived, my son was asleep on a cot with a thin blanket over him. The cot was placed directly under an open window with 50 degree air blowing in on him while he had a 104 temp. He was shivering when I picked him up. There are ants crawling all over the floor. The price was raised without telling me. I have picked him up and he's had a diaper on with another person's name on it.

Kids run around with mucus on their faces all day and no one wipes it off. My son has been on antibiotics since he has been there. I spoke with the area director who said that these things would be remedied and then my son was sick again. I have now lost my job because he's had to miss so many days due to illness and I have had to stay home with him.

They don't care if they take a child in that is sick as long as they don't have a fever. My son got pink eye from another kid there and I know it's because they aren't monitoring what is going on with the children. The corporate office has said to me that they will have the VP call or the area director. I have yet to hear anything. They charge me for everday that he is gone. This is the most unprofessional place I have ever walked in on.

I would never trust my child or any other child's care to these people. I filed a report with the coporate office twice with a promise of a call back and heard nothing. They were using the wipes I brought in for my son on other children.

The teacher in his class has changed three times in two months. Please beware before entrusting your most dear to these uncaring, unprofessional, overcharging, underskilled and underpaid caretakers. Don't pay attention to the fancy brochures, they are false advertising.

Tacoma, Washington
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/12/2004 09:24 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Yes, it is possible.

AUTHOR: Szymmie - (United States of America)

Dear Peter, yes it is possible.  Picture gravity.... yes, it makes it down all the way to the shoes!
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#2 Consumer Comment

Avoid Kindercare, Rockford IL

AUTHOR: Amber - (United States of America)

My 2 year old son has been in Kindercare for about a year now, and has been sick at least once a month since he has started. To make things worse, once he gets sick he can not go back for 24 hours. I've missed 18 days of work in the past 6 months. His temperature was never over 99 degrees. Thankfully, I have very understanding employers.

I would NOT recommend Kindercare. They take the children outside twice a day for an hour at a time unless it is under 20 degrees. This is WAY to cold for babies to be going outside!! No wonder all the children are sick. Every day when I pick him up his face and hands are chapped from being outside. (yes, I provided proper winter gear)

His face and clothes are a mess, and it appears to not have been cleaned all day. And several times he has had "accidents" on his clothes, while they are attempting to potty train. I think these "accidents" are because they do not pay proper attention and care while doing so.

I've also experienced several changes in staff in the past year. My son would get attached to one that he liked, and next thing you knew she was gone.

Price was also ridiculous, and they went through 2 times the diapers needed. Please PLEASE do not take your child to a Kindercare. I gave my 2 week notice to pull him from their care today, after yet another 99 degree temp and viral infection. 
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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Kindercare Placentia: Good infant care in open environment

AUTHOR: Littlemum - (U.S.A.)

Although it is disheartening to find so many negative reports on the national front on Kindercare Centers, I have several positives to comment on the Kindercare located in Placentia. I consider myself a conscientious parent who has spent a lot of time pondering the ups and downs of childcare, facilities, quality of caretakers, and most important, the philosophical attitude of the centers. I visited five daycare centers before choosing Kindercare, mostly because of my nervousness as a first-time parent and wondering whether daycare was right for my baby. Here's why I like and appreciate Kindercare Placentia:

1. The overall atmosphere of the center, and the strong philosophy that its babies and toddlers should be active, not passive learners: In this center, there were no swingers or rocking chairs, just an open environment for the babies to grow and explore and play. As a result, my son comes home each day happy, stimulated and confident of his experimentation with objects in the room and exploring his environment. The environment is also kept friendly and laid back: babies are allowed to be babies.

2. The center is well run and clean, and secure: It has natural lighting, is spacious, has a separate sleeping area, a diaper change area. The doors are locked and password protected. Diapers are changed every hour. (I thought this was almost too much, considering the environment effects of diaper disposal.) One negative: The room temp. is kept a little too cold.

3. Toddlers and babies have the opportunity to interact with each other at scheduled times during the day. My son accelerated in his physical ability and development by being socialized with older babies and kids in play.

4. Open conversation between caretakers and parents are allowed to happen. At one point, we were unhappy that our baby had come home dressed improperly, and he had caught a cold. We spoke directly to the caretakers and our concerns were addressed immediately. The director talked to the caretakers as well to resolve our concerns.

Some negatives have been the frequent catching of colds owing to the daycare environment - even if your baby is out sick, you still have to pay for the entire week. Also, I wish they would vary the activities a little more each day, they tend to become repetitious. I've been delighted with the art projects they do with the babies (hand, feet prints, exploring carved pumpkins during Halloween..etc.)

I think consumers have to keep in mind that these caretakers are paid very little - the average annual salary is $20,000/yr which I feel is criminal, as they have an important job. With that in mind, I feel every parent should take the active approach to approaching caretakers with respect, and make the best effort to help them help your child.
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#4 Consumer Comment

wish I would have read this first

AUTHOR: Hanna - (U.S.A.)

Should have found rip off report before enrolling my child into Kindercare! Would have saved me the time and hassle. Don't buy into their nice bubbly schtick. Once you sign on the dotted line, you'll see a big attitude change.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Same Experiences

AUTHOR: Liz - (U.S.A.)

I am a former employee of KinderCare in Reno, NV now known as Knowledge Learning Corporation. The center I was working for is now shut down because of so many violations. I was long gone by then though. The dollar is definitely the bottom line. My director had only minimal early childhood education, was sleeping with a married man whose child was enrolled, and did not try to hide the sexual behaviors of herself and her husband from the staff.

There was one point in the summer when temperatures were over 100 degrees. The AC stopped working in my preschool classroom and we constantly were asking the director to have it fixed. It would never drop below 85 in the classrooms, which was against licensing. Parents were complaining to us, but we couldn't do anything. Finally a parent took the initiative to call up the corporate office to demand it was fixed or she would sue. That's when it finally was fixed, although my coteacher and I were blamed for not preventing the parent from doing so.

I also saw incidences of teachers using other children's diapers and wipes on other children whose parents didn't bring them in.

At one point a teacher was fired because she bit a child in response to the child biting another child. She said this is what she did with her children, so it's what she thought would work with the children in her care. Obviously this is illegal, and she should have received some training to let her know this. To my amazement she was rehired a year later!

It's ufortunate that anyone with an educational background in early education eventually left because of the horrendous conditions and conflict of moral values.

...and to the person saying that only a child with retardation would pee in their are the one with mental issues. A 2-year-old does not have full control over their bladder. If they have an accident of course pee is going to run down their leg. Would you expect it to stop at their knee or something? It's a concept called gravity. To insult a child and a mother over a concept that you should have learned about in elementary school makes me question your intelligence frankly. To any competant childcare provider, the first thing you do when a child has an accident is clean them up and check their clothing for wetness. A shoe change is almost always neccessary. For this to have happened is just plain negligance.

I'm sure there are some quality KinderCare programs out there, but the ones I have worked for and seen were enough to make me quit. When evaluating a childcare program it is always a good idea to ask about the teacher's qualifications and the turnover rate. There are also many websites that you can use to learn about the violations a center has received over the last 2-5 years depending on your state.

Each state also has a program called child care resource and referral which will help you find childcare that best fits your family's needs.
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#6 Consumer Comment

A few bad apples don't spoil the whole bunch!!

AUTHOR: Karen - (U.S.A.)

You can't judge a whole corporation or all of the centers based off a few bad experiences. A lot of how a center is run has to do with management. Bad management and/or bad employees = bad center. Just because this particular location is terrible, DOESN'T mean that all the others are. I am quite sure this situation is not the norm, but I will agree that it sounds pretty reprehensible. My daughter thrives at our Kindercare, and she is treated very well. The management is wonderful, as is the staff and the teachers that care for my daughter. There has been zero turnover in her classroom. The communication between management, the teachers and the parents is great and they will always work with you. I have a couple of daily requests regarding care of my daughter, which they do as I ask. If my daughter's clothes get soiled, she is changed, sometimtes multiple times a day. I have always been notified of any rate changes, and as they are always requesting updated paperwork, they keep very good records. As far as the illness, that is pretty much status quo for daycare centers - they either build up the immunity now or when they go to school (if they stay home w/a parent). Pinkeye is highly contagious and is hard to prevent.

As far as taking sick kids that don't have a fever - if you stayed home every time your child had the sniffles, you would be fired from your job. Most working parents can't afford to stay home every time their kid gets a little cold. Kids get sick, period. If your kid is on antiobiotics, you only have to keep them home for 24 hours and they can go back. The parents are always notified when a highly contagious illness is going around the center. I am not sure about the diaper issue, as our center has a daily log and the number of diaper changes, feedings, and naps is recorded. As far as having to pay for so many days when your child wasn't able to attend, this was stated in your contract, and if you didn't agree, you shouldn't have signed it.

Regarding the turnover - another sign that the center was poorly run. I am not sure who you would report the ants issue to, but you might want to look into that. If enough people complain, maybe something will be done. Kindercare is worth every penny to us and I wouldn't take my daughter anywhere else. I am sorry for your situation and hope that you find something better.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Licensing's View of KinderCare

AUTHOR: Carmela - (U.S.A.)

Many years ago when I was licensing my own child care center, I visited the childcare licensing offices to personally meet my licensing rep. During that first discussion, she told me that they refer to KinderCare as "Kentucky Fried Kids". That says a lot.
Check out a website called "daycaresdontcare" (think that's right) for a frightening view of childcare. As a former owner/director of multiple nationally accredited facilities, I can tell you that although all you'll read on that site doesn't happen in all centers, some of it happens everywhere. Now I'm a granny and I care for my five grandchildren (ages 1 - 4)at home because I know, no matter how grand the facility, how nice the director, how great the curriculum, it's still impersonal institutional care, and I want something more personal and loving for my grandbabies.
Granny C.
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#8 Consumer Comment

My son used to go to Kinder care

AUTHOR: Jamie - (U.S.A.)

He's 4 now and my wife stays at home.

Back when he was first born she still worked full time and he was placed in Kindercare at 2 months old.

He was sick constantly. He was only enrolled for 2-3 months but he missed at least 1/3 of the days cause he stayed sick and on medications.

Most of the equipment in the infant room did not work ie swings etc. The workers had to manually push the swing cause the electronics were broke. They were maxed out on the number of kids yet could not afford swings that work?

They also had numerous violations from the state of VA like having cleaning materials (bleach, lysol etc) not secured. Any kid could've grabbed that stuff and drank it.

We removed him and placed him in an in home center with 3 other children and he NEVER was sick there.
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#9 Consumer Suggestion

My son was bitten

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

When my son was bitten right near the eye, the staff informed me immediately. In fact, after another event with a different child, the child that was doing the biting was no longer allowed to stay at Kindercare. Our center does not tolerate that kind of behavior. It's sad to hear about these other centers being so lax in their care, but the one in Racine is wonderful!!
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#10 Consumer Comment

Oregon KinderCare exactly the same

AUTHOR: Nicole - (U.S.A.)

My son has been enrolled in said kindercare for about six months now and since he has been enrolled has been bitten by other children at least ten times.

Three times it happend I was not informed by the staff at the daycare but later by my son,
Once he was even bitten hard enough to draw blood.

Last friday I picked my son up and he had a bee sting on his eye that nobody mentioned to me (because they didn't even know it happend) again he had to tell me what happend,
coincidentally my son had never been stung by a bee before and could have had a rather dangerous allergic reaction thankfully he didn't.

I went in to talk to Leann the site director and we discussed the lack of responsibility on behalf of the teachers and she said she would be speaking with everybody one on one.
Today I got a phone call while I was at work from Leann stating that my son had been bitten again.

Needless to say today was my sons last day at kindercare and i am looking into things with my attorney about a lawsuit
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#11 UPDATE EX-employee responds

All KinderCares Are the Same...

AUTHOR: Douglas - (U.S.A.)

I worked at a KinderCare in Northern Virginia for four months, and I had the same kind of problems with it that all of you have with the ones you sent your children to. I worked in the school-age classroom and they always left me 15-20 kids over my ratio without any kind of assistance whatsoever! In fact, almost every classroom was overcrowded and thus children were not given the individual attention they needed/deserved. As a result of all this, the center had received 40 violations from the Department of Licensing (which is A LOT) and was on the verge of being shut down.

The management team I worked for didn't care at all about my classroom or the center in general for that matter, and they all constantly took vacation leave and days off. How they could go on vacation when their center was on the brink of being shut down was beyond me. They made no attempt to interact with the kids or the employees and never had any idea what was going on inside the classrooms with the students.

I agree with the other ex-employee who stated that KinderCare is all about money and not about the kids. The parents are charged ridiculous sums of money (300$ a week is what I believe my center was charging), but their children are provided with sub-par service. You'd think with the ridiculous amount of money KC was making that they'd provide their classrooms and teachers with a plethora of materials/toys for their attendees to use for games and projects. However, my classroom was completely bare! There were virtually no toys or project materials for the students aside from a lego set with a lot of missing pieces and some paint that looked like it was 30 years old. There were no markers, glue, pencils, and other materials that should be mandatory for any typical classroom to have. Everytime I asked for any kind of supplies for my classroom, I was given a grunt that sounded like "it's not in our budget". Which, given the # of kids that attended the center and the amount of money they were charging, was very hard for me to believe.

Yes, there are some good KinderCare and good managers; I have met/seen them. However, in my experience, KinderCare has more centers that look and feel like warehouses and factories rather than places for your children to play and grow. The problem is that KC is a conglomerate and, as is the case with EVERY big business, the primary objective is generating a cash flow. You are better off sending your child to a PRIVATE daycare that's not owned by a huge corporation and cares more about the welfare of your kids than the welfare of the higher-ups in their corporate office.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Kindercare Placentia California Sucks - not getting what you pay for

AUTHOR: Tina - (U.S.A.)

I spent many hours/days/weeks looking for a good daycare, and the Placentia Kindercare failed BADLY. They say you get what you pay for - well not in this case. I did a transition stage with my 6 month baby and it went well. The first full day I left baby he had poop up his back and yes I found it - I went to see baby during my lunch break and I immediately smelled it on him. The girl looking after infants looked pretty frazzled. On the second day not only was there poop sent home, packed in a bag on both his t-shirt and sleeper but more importantly they forgot to feed him. I looked at the written informational sheet that they send home to discover that the last time he ate was noon, it was going on 5:15. I had to call and verify. The worst facility I have seen and I would not recommend it to ANYONE!!
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#13 Consumer Comment

The same happened to me

AUTHOR: Jordyn - (U.S.A.)

My kids attended Kindercare, after 2 weeks they let me know that it was time for annual price hikes. I lost my job because they claim that my child was sick every two days but when I would pick her she wasn't sick. I was told, once my son start school that fall that the prices would come down, didn't happen. I had a fierce technical training classes to attend, I received at least 10 calls, (from kindercare), that interrupted these classes. It was a total nightmare. The funny part is, my husband and I decided that I would become a stay at home mom until my daughter was old enough. My daughter only has been sick twice. Both was the result of an allergy.
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#14 Consumer Suggestion

Fan of KinderCare with business background

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

We pulled our son out of another daycare and brought him to our local KinderCare. The director is a former client of mine, so I know her well and know she cares not only about the children, but her employees as well. She is also a good businesswoman who knows how to balance her responsibility to the parents and children, to her employees, and to Corporate.

We have never had a single complaint about this center, but I know that your own experience with ANY business depends very much on who is runnning the show. I have worked as a business manager in every situation, from Corporately-owned to independently franchised, to mom-and-pop outfits. I can tell you that regardless of who owns the business, it's the manager that sets the tone and who has the most influence on the kind of service you receive.

Please just keep this in mind when choosing any business, but especially when it comes to a daycare. With that said, no employee needs to stay where they are not treated well. And although no parent should keep a child in a situation that is not safe, I do believe in my responsibility to work with the center to solve any issues that come up. Please remember that billing mistakes do happen, and if the center is Corporately owned, it really does take a few weeks to issue a refund. This is not at all uncommon.

If you are an employee being mistreated, you have rights and there are agencies set up to help you. If you are a parent with complaints, you have even more help available to you. The most important thing is to file complaints with anyone and everyone who will listen, even if the only result is to get on record that there is a problem with your center.

Fortunately, our local KinderCare is wonderful and our son is very happy there. I am sorry it can't be the same everywhere.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Response to C from St Paul

AUTHOR: Peter - (U.S.A.)

How in the world could your son have peed in his shoe?? How is that possible unless he did it on purpose? And why would that be the responsibility of Kindercare? I don't know of any child care agency that regularly checks the feet of children to make sure they have not peed in their shoes! I think that they were right-on about him being developmentally challenged, as that is something that only a retarded child would do.
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#16 Consumer Suggestion

My daughter loves KinderCare!!

AUTHOR: Jenifer - (U.S.A.)

I actually pulled my daughter out of the YMCA to enroll her in this program. It is on-site at her elementary school-she can just walk into the cafeteria after worries on my part as to whether or not the YMCA actually bothered to pick her up that day from school. I pay 2 weeks in advance...she is enrolled in a 5 day a week program for what I pay-it is not a daily fee. I fully expect to pay that unless she is gone for 5 days or more---after all, there isn't someone else to come in and take over her daycare fee if she is gone. The facility is spotless, the caregivers are great and she is happy!! I don't know that I can speak on the facilities for the younger children who are not yet in school, but this one for school-age children is wonderful!!!
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#17 Consumer Suggestion

It must depend on which center.

AUTHOR: Christine - (U.S.A.)

I've had my son in Kindercare for 4 years now, and don't have a complaint. Very low turnover in teachers, and a very clean center. They always keep me informed as to what's going on, when the prices will be raised, etc. Of course, this particular center is a nationally accredited center, which is why I chose it in the first place. I'm sorry you all have had bad experiences, but not all Kindercare daycare centers are that bad.
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#18 Consumer Comment

Kindercare Sucks

AUTHOR: C - (U.S.A.)

The same thing happened to me.

I over paid (read they over charged me and double billed me) and they were to send me a refund. I didn't get a refund for 6 months! It was close to $1000. I got the run around, "one more week. Since it's over $100 it has to come from the corporate office. We have to verify those are the actual funds you paid, etc." I wanted to use it for Christmas, but didn't get it until late Feb... after I finally sent them a note that if I did not have my money with in a week, I would take legal action and charge for late fees as well as interest. The check was on my desk a week later.

As for child care:

1. They let my son outside in the snow in below freezing weather in the middle of feb, with no snow suit, hat or mittens on. Claiming "they couldn't find them". Funny it was the first thing I saw when I walked in.

2. He had an accident. He peed in his shoe (he was 2 at the time) and they left him in it so long his toes were wrinkled and his foot was cold.

3. They didn't change his diaper. PERIOD. I would pick him up and he would smell of feces and urine.

4. They told me my child was "developmentally challenged"!

5. They called me at least 3 times a week to pick up my child for "being sick" and he has a blood condition that causes (untransferable) rashes. He was not allowed to come to day care if he had an active rash showing. So basically if he had a rash I wouldn't be able to bring him for two weeks. I even provided a doctors note stating that the rash he had was not infectious. They still wouldn't let him in.

We only stayed there for a month!
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#19 Author of original report

Kindercare, Tacoma, WA

AUTHOR: Tara - (U.S.A.)

Thank you for your feedback Kelly. I figured that practices like that were going on there. Especially because his teacher has changed 3 times in the last two months. It's nice to get the truth from someone who knows. Sending a child home who doesn't have a fever is deplorable. If this was all about the money, I would be satisfied with the offer she made me but it's not. It's about the care of my son. I don't see what would possibly change if I were to take my son back to another one of their centers. I feel bad for the daycare workers out there who are like you and want to make a difference and are truly passionate about caring for children because most of the time your spirit is crushed because of the all the laws in place and the way that you are treated by the owners/operators of the daycare. I hope that you and all the other "real" child care providers out there can find a place that appreciates the kind of work and care that you provide. As for me, when the time comes to place my child in daycare again, I will not be using Kindercare and will hopefully not face these challenges in the future. Thank you for your kind words and good luck to you.
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#20 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Why would a parent have their child at a KinderCare?

AUTHOR: Kelly - (U.S.A.)

I hope you aren't actually considering taking her up on those free weeks of childcare. You yourself said it was crap. Personally, I think if you feel that way about a center you shouldn't return your child there, since that would be irresponsible. If you mention that KinderCare is doing that, most centers will give you some sort of comprable offer if you agree to at least 3 months or so of continued use. I used to work for KinderCare, but left after 2 years of dealing with absolute B.S. Its all about the money with them, not the children. I have a bachelor's degree in both early childhood education and human development. I tried as hard as I could to change things at the center I was in, but corporate won't let you. I really wanted to make a difference there. I felt that I could really do some good for KinderCare with all of my education and experience. I just couldn't take it anymore though. There are much better centers out there that won't screw you over as a parent. At my center, teachers who were out of ratio, who were written up repeatedly by social services, etc. were either not let go of or hired back! It's all about the bottom line with them. I even knew teachers who would send kids home who didn't really have a temperature, but they'd say they did just to lower the amount of kids in their class! I would seriously question if your child was really as sick as they said on those days!

As for the diaper thing...I would ask for them to keep a log/chart of how many diapers you have there and how many are used. We were told just to take a diaper from another child who had a lot if another child was out. Nobody ever acurately kept track of how many diapers a child was owed. I know how expensive diapers can be, and when 3 or 4 are repeatedly being taken a week from the kids whose parents are responsible, it can add up! Do you really want to be paying for another child's diapers?

One thing I do have to say is that it is standard practice to still charge the parents for days that are missed by the child. This is because a teacher still needs to be in that classroom regardless of whether or not your child is there. Its not like a child can just come in and take your child's spot on a random basis. However, most good centers will give you a 2 week allowance per year of days that can be missed without being charged. I do however question the fact that KinderCare would not let your child be there so many days. Again, I think it was just that corporate likes to keep the ratios with as many children to each teacher as possible. This tires the teachers, so when they can send home even one kid, they will try!

Good luck with finding a new job. I commend you for being proactive about your child's care.
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#21 Author of original report

Kindercare update - Tacoma, WA

AUTHOR: Tara - (U.S.A.)

The area director finally contacted me today. I would just like to let everyone know that she did apologize up and down for what had taken place. She offered me free daycare while I am looking for a new job and wants to offer me free daycare for a couple of weeks so I can give them a second chance. She wants me to try another one of her centers in Tacoma. So at least she has taken responsibility for what has taken place. It's not a perfect fix but at least it's an effort.
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