12 Things You Should Never Say to a Daycare Mom


It’s one of the hardest decisions a working mom has to make: who to watch her child while she’s at her job. After thoughtfully researching her options, she might choose daycare … and open herself up to criticism from folks with less-than-favorable views of daycare. While we at Working Mother are firmly in the no-judgment-ever camp, the rest of the world still thinks it’s OK to say the below to moms (yet somehow, not dads). Please do us a favor and avoid letting these offensive comments and questions leave your lips.

1. Did you hear about that baby who died on his FIRST day of daycare?

Odds are yes, she has, and no, she doesn’t want to be reminded. The other thing this statement neglects to consider is that these horrible incidents tend to happen at unlicensed daycares. Most moms are choosing carefully regulated centers where safety is prioritized, lest the state shuts ‘em down.

2. Daycare is no place for a child.

Actually, that’s exactly what daycare is: a place for a child.

3. The teachers just leave kids crying in their cribs all day.

Maybe at poor-quality centers, but teachers at high-quality daycares not only make sure children’s basic needs are met in a timely manner, but they also do enriching activities, even with the babies. Anyone who’s set foot in a good center knows this.

4. A nanny/grandma is a much better choice to care for such a little kid.

For some families, sure. But unless you’re offering your reliable and affordable services, zip it.

5. Your child is in daycare already?

Lots of daycares accommodate newborns as young as 6 weeks old. If you have a problem with that, you are cordially invited to call your Congressperson to ask for a federal paid leave policy.

6. Your kid is going to be sick alllll the time.

That might be true, although some centers are fastidious about hygiene to minimize germ-sharing. Still, why bring this up?

7. I could never do that to my kid.

That’s really too bad because there are lots of benefits to daycare.

8. You’re spending your whole paycheck on it. You might as well quit your job.

Yes, daycare is, sometimes, prohibitively expensive. But you know what costs more? Leaving the workforce if you have any intention of trying to get back in.

9. Did you hear about that study that shows kids in daycare have separation anxiety/behavior problems/other imaginary issue?

Until there’s research that unequivocally proves that kids in daycare fare far worse in most ways than kids who never go, daycare will remain an excellent option for working parents. And did we mention the studies that show the positives of daycare?

10. The classic: You’ll never get this time back, you know.

See #8. Also, we have yet to find a daycare that’s open 24/7, so maybe, just maybe, the mom plans on spending her non-working time with her child.

11. Daycare is where kids learn to bite, hit and use swear words.

So’s the playground. And kindergarten. Are you planning on keeping your child in a below-ground bunker until she’s 18, all so she never utters the word “shit”?

12. She’s such a happy/smart/social/well-behaved child, for a kid in daycare.

Swap “for a kid in daycare” for “for a girl.” That should explain why this is such a bad choice even if you think this is a compliment.


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