So your baby or child has been at their day care for a few months now and they just haven’t taken to it.

You may notice they are unhappier at home, continue to scream or cling to you at drop off, don’t engage with the other kids or staff, or have become more withdrawn.

You’ve probably decided your baby hates daycare.

It’s tough to make a decision to pull them out, especially if you’re a busy working parent. There are times when it may be necessary but before you do so, it’s important to work out what’s going on exactly.

Try to determine the cause of why your child hates daycare

Is it the centre, a specific carer, maybe another child, or separation anxiety? Depending on the root cause, there may be strategies that you and the centre can implement.

Sometimes a child just won’t settle into their daycare environment.

All the other kids might be thriving there, so it’s not necessarily a bad environment, just not the right one for your child.

If the centre can’t help make the necessary adjustments (their teaching style could be too rigid or too carefree for your child), you may need to move them elsewhere.

There could be a problem with a daycare teacher or another child

This can also be tricky but see what the centre manager recommends.

They may have strategies they can put in place such as making another room teacher your child’s primary caregiver, or if it’s another child causing yours grief, perhaps they can keep the children separated.

If your child is being bullied the centre should have very clear policies about how this will be dealt with as it should not be tolerated.

Your child may be suffering from separation anxiety

Again the centre can probably make recommendations on how to deal with this or advise when this developmental phase is likely to pass.

If it never does, you may need to consider moving them elsewhere as it’s likely to be the environment.

At the end of the day, you’ll do the best you can and you will need to take your cues from your child.

After all, no one in your family is gong to be happy if your child isn’t.

The pain of finding alternative arrangements that your child responds well to is going to be worth it long term.

Consider alternatives such as a nanny-share arrangement (whereby you and another family share the cost of a nanny), a mummy-nanny arrangement (when a mum takes care of her own child as well as yours), or family daycare (typically capped at four children).

These types of environments are often less stressful and overwhelming because there simply isn’t as much going on.

Have you experienced similar issues with your children at Day Care? How did you resolve the issues, please share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com


  • I think that’s the hardest thing for a parent when you have to leave your child crying when they go to childcare but you just have to keep taking them and they will get used to it.


  • i think your answer is right there ‘ she seems to , not necessarily she does, but appears to. Drop offs are always the toughest bit , but if you ask how she was 10 minutes after you left, an hour later, halfway through the day, you’d prob get a different response. Our childcare centre gave us lots of advice before we started, saying for ex ‘dont be tempted to sneak off while they are distracted, as this will be more distressing for them and feel like they cant trust you or let you go at all’… if the drop off is the only thing that she doesnt like, this can be worked on…it gets better, I promise! As she gets used to you going and returning. Staff will give her extra cuddles and reassurance to help settle her and give reassurance that mummy will return .


  • As a childcare worker I can assure you that most children cry due to them leaving their parent, but usually once given cuddles by a carer they usually settle down and wander off to play with their friends. Until the child realizes that their parent will be back later, they tend to think they are going to be left there, this is something completely normal and if the centre has good staff they will help out with this situation by distracting the child with a toy or a cuddle or something. I always tell parents that if they are looking for a daycare for their child, if when they go into a centre if it doesnt feel right, then its not for you. Also if when you go into a room to have a look around, the carer should greet the child first, not the parent, this shows that the carer is taking the time to try and initiate a friendship with your child and make them feel happy and easy within the room.
    I have children who get upset after being in daycare for 2 or 3 years .. no reason that anyone can account for, but they should be settled with a carer they trust/like and then the parents know they are okay. Also I have to say all the carers I know are only too happy to have cuddles from a child if they are upset or just want a snuggle! :)


  • Im dreading this. My bub is 10 months old and won’t be at daycare until after he turns one. But I do worry if he hates it.


  • No I didn’t have issues. My kids loved daycare and blossomed there


  • We don’t have issues, my older one loves daycare. He has many friends, more than me! He has lots of fun.


  • This is one of my worries as a parent for my daughter too going into kinder.


  • My friend has had issues with her son at daycare and ended up taking him out and putting him into another one.
    Another child was suffocating hers and just wouldn’t leave him alone and the teachers weren’t doing anything about it.
    Hopeful when my kids go to daycare they will be okay.


  • There can be a few issues, staff other children environment etc


  • My kids are having a rough patch at daycare but unfortunately it’s my only option. I can’t afford not to work.


  • I count myself so lucky that all my kids liked daycare. And now school.


  • My kids are not attending day care .


  • In some instances the child care doesn’t help, id take that as a reason to leave


  • My son goes through stages where he loves it one minute and hates it the next. there are some good tips here to help me


  • My son was not impressed with daycare and it didn’t matter how hard I tried to explain the good side of day care he would always find a negative. I spent most of my time in daycare with my son.


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