Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Day 18: Accomplished

My biggest accomplishment.

To explain why getting my daycare license reinstated is the biggest accomplishment of my life, and why it is the thing I am most proud of (after being a mom of course) I have to tell you a little story. That starts out...

What had happened was...

After I became a licensed daycare provider, I had 12 months to complete 12 modules that are for training purposes. They teach you how to work with kids, and all that jazz. Module number 3 is one about the daycare environment.  It covers things like having multiples of popular toys to avoid fights, what kind of blocks you should have, how to set up a room, yada yada yada. It also covers the types of play food you should have for your pretend kitchen. And this is where the story gets sad, and hilarious.

The trainer came into my house, and we were making a list of the toys that I had. She looked at me and asked "I see you have an African American child in your daycare. Do you have pretend fried chicken? I know that is something they eat."

(I'll pause while you pick your jaw up off the floor.)

This Hispanic lady, with a LOT of training in Early Childhood Education, said that I needed pretend fried chicken because there was an African American child. Because it's "what they eat". I wanted to laugh. I didn't think she could really be that dumb. I really didn't. Instead, I asked her not to make such racist statements in my home.

After I told a couple of people what she said, mostly because I couldn't BELIEVE it was said, she was angry. Sending me emails informing me that she is NOT a racist, and cannot be because she is Hispanic and her husband is white. (I'm still not sure how that is a valid argument, but whatever.)

Months went by, and she began to stop coming to my home to observe. Or if she did come by, she would be 30-45 minutes late, and only able to stay for 20 minutes or so. Which is not long enough. And then she told powers that be that *I* had stopped doing my trainings. (Which I had actually completed, and could have handed in had she asked for them.) They took my license. Paul's supervisor at the time informed me that he would not help me petition to get it back, because everyone in charge of the daycare providers out ranked him, and he was new to the base and didn't want to cause any problems.

It took two years, Holly, and a lot of yelling and swearing on my part, but I was able to fight to get my license back. I had to go before the powers that be and tell them that it was NOT 100% my fault that my license was pulled, that I would like to start over with the entire process. I told them that I stand behind my statement of the original trainer's racism (which they had not heard about but the coordinator told them that that wasn't what happened though she wasn't there when it did) and that I would not hesitate to make a statement like that again in a similar situation. But I also said I would play nice. The new trainer also told them that while bits of the original situation were my fault, I could not force the original trainer to stay in my home, or come by, and that she (the first trainer) should be held responsible for her own actions in the "incident" as I now refer to it.

Clearly, my license was reinstated. I have since finished all but one of the trainings, and I will be getting my Child Development Associates in a very short amount of time. Hopefully I will also be accredited by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) by next summer.

And when I tell my girls this story when they are older, I hope they realize that you have to stand up for yourself always, because you can't always count on someone else.

Also? I still stand behind the fact that that woman is a racist. Whether she knows it or not.

3 Thoughts on This:

Laura V. said...

That's so sad about the woman's comments. I can't believe people are so uneducated or naive or maybe just ignorant.

Happy you're getting it all back though! Good for you for standing up for yourself.

Tiff said...

I still can't get past the fact that they can tell you what kind of play food you can have.

Heather said...

I read this a few days ago, and I had to let it absorb.

It has been my experience if a person has to say they are not racist, then chances are, they are in fact a racist.

And just for the record, I eat fried chicken, too. I must be African American.

The fact that she has had so much training that she is a trainer, and still thinks such close-minded, racist thoughts BOGGLES my mind.

I am glad you got your license back. I would have totally fought for you. I wouldn't care who was what rank.