Kicked Out of Preschool & Day Care?


I’m not sure when and why this started happening, but these days it seems to be happening more often than ever, that is, toddlers being kicked out of preschools and day care.

My mother was a day care provider, so I can really understand that sometimes children can be ultra-challenging and maybe the day care does not have the training to address the needs of the child.

But, just releasing a child because he is too much is just unacceptable in my opinion.

Many times these children are just let go, no meetings involved, no resources given to the parent, no alternative plan, just given the boot.

I say, if you have gone into working with young children, then that means all children. And if that is what you are committed to, then you find a way, you collaborate with professionals and the parents, you support the family that entrusted their child to you.

I have heard of at least 10 different children in the past six months getting kicked out of their day care settings due to crying, hitting, and not being able to sit still. We don’t quit on toddlers; that is not “OK.”

I honestly think that everyone who obtains a license to work with young children need to commit to trying (and documenting) many different avenues and having meetings prior to, and instead of just quitting the child and the family.

I have heard the stories from various parents, such as: “The school sat us down and just asked us not to come back because he is not appropriate for the school.”

Can you imagine being a parent and hearing information like that when your child is so young? Parents are defeated and become worrisome about their child’s future. Where do they turn now? Many times they are not offered resources or an additional referral.

I propose legislators get involved here and develop a plan for what to do and protect these young children and their families. That way these centers would have to have documented formalities such as referring to a supporting agency (regional center, medical referral, school district).

Another option that schools can consider is meeting with the family to adjust schedules. Maybe it is too long of a day, or perhaps the child has a hard time with “circle time”?

I am not saying that day cares and preschools force a child into their environment if it is not working for them. But if kicking the child out is truly the only option, there should be documented effort, meetings, and resources offered to the parent first.

I have tough children all of the time, but when I signed up to become a pediatric speech therapist that was the day I committed to all children. Even when I know the child needs a more specialized therapist, say in an area like stuttering, I support the family until the child is in the right hands.

We should never quit on children, we need to support these families and put them in the right hands so they can experience a positive early start to their education.


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About Author

Jasna Cowan, MS, CCC-SLP

Jasna Cowan, MS, CCC-SLP, is a bilingual speech-language pathologist and the Director and Founder of Speech Goals Speech Therapy, Inc. She is licensed by the state of California and Certified by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Her certifications include a Hanen Certification, and Early Start Denver Method. Cowan has been working as a speech language pathologist for 12 years, having received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees from San Francisco State University. In her career, she has gained valuable experience working for the Pacifica School District as an employee and then as a contract consultant for litigious cases. She has also spent a significant portion of her career at the Pine Hill School and the Newton Program for children with high functioning Autism. Her expertise includes speech and language delay and disorders including bilingualism, children with autism spectrum, and articulation and phonological delays and disorders with speech sounds. Her accomplishments include creating the first Mommy and Me sign language class at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. Cowan currently serves as President of Speech ABCs, a non-profit that assists families in need of speech and language services and related services from her main offices in South San Francisco. Additionally, she consults for the Child Care Coordinating Council (4C’s) of San Mateo. Cowan also sits on a multidisciplinary team at Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC) in San Mateo, CA for whom she also serves as a therapy provider forGGRC’s Early Intervention Speech Pathologist in Spanish and English. As a trusted GGRC service partner, she provides both bilingual assessments and therapy for young children, ages 0-3. In conjunction with this service, she also conducts parent coaching courses on speech and language facilitation at Good Samaritan Resource Center of the Mission District in San Francisco

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