Daycare Worker Refuses to Change Diaper

Gillian Sisley

Should daycare workers be expected to care for children, even when they're off the clock?

The pandemic has come with a lot of struggles, especially in terms of childcare. Families are reporting having a harder time than ever securing affordable childcare, or even finding availability. For this reason, many have found they need to depend on family members or other loved ones to secure any form of childcare at all.

With that said, childcare workers have been hit incredibly hard by the pandemic as well, even leading to facility closures or overcapacity numbers. Workers are under more pressure than ever before, and are reporting higher levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout due to the increased demands from the pandemic and from the parents of the children they care for.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a daycare worker who is "off the clock" is asked to change a diaper, and refuses to do so.

Should daycare workers be expected to care for children, even when they're off the clock?

A Reddit post published on March 24th, reported on by Ashley Gale from Newsweek, has gone viral with 14,100 upvotes and 1,800 comments.

The author begins her post by explaining that she recently had an encounter with one of the mothers of the children she works with, and she's now wondering if she was in the wrong for the way she responded.

The author clarifies that she was recently invited to a friend's barbecue, and when she was there she learned that one of the children she looks after at her daycare was part of the family. At one point, the mother of the child came to the daycare worker and asked if she could quickly change her child's diaper. The author was confused, and confirmed that she was off the clock, so she had no responsibility to look after the mother's kid.

The mother didn't take ‘no’ for an answer, and explained that it was usually her husband who did the diaper changing because she's a germaphobe, but he wasn't there to do it. She pleaded with the daycare worker to change the diaper, but the author still said 'no'. The mother appeared to be rather put off by the fact that the author would not help her with this task.

After more pushback, the author explained to the mother that she also didn't like changing diapers either, and it was inappropriate for her to be demanding this of the author when she wasn't working. The mother then said that it was devastating to 'learn that her daughter's favorite teacher had such little empathy', and then she walked away in a huff.

Workers should be paid for their labor.

While people may become accustomed to seeing those they know in familiar scenarios, it is not appropriate to ask someone to work for free. Workers must be compensated for the hours that they're on the clock, and deserve rest when they are not working.

Soon after this encounter, the author saw the mother and the child leave the party. Worried that she may have done something wrong, the author texted her boss at the daycare to tell her what happened. The boss told her that they could talk about it more in detail later, and that she'd let the author know if the mom said anything to her.

What do you think? Should the author have just changed the child's diaper and helped out the mom who is a germaphobe? Or was it incredibly entitled for the mother to expect the author to change her kid's diaper outside of working hours?

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