Our almost-three-year-old attends Mother's Day Out, and she recently got two new teachers, one of which is a male. My wife was assured by the program manager that the male teacher would not be changing diapers. However, my wife discovered he had changed her diaper one day last week. So now we are both worried, and thinking of pulling her out of the program. Our concern is not only that he changed her diaper, but that it also contradicts what the program manager had told my wife.

Like most MDO programs, this one is run by a church and the male teacher is simply a member. I am not sure if the church runs background checks or not, but the male teacher does have four children of his own.

Are we overreacting? Is it not a big deal that a male teacher is changing my daughter's diapers?

asked 18 Apr '10, 03:02

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RHPT
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edited 23 Apr '10, 18:36

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Tammy ♦♦
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Thank you everyone for your comments and advice. We will speak to the program director.

(20 Apr '10, 16:34) RHPT

Personally, I feel that as long as the care provider has appropriate training and has passed a background check, I don't mind if it is a man or a woman.

In your situation, I'd be very concerned about the fact that the program director misled you. You need to be able to trust the people that you leave your children with and the people who run the program.

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answered 18 Apr '10, 20:52

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I think the open door policy that K D talks about would make me more comfortable, and is certainly reasonable.

(18 Apr '10, 20:56) Scott ♦♦
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@Scott Absolutely! I also agree that an open door policy is important especially when we're talking about young, vulnerable children. But even with high school children, as a teacher and I won't give extra help to a student (male or female) in a classroom with closed doors. I think its a good idea for teachers and students of all ages to not be behind closed doors unless absolutely necessary.

(18 Apr '10, 23:59) cat_g
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I'm kind of surprised that it matters if the member of staff is male or female. Why does the teacher being male make him any less trustworthy than a female nursery worker?

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answered 18 Apr '10, 15:14

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According this this study: http://www.web.uvic.ca/psyc/runtz/CANpaper1989.pdf "...Of the college male sample, 21 % admitted to at least some sexual attraction to some small children; 9% reported fantasies about sex with a child; and over half of the latter group (5% of the total sample) stated that they had masturbated at least once to such fantasies. ..." Also: "The percentage of incidents of sexual abuse by female perpetrators that come to the attention of the legal system is usually reported to be between 1% and 4%." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sexual_abuse#Demographics)

(18 Apr '10, 15:52) Scott ♦♦
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However, there is some uncertainty (also from the Wikipedia article): "Studies of sexual misconduct in US schools with female offenders have shown mixed results with rates between 4% to 43% of female offenders."

(18 Apr '10, 15:53) Scott ♦♦
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The cited paper starts by saying "A survey was administered to 193 male undergraduate students regarding their sexual interest in children, as well as their responses to a number of questions theoretically relevant to pedophilia." It's not at all clear if the answers actually are relevant to pedophilia, nor if that small sample size of undergraduates in 1989 is relevant to the population of teachers or daycare workers. So I think we should really avoid painting an image of male teachers or daycare workers as likely to be abusers. [Continued in my next comment.]

(19 Apr '10, 17:06) lgritz
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That said, I would not use a daycare that didn't have certifications and do background checks on those who worked there. I think that the due diligence on the part of the center is the key issue here, not the sex of the teacher, nor is it necessarily relevant (even if true) that more men than women abuse children, if the absolute rates are low. And it should be kept in perspective relative to other risks -- such as that family members are statistically much more likely to be a problem. So anyway, I'm giving this answer a +1 because I don't think the sex of the worker is especially relevant.

(19 Apr '10, 17:12) lgritz

My main concern is that background checks may not have been run. Whether the teacher is male or female I would want to make sure that every adult who has contact with my child in daycare/school has had a background check. We had our home daycare provide get a criminal background check and vulnerable person screening (not sure if those terms are similar outside of Canada) and have been told that it is quite common.

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answered 19 Apr '10, 03:09

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In NZ places are providing childcare for pre-schoolers are required to have a policy on toileting /nappy changing. This would cover who is to change the kids nappy or take a child to the toilet, that an doors need to be left open or it needs to visable to another adult, where nappy changing will take place. In your situation I would be asking to have a look at this policy.

I would also talk to the program manager about your concerns. It is possible that they do do background checks.

I am surprised that the male teacher changed the nappy. When I was on a team of parents at a parent run preschool the two males preferred not to change nappies. It is possible that the male teacher did it because it was needed to be done and the other teachers were already occupied.

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answered 18 Apr '10, 03:36

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+1 For suggesting talking to the program manager.

(19 Apr '10, 00:00) cat_g

If your worried that a strange male change your daughter's diaper why not also worry about a strange female changing your daughter's diaper? If a background check was not run on either I'd worry then. Yes you are overreacting a little in regards to gender when it comes to your child. I mean I assume that you are the father, would it also mean that your wife should worry about your changing your daughter? So no it is not a big deal that the male teacher changed your daughter's diaper.

Also if you are afraid of males only being the likely ones to molest, please direct your attention to the Canadian CRC

75% of sexual predators are male and 25% are female.

86% of the victims of female sexual predators aren't believed, so the crimes go unreported and don't get prosecuted.

Also check this out: Female sex offender first interview, and no she did not molest 12-16 year old boys. She molested infants and toddlers your daughter's age.

As she says "I believe there are more like me out there that have not been caught"

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answered 02 Jun '10, 04:43

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edited 02 Jun '10, 15:16

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Asked: 18 Apr '10, 03:02

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Last updated: 02 Jun '10, 15:16