Another tool: the five why’s

In continuing the ongoing publicizing of my nerdery, I’m sharing one of my favorite work tools and its applicability to non-work stuff. It’s so easy! You just ask why five times to find a root cause.Since I’m still obsessing about child care options, I’ll use my decision to find a solution other than traditional daycare as an example.

I think I need to find a new child care solution.

1. Why?

We’ve been sick at least once a month since February.

2. Why?

Javi catches and brings home crud from daycare.

3. Why?

He comes into contact with a lot of kids at daycare.

4. Why?

Though there are only three other kids in his class (Infant B), the early-morning and late-evening kids float to one room (Infant A) where there are as many as 8 babies, meaning he’s in contact with the germs of 11 other kids. When you include their siblings, who are in other classes at the same daycare, he’s indirectly in contact with the germs of 50+ kids.

5. Why?

The daycare is a really large facility, so they float kids to keep their employee costs down in the early morning and late afternoon, when they have enough kids out to send an employee home, or when kids are transitioning from one room to another. Because of the size of the facility, many families send multiple kids in different age groups. Each age group is kept together, so different ages means different classrooms.


See? Easy peasy. I’ve been hesitant to pull Javi out of daycare because I like it there so much and didn’t think there were other options that limited germs short of keeping him home, but fewer kids mean fewer germs.


One thought on “Another tool: the five why’s

  1. I’ve been following your daycare saga and thought I’d let you know that I’d definitely be looking at other options if my kiddo were sick as often as yours is!

    My daughter is a smidge older than your little guy (17 months) and I’ve had her in a pretty big daycare facility since she turned 3 months old. They have one infant room (6wks-6mos) with 12 babies and 4 caregivers, then she moved to a 6 mos-1year room with the same class size and ratio and now she’s in a room with 12 1-2 year olds and 2 teachers (plus occasional floaters during busy times). To give you a feel for the size, this building has classrooms up to Pre-K, 12 kids per room and they start with 3 classrooms at the 1-2 age range. Lots of kids and LOTS of germs, plus the kids share outdoor space during the day, split in half by age.

    This facility believes strongly in disinfecting – all of their toys go through a daily spray-down and/or go in a dishwasher. Parents have to take off their shoes to come into the two early rooms because the kids spend so much time on the floor. There is Purell outside the classroom doors. They are also *militant* about keeping up-to-date vaccination records – we get reminder notes the day our vaccinations are due and they continue coming until I bring in the paperwork for the new shots.

    Bottom line – we haven’t had our girl home sick much at all. The couple of times we have, I really think she could’ve caught the crud anywhere and most likely not at school. At first, I thought it was pure luck, but the more I think about it, I don’t remember a lot of her friends missing from class, either.

    Reading this again, it kinda sounds like I’m bragging or something. My intention is to reassure you that your expectations aren’t unreasonable – kids together are petrie dishes, but they can be controlled a bit better than your current experiences might suggest. I hope you’re able to find a place for Javi that makes you all happier and healthier!

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