Working Moms

Oldest vs. youngest in a daycare class

What do you prefer? Do you care?

They are splitting 2 infant classes into 2 toddler ones but doing it by age instead of developmental ability.  The younger kids are June and after.  My daughter is July so she will be the oldest in the class.  She is 13 months and all the other babies will be 8-12 months.  The other class they will be 14 months-18 mo.  My daughter "hangs" with the older babies now in her class.  She does all the things they do- feed herself, stand alone, etc . She doesn't walk on her own yet but she is trying and I bet she will be within a week or so.  None of the younger babies are on that level.

It really bothers me that my daughter will be the oldest.  I am fearful she will be treated like the younger ones and not pushed to do more.  Even one of the teachers confided she always worries about the oldest in the class regressing to the level of the younger babies. 

I spoke to the director to no avail.  She is firm on how she split the kids.  Am I crazy to feel this way?  I am thinking about finding another daycare because of this but I don't know if I'm being crazy mom or my concerns are legit.  I appreciate any feedback.

3 IUI's and 2 IVF's later- Brady arrived. Born at 36 weeks after PUPPS and pre-e/HELLP.
IUI- BFN IVF #1 -BFP! Allie is our 2nd IVF baby. Born at 36 1/2 weeks after pre-e again
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Re: Oldest vs. youngest in a daycare class

  • FWIW, I think she'll be fine in the "younger class", but ultimately try it and see and if you don't feel comfortable maybe look for another day care. 

    My LO is a Sept. birthday and not that this is any time soon as she is only going to be 1 this year, but she misses the cut off for school so she won't be starting kindergarten until she is 5 and turn 6 a few weeks into the year. My DH has done some research and found that older ones are more well adjusted in the longer term as they have more development and maturity behind them. As long as she is progressing well developmentally and staff are aware of her situation, I see no harm in the younger class. She can be a good model for them. 

  • I'd like my kid to be on the younger end early on...she was in a class of closer to 3 year olds this year and her verbal skills are much higher than I think they would be if she was the only one talking.

    However, once they get older (I teach middle school), I think the older kids in the class have a much easier time than the youngest ones (esp the boys). 

    "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies. God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut
  • My DD's besties were all 2-3 months older than her, so they all moved up to the 2 yo room several months before she could.  She was developmentally right with them or ahead, but the rule was they had to be 2 for ratio.  I felt so bad for her at dropoff when she didn't know many of the kids and kept asking "Where's Ava?"  Fortunately it was only a few months.  And the next transition she moved up with everyone else.  

    Do you have a date when she'd move up?  If it is only a few months, I'd be hesitant to pull my kids out.  Just see how it goes, maybe she'll enjoy being the big girl in the room?

  • I wouldn't worry abuot this at this age; I think it will actually help her to become a leader and helper. 

    I would worry about how she will make the next transition and what group she'll be with.  Because of when her birthday falls (December) DD got a little shuffled around during the infant/toddler/2s transitions.  It was annoying to me b/c she'd be with a group of kids and make friends/playmates and then everyone but her and one or two other kids would transition to the next room/class, etc. and then she'd settle in with a new group and few months later, DD and a few others would transition w/o the rest of the group.  I think we're squared away now, and she's w/ the "late birthday" group, but it took awhile to get sorted out.

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  • My DS has been both the oldest and youngest and I'm fine with either.  I think that there are pro's and con's to both, but either way, I don't think that they "suffer" in either case.
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  • I think right now, I would prefer for DD to be one of the oldest because she is small.  Her class age goes from about 9 months to 14 months and she is 13 months.  There are three kids older than her and 6 kids younger.  Out of all these kids though, she is the smallest.  Her teaches say she is the most advanced and ready to move up to the next class when a slot opens up (before the older kids)  but I am not looking forward to it.  The next class has kids between 12 and 24 months, and I am a little concerned about her being so small in a class with kids so much older. 

    When she was the youngest in her class she was more mobile than a lot of the other kids so I didn't even realize that she was the youngest until 2-3 months later when a younger baby joined the class.


  • I think there are benefits to being in either group.  DD is in an in-home daycare where she started out as the youngest of a group ranging from 3 months to 4 yrs.  In a few weeks, she will be the oldest as 4 kids move to preschool.  While I like to attribute her great speech development to being with the older kids, the other boy her age (born the same day) is still not really speaking to this day, so I can't say being with older kids is necessarily the best thing for every kid.  Now with DD about to be one of the oldest, she'll have more opportunity to be the leader, teach the littler kids, and practice being gentle and kind to the kids who aren't as mobile or vocal.

    I would see how it goes for a few weeks and then talk to the teachers about how your LO is doing and whether being with the younger kids is working out.

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  • I too had this very same issue. But the owner had a  reason for keeping my daughter in the younger class. It was because (her words) my daughter was one of the better kids and they had to keep a set number in each class so she thought the teacher would have an easier class with keeping my DD in there. Understandable, but I voiced my concern and they moved her.

    It happened a second time when DD was 2. She moved up into a new class, with a new teacher and I started noticing she was having accidents - which was odd because she was the easiest baby ever to potty train. I again spoke with the director on how I didn't think the teacher was giving the children enough attention. (There is more to this story) She again moved my daughter to the other class and we never had another problem.

    I would  have another talk with the director - you pay their bills. They should accomodate to you. IMO

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  • My kiddo is the youngest and that has some drawbacks too, esp when he was not walking. They would keep him out of the melee of kids to keep him safe and I'd get annoyed to drive up and find him in the swing on the swingset or somewhere else where he was kind of isolated from everyone else. It has resolved as he is older but it bothered me when it was happening.
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  • I would mind for my DC to be in a class where there is a mix of kids (montessori style or in home day care) however, i wouldn't like it if he was the only one that was the oldest with no plans to move up. Our old daycare didn't move any kids up if they were not developmentally really, typically it was the holding kids back until there was space for the next level up. I think your situation is OK as long as there's a plan to move her up, now, i don't like the way the director handled the situation, you should always be able to tell her what you want and come to an agree with her, sounds like she just denied your feedback.

  • Thanks everyone.  This has been incredibly helpful.  I'm going to wait and see how it goes in the new room and see how dd seems to be doing.  If it's bad, I'll speak to the regional director or national director - or pull her out. 
    3 IUI's and 2 IVF's later- Brady arrived. Born at 36 weeks after PUPPS and pre-e/HELLP.
    IUI- BFN IVF #1 -BFP! Allie is our 2nd IVF baby. Born at 36 1/2 weeks after pre-e again
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  • My daughter was a similar age to yours when she stayed in the infant room this summer.  For her, I knew there would be a move up in Sept. - and there were other kids around her age (one girl a few days younger), one a month younger - so I was actually happy with her being the oldest in the room and getting to experience that for a bit.

     She's 16.5 mos now and will be moving to the toddler room.

    My son is 4 - he will be the youngest in his class b/c he is going to kindergarten next year - I wanted him to experience being the youngest at our daycare/pre-school (Junior K class) - and then we can make sure he is ready for K next year.

    In your shoes, I would probably want to know when they do plan on moving DD up. 

  • My son just got moved to the 1-2 class at the beginning of the month.  He's the youngest in there and I think he gets frustrated because he isn't keeping up as easily with the older kids (he's not yet walking).  Having a cusp kid can present challenges on either side of the split. 

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