Is this an ADA-Reasonable Request for our daycare?

Overall we have a great christian daycare we love, and our daughter LOVES as well.  We discussed pulling her out with our doctor but she encouraged us to keep her in since she loves it and see how the next year goes for us with the flare-ups and sicknesses.I was wondering if anyone has experience with ADA compliancy and making requests for their kids or themselves based on these laws at school, work or daycare?


The reason I ask is that I'd like to bring up with the director a request for all toys and surfaces to be cleaned more frequently with either bleach water or Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide surface cleaner (safe for fabrics) – my idea of frequently is at least 1 time per week a good spray down given, or toys that can be soaked be soaked in bleach water, wiped etc.  And that the common areas (toilet areas, changing table areas be bleached daily to 3 times a week carefully).   I asked my daughters classroom teacher and she said this is only being done once maybe twice a month sometimes. 

Is this a reasonable request?  I do want to cite ADA compliance if necessary since illness effects my daughter so much and I feel they can up the anty on the cleaning at least through the sick season.  (Fall/Winter)

Any thoughts?  Is this reasonable to request?   How would you go about it – talking to Director, formal letter? How would you word it so that its not offensive (I am not trying to insult their housekeeping but lets get real here) but it gets the point across that I am not taking this lightly as a mother with a child that is sensitive to illness.




Comments 10

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Tiffany … hugs on the desire to keep her in a place she loves but needing them to make some changes. 

    To me, your request is super reasonable … but remember, the ADA doesn't apply to private schools that are religiously affiliated. That means they don't have to accommodate your kiddo. That doesn't mean they won't help you – it just means you won't be able to cite the ADA need for compliance.

    Kids with Food Allergies, a division of AAFA, has a couple of great videos that helped me understand the rights my kiddo has. One is "" and "" — I know you are dealing with asthma and not food allergies, but both can be considered disabilities. 

    Could you approach it from a "here's what my doctor suggests" angle? Maybe draft a letter for your doctor to put on her own letterhead and sign with specific recommendations? And then share that letter with them?

    The letter could be something very simple, covering the very basics:

    • stating that kiddo has been DX with asthma which is triggered by upper respiratory infections such as cold and flu
    • recommending using the
    • ask that you the parents be notified if other kiddos have been/are showing signs of being sick so that you can make a choice about keeping your kiddo home or sending her to school
    • asking the school to send out a notice to all the parents of the importance of keeping kiddos home when they are sick — maybe sharing a handout like

    Could you phrase it in such a way as, "This can help everyone stay healthier," and focus on prevention? I can assure you as a former teacher (and a member of a family of teachers), teachers don't like to see sick kids come to school. 

    Hugs! I'll bet they will be very receptive to a kind, gentle approach like you are planning … they wouldn't be at a preschool if they didn't love kids, right?

  • Tiffany F.

    @K8sMom2002, you are amazing, thank you!  This helps a TON.  I was very unsure on where to start and this is great!

    They are a public daycare center, so I *think* they do fall under ADA.   I am going to start with this and try my hardest.  I feel like I am doing this for more than just my daughter but the other little ones too!  We can't be too careful with illnesses around any of them!

    THANK YOU! <3

  • K8sMom2002

    Most excellent, and my pleasure — when you said "great Christian daycare," I thought you meant that it was a church-based or religiously-affiliated private daycare. 

    The law is complicated, but Laurel does a great job in those webinars to help make it easy. I have to go back and listen just to be sure that I still understand things. I highly recommend taking the time to listen to both.

    I'm super hopeful that you will have good news to report back!

  • Shea

    We have required a lot of stuffed animals      And, I used to wash them in hot water, but just doingbthe sheets and curtains weekly keeps me busy! So, I keep the stuffed animals on the closet and then, if my son wants to play with them I either vacuum them and spray them with a anti-allergen spray, or will wash them, or put them in a plastic bag in the freezer. 

    Honestly, I have to figure out how to sneak some of these out of the house… 

    (Those are just some thoughts on reducing dustmites/allergens/germs on stuffed animals, as an alternative to bleach, which my asthma is sensitive too and might damage or discolor.)

  • K8sMom2002

    @Tiffany F., did you get any ideas from the videos?

    @Shea, the freezer is a great idea for killing dust mites on stuffed animals! One thing that you might do is rotate out the stuffed animals. What I used to do with DD's toys, since we had waaay too many toys and waaaay too little space (for awhile she was the ONLY grandchild!! ), was to box up two-thirds of them and let her play with one third. Then we'd swap out that 1/3, and replace it with another third. 

    It did two things:

    • gave us more space and less clutter
    • gave her a chance to enjoy the feeling of novelty instead of getting bored with all her toys. 

    As for sneaking toys out, I never did that. It works for some parents and kiddos, but it wouldn't have worked for us because it would have broken DD's trust in us. Instead, I got to the bottom of why she was worried about giving away her old toys — she thought we were going to just throw them away. So I took her to a women's shelter and let her actually be the one to give the toys to the manager of the shelter, who explained that some kiddos had to leave home in such a hurry that they didn't have any toys. She was happy to give away her old toys once she knew they would be enjoyed by some other kiddo who needed them.

  • Shea

    K8SMOM, I love those ideas! I am doing the swap outs right now, but I am going to try the getting him on board to donate. I agree, keeping the trust is so important and I like to make decisions together and both be on board.

  • Pljohns

    We used to do that-our local hospital childrens' ward was always needing toys for the play room.  It had to be something that could be wiped down and no small parts so they were always grateful for whatever we could give them.  Most of the time the toys had hardly been played with (we have the only grandkids on both sides of the family) and still looked new-it was a great way for us to declutter and it really helped out the kiddo's in the hospital.

  • K8sMom2002

    That's a terrific idea, Lynn! 

    Shea, if your local women's shelter or children's hospital doesn't need any toys, you might approach local Headstart or pre-schools or church nurseries. 

    @Tiffany F., any headway with your daycare? 

  • Jen

    @Tiffany F. Were you able to work things out with the daycare?