Address: 225 Logan Ave S # 100, Renton, WA 98057
Before I delve into the incident that prompted me to write this review, I will share about the quality of their program.
Firstly, Harmony describes their program one that demonstrates "supporting and nurturing interactions with children, developmentally appropriate practice and view[s] parents as partners in their children's learning".
I can provide an objective list as to why this is untrue. Here are my thoughts as a pediatric speech-language pathologist who has been working in the field of education and early intervention for over 9 years.
Disrespectful and Unkind Language
Since I am fluent in the language used in the classroom, I understand the teachers' word choices, the connotations in their language, and the manner in which they communicate with the children. The language they use is not respectful or kind. Much of it is throwing directives at students in a rude manner (e.g., "Hurry up and get here. Teacher is not going to wait for you"). The teachers' way of verbal discipline is very primitive and outdated. Anyone who works in education and takes continuing education courses would recognize this.
Empty Promises and Poor Communication
Despite the lingo that is thrown around on Harmony's website, they do not view parents as partners in education. When I first registered my daughter in the program, I was told by the director (and read on both the Harmony website and in the printed Parent Handbook she gave me) that we would have two parent-teacher conferences each year to discuss our child's learning/progress.
Unfortunately, this never happened; not even one conference. I was only able to get some information about how my child was doing when I asked very specific questions to the director via email.
There's no school-to-home communication at all; no photos, no logs/notes, etc. Each time I wanted to talk to staff about my child in-person, they would be "too busy" to talk to me.
No Collaboration with Parents
There is a sense of apathy with the staff when it comes to collaborating with parents to meet their children's needs. I first enrolled my daughter when she was 12 months old, and at the time she primarily communicated through sign language. I asked to show the teachers just two signs ("more" and "all done"), which was how my baby requested her basic wants/needs. This would've taken half a minute to demonstrate and explain, yet they did not want to take the time to know, insisting that children can just communicate by reaching out or pushing something away to express their needs. What they are telling me is going backwards in language development. I would not have expected such low quality out of an early childhood education center.
Violation of WA State Regulations
My child attended Harmony for almost one and a half years. There were a number of yellow flags that stuck out to us in the beginning, but we didn't realize how terrible it was until we experienced the daycare owner's response to my daughter's head injury. The situation was handled very poorly after the directors and teachers had committed a WA state violation (110-300-0475), and I will explain as briefly as I can.
My daughter sustained a head injury at Harmony at 9:20am one morning. We - her parents - were not notified about her injury until she was picked up that evening because she had a very large, visible bruise and significant swelling (2.5 inches across) on her forehead.
The injury incident report that we were given was not filled out properly (according to the report, there was no treatment provided, but the director insisted that they provided an ice pack after I called her about this incident the next day). My daughter verbally expressed to me (unprompted) that her head hurt throughout that evening, 9 hours after the incident happened. It was clear that she went through nearly her entire day in pain and the director/staff did not contact us as parents at all. Had I known, I could have taken her that morning to urgent care right away, looked into pain relief options, etc.
Since it was evening when we had found out, we scheduled a telemed appointment right away. The attending physician suspected a concussion and cautioned us to monitor our daughter's condition overnight for seizure-like symptoms. Thus, instead of putting my daughter into her crib as usual, I coslept with her to make sure I could be right beside her the entire time. That night, she complained of pain sporadically as she woke up multiple times, and the next day as well. During the day, she was uncoordinated in her gait, bumped into furniture, and slumped against her low bookshelf, all of which were unusual. We were able to squeeze in for another medical visit to have a physician look her over in-person a few days following her injury, and it was then confirmed that she suffered from a concussion.
The staff at Harmony violated informed consent rules. All injuries above the neck should be reported to parents right away, yet they failed to do so... waiting until we picked her up to tell us because it was impossible to hide the terrible swelling and bruising on her head.
When discussing my concerns with the director of Harmony, she was rather dismissive and rude. She said she would share my concerns with the owner of the daycare, a so-called "Lily" who lived in Taiwan, and was unavailable by phone, video chat, etc. Basically, a person who "makes the rules" but is unable to be reached by parents except through email. Lily took 4 days just to respond to my email about my concerns.
She never apologized once or acknowledged that her staff should have notified me about the head injury sooner.
Instead, the owner of Harmony told me that I was stressing out her staff and bluntly stated that it was hard to hire/train a new person at this time, so she told me to immediately stop bringing my daughter to the daycare.
I never would have imagined that a daycare owner would:
- Make a violation by failing to report a child's head injury to the parents in a timely manner instead of 9 hours later,
- Refuse to apologize for what had happened and acknowledge that the staff should have notified parents,
- Expel the injured student because my concerns were causing "stress" for the staff.
Rarely do I ever leave negative reviews, but I am wholly disgusted by these immoral practices and what we went through. Harmony should come with a warning.
Be very careful, parents in the Renton, Tukwila, Kent, Newcastle, Issaquah, Bellevue, and Greater Seattle suburbs area. A bilingual daycare is not worth it for the aspect of language alone. Your child's safety and well-being is far more important, as well as the type of caregivers they interact with on a regular basis.
Keep your little ones safe!