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Life and Religion

Parents in pajamas banned from day care
Facilities prohibit overly-casual attire
Published Thursday, November 8, 2012 8:44 am
by Michaela L. Duckett

While it may not be the norm, it is not totally uncommon to see people in public places wearing house slippers, pajama pants or headscarves.

Sagging pants and pajamas are banned at a couple of Charlotte day care centers.

Whether it is a matter of comfort, convenience or sheer laziness, some are convinced going to the casual extreme is acceptable, while others consider it inappropriate and sometimes downright offensive.

After receiving complaints about pajama-clad parents, Little Hedgepeth Academy in Northeast Charlotte recently implemented a dress code, which prohibits wearing pajamas inside the center. Academy director Sharon Pitts posted a letter in mid-October that read in part: “This is a place of business... We ask that parents come into the center in a presentable fashion. Shirts and shoes are required, and we ask that you do not come into the facility with pajamas, scarves, bonnets or rags tied on your head. We want this center to keep a professional appearance throughout the entire facility.”

Prior to posting the notice, Pitts said parents arrived in pajamas that exposed their undergarments while others neglected to wear undies at all and risked exposing much more. Either way, it was a distraction. It also raised questions of hygiene.

“Parents coming in wearing pajamas is an indication that somebody just got out of the bed,” Pitts said. “Did you wash your body before you left the house? Did you wash your children?”

Although a small minority of parents showed up in pajamas, Pitts said it became an issue because it sent the wrong message to children.

“If you are leaving your home without washing, then you are telling your kids that it is OK,” she said. “Do you really want to tell a 3- or 4-year-old that it is OK to get out of the bed, not wash their body and go on to daycare or later on to school? We promote kindergarten readiness in this facility… We have to set high standards.”

Since the letter was posted, Pitts said parents in pajamas are no longer a problem.

“We haven’t had anybody to break the policy rule since we put it up,” she says. “I make it very clear that this is the expectation, and I turn them around if they do.”

Across town in West Charlotte, Gladys Thompson, director of Moore’s Sanctuary Child Development Center, took a stand against inappropriate parental attire.

“I have some parents that are young,” she says. “Some of the young dads were coming in with their pants hanging down, and I could see their underwear. That wasn’t appropriate.”

Thompson said she did not implement new policy to tackle the issue. She simply asked the dads to pull their pants up.

“I addressed them in a polite manner,” she says. “I explained to them that that was totally inappropriate for any place, especially a daycare because we teach our little boys to wear their pants around their waists with belts.”

She says many of the fathers apologized for the offense and promised never to do it again.

“It’s not happening anymore,” she says. “It stopped.”

Thompson says she has not had much of an issue with parents in pajamas. In the past decade, she can only recall one instance several years ago when a mother, still in pajamas, dropped off her child.

“I greeted her at the door,” says Thompson. “I told her that I would take her child to the classroom because she could not come in dressed that way and that in the future she would have to wear trousers instead of pajamas.”

Thompson says the parent explained that she had “just rolled out of bed,” but complied with her request.



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