Hi Kim, so timely that you wrote this. I have been reading alot about the the natural supplement melatonin. Problem is that because you can get it from a health food shop, over the counter at the pharmacist, there is no standard or regulated dosage.
As you mentioned, more than 2 months is scary. Anything with young children should be in moderation really. I have heard of parents that have sworn by it to help get their children into a routine when they have been poor sleepers, but even at that doctors usually recommend that they be at minimum 5 years old. The scary thing with these melatonin supplements is that parents are buying it for themselves and then giving them to their kids without a second thought.
What I take away from this is:
1 - disgraceful that the daycare workers were doing this without parent consent. Your tips for choosing a center are spot on
2 - a warning to parents, just cause something is meant to be "natural" or a "supplement" think twice and get advice before administering it to your children. Especially if you the parent was the original intended recipient
This is a major reason why I'm not sending my son to daycare. Aside from me having seperation anxiety, I would not rest until their demise! My cousin owns a daycare and that still doesn't make me comfortable. Here I am being worried that my son would crawl into the path of a clorox bottle because of unsupervision and the supervision is the problem.